With the world’s attention turned toward sustainability, it isn’t surprising that the interior design field has promoted some fantastic measures for achieving eco-friendly décor and designing homes with sustainable resources. The following are seven tips that will help you achieve an environmentally friendly living space that looks as wonderful as it will feel!
Support Eco-Friendly Companies
Supporting eco-friendly companies means purchasing products for your home from organizations that are committed to making quality products from sustainable resources or from materials that are ultimately safe for the environment. Buy green cleaning and household maintenance products from companies who have gone green; find companies that support local economies in your area. Shopping locally from environmentally friendly companies is the first step to achieving a greener home and also cuts down on the energy used to ship items that come from abroad or across the country.
Paint can be quite toxic to the environment; traditional paints are loaded with volatile organic compounds that are, indeed, toxic for humans. Instead of paints loaded with dangerous chemicals or toxic compounds and fungicides, consider choosing natural paints made from milk proteins or clay. Pigments can be added and the overall effect may be just as pleasing as any other paint product. You’re also likely to breathe easier knowing that your walls are not coated with toxins.
Floors from Renewable Resources
Hard wood floors are classic and continue in popularity among homeowners; however, be sure to install wood floors made from reclaimed wood, if possible. Ideally, choose sustainable natural flooring made from materials like bamboo. Bamboo is durable and comes in many gorgeous styles that have the elegant look and feel of hard wood. As a natural resource, bamboo is fast-growing and an ideal material for interior design. It can also be considerably less expensive than hard wood since it is easy to grow on bamboo plantations.
When purchasing new furniture, choose bamboo if you want the look of wood; however, be sure it hasn’t been sprayed or treated with chemicals. Avoid buying new furniture made from wood, if possible. Furniture made from recycled metal is growing in popularity. Many furniture companies now specialize in products made from sustainable or recycled materials and can be found easily online.
Revamped or Reused Furniture
If you have your heart set on real wood furniture, you can still be environmentally friendly in your selection by choosing an antique or used piece of furniture. You can also revamp something old and tattered by making repairs or even dramatically altering it to suit a new purpose. Even a simple coat of paint can work wonders for an old piece of furniture. Look for books on making-over flea market finds for great ideas for repurposing old furniture.
Decorate with Plants
Many interior designers recommend adding plants to the décor. Plants can add visual beauty to any space, but many are renowned for their ability to clear the air. Some of the best plants for removing toxins from the air are bamboo palm, spider plant, English ivy, weeping fig, and rubber plants. Before running out to buy a new vase, consider buying a new plant and just use an old vase to showcase it.
Green Accents for Every Space
When it comes to decorating, you can add green accents to every room of the house with a little treasure hunting or some craft tutorials. Instead of buying new items from department stores, look for used items on online auction sites or at flea markets and resale shops. Just as with used furniture, these used accents can be revamped and repurposed with your own signature style. By keeping old items out of landfills, you contribute to a greener environment.
Guest post contributed by Neal Rochester, on behalf of Wallsneedlove.com. Walls need love design vinyl wall decals and vinyl wall quotes, custom made to order. They give 1% of sales to soundforest.org which plants trees to help offset the production of their products.