Decorating a home can be an intimidating process for anyone. Trying to be eco-friendly when designing a new space adds an additional challenge. Luckily, eco-friendly home décor has come a long way, making it totally possible to create an ethically sourced design without compromising on style. Keep reading for some tips on making your green space look its best.
One of the easiest ways to keep your carbon footprint small is to buy pre-loved furniture and home décor. Start by checking eBay and Gumtree, which have fantastic vintage pieces added every day. You can also check your local thrift stores and use social media to see if anyone has pieces they’re looking to sell. Although secondhand furniture may not seem as exciting as getting something new, vintage pieces actually make your space unique. You can also always DIY the furniture to make it fit your space better. With so many tutorials on YouTube and blogs, you should be able to find a method that will work best for your renovation.
Think Before You Paint
Many people begin any room makeover by putting on a fresh coat of paint, as it’s one of the most affordable ways to change up a space. If you’re looking to design in an eco-friendly way, however, you should take the time to research the type of paint to use. Many paints contain VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, which release toxic emissions into the atmosphere for years after they’ve been put on your walls (EPA). This is not only bad for your family, but also detrimental to the environment. VOCs used to be critical to the paint-making process, but this has changed in recent years. When you select your new color, just make sure to buy one that is clearly labeled “low VOC.” In fact, some brands have no VOCs at all!
Take on a Project
One of the coolest ways to make your home more eco-friendly is to take on some DIY projects that are both energy efficient and aesthetically pleasing. For example, you can create a water wall with a collection of beautiful mason jars. Simply place the Mason jars on a window that receives a lot of sunlight. The water will then absorb heat during the day and release it at night, keeping your house cooler while you’re awake and more comfortable while you’re sleeping. You can even paint the jars so that your room is filled with colored light, creating a stained glass effect. Alternatively, you can just mix some food coloring into the water.
Even easier than a DIY is splurging on a bunch of houseplants. They’ll purify your air and look beautiful while doing it. Look through the home design inspiration here to get ideas for houseplant placement.
Avoid Normal Curtains and Carpet
Standard curtains don’t do a whole lot to control the temperature of your room. By investing in thermal curtains, you’ll cut down your energy bills for years to come. If there is a certain look that you absolutely love, you don’t have to sacrifice style. Simply buy a plain thermal curtain lining and place it behind the decorative curtains of your choice.
You may also wish to consider investing in hardwood floors instead of carpet. Carpet is not only full of pollutants and chemicals that release toxins into your home, but also harms the planet during the manufacturing process. And even the best carpets need to be replaced every ten years or so. Although real wood, the most environmentally-friendly choice, can be pricey, it will hold up well over time and increase the resale value of your home.
Although decorating a space in an environmentally friendly way can be a challenge, it’s worth it to know that you’ve helped your planet while also beautifying your space. Grab a paintbrush and get started today!
• People have been conditioned to think that "clean" should have a scent, however air fresheners are known to contain phthalates which when inhaled can be harmful.
• Air fresheners such as Febreze®, Glade® PlugIns® Scented Oil and Renuzit® Cones should be avoided and replaced with fresh air, MamaSuds homemade organic essential oils, real wax candles from Mountain Rose Herbs, Aroma Naturals or Poofy Organics Candle Melts and diffusers with essential oils from Amazon.