From this 1970s flat-roofed modern glass box of a house, Danny Seo has produced books, dreamed up magazine articles, and penned a daily syndicated column with his signature eco-style bent. He’s also become a regular commentator on NBC’s “Today” show and launched a long line of ethically sourced products. Now, he’s dreamed up a magazine—the one in your hands. So, Naturally, we feel entitled to peek around inside, meet Danny, and have a quick chat.
It’s as if someone should cue the “Simba” music when Danny Seo is introduced.
Really, it can’t be a coincidence that this lifelong defender of the planet and all-around good guy was born on Earth Day, April 22nd. Not only that, the year was 1977, when the peace movement had just joined a budding environmental awareness and gone global in its high-minded but earth-based call for harmony with the planet and among all of its people. Born in Reading, PA, home of the shopping outlet and a popular Monopoly railroad line, Danny focused instead on the rivers, trees, and mountains of the area. As a budding activist at age 12, he started a grassroots Earth 2000 organization that grew to a global teenage education and charity movement (the largest ever at the time) by the time he was 18, all on behalf of the environment. And he was just getting wound up. Two books written and published by the time he was 21 honed his message that living simply and in tune with nature doesn’t have to be difficult, pricey or tacky. From that green, simple, gorgeous path, he hasn’t strayed. And it’s led him here.
“In this house you are right out in the landscape. The squirrels I watch out my window every day don’t even startle when I move around. Soon I swear one of them is going to wave and wish me a good morning.”
SS: What drew you to your “little glass box in the woods”?
DS: I was attracted to this house for a couple of reasons. To me it was Japanese temple meets Bucks County farmhouse—east meets west, which sort of describes me. It also has the feeling of being out in the middle of nowhere—I can see nothing but trees and the creek from my office—but around the corner are all the conveniences of a suburb.
SS: So you never become unnerved living in the middle of the woods surrounded by glass?
DS: Well, both the house and the road to it are said to be haunted, which has freaked out several friends and most dogs that visit. Even the most chill dogs will find the same corner and just start barking into it. It’s kind of grisly, but the story goes there was a schoolhouse that burned down on this property 100 years ago, and the children were trapped inside. I know many people would find that unappealing, but it just made it more interesting to me. I’m the challenge house on Halloween! The kids all see how far they can walk down the lane without using their flashlights. Personally, I haven’t been in touch with the spirits, so I guess they’re okay with me.
SS: Suddenly I’m glad I’m here by daylight. But the house is incredible. I only feel good energy here.
DS: Here you experience how the environment changes through the year. I was attracted to the energy of the house and the flow. It’s comfortable everywhere in the home. And, seriously, my friends like it here. There’s a sense of calm when they’re here. I also love that there was just one owner, a fine artist. The finishes weren’t touched the entire time. For a lot of people that would be unappealing, but to me it was an untouched canvas. It was a time-warp house. I mean, when I bought it the house was painted white with orange doors.
SS: What’s your favorite room to hang out in?
DS: The house is small but really open, so people tend to kind of wander to where they want to be…even if you want a little privacy and you still want a sense of the group. But my favorite is the hearth room that has like 20-foot ceilings. I wanted all the surfaces to be warm and inviting, so I got a big velvet sofa and layered the floor with rugs. I call it my Boho den. I wanted it to be just sink-in comfortable. My “Flintstones” fireplace was made from stones around the creek and ravine, part of the bedrock of the place—get it?
SS: Doesn’t all that layering get spendy?
DS: Not when you decorate like I do! I like the high-low shopping philosophy. I have rugs from IKEA next to flea market finds and the $4,000 rug I wanted for its artisanship and authenticity. And look around, I decorate with rocks and seed pods. So there’s that. This wasn’t meant to be a show house, it was meant to be my home.
To check out more of Danny’s Glass House, pick up the first issue of Naturally, Danny Seo on newstands.