After you’ve found your dream home and finished key remodeling projects, it's time to fill your home with personality. The furnishings and décor create the atmosphere that reflects your values, interests, and needs. Many homeowners spend years choosing the perfect combination of accessories and furniture. In recent years, many people have tried crafting a stylish home using only sustainable, or “green”, materials. From linens and picture frames, to knick-knacks and decorative lighting, the world of design has a wealth of design options incorporating “green” products.
But for some critics, there is a misconception that sustainable products are rough and unattractive. Designs that emphasize burlap clothing and exposed pipes can discourage fans of sleeker, more chic trends. However, being “green” can be every bit as stylish as the designer rooms advertised in the media. Here are some ways you can bring style and eco-friendliness to your home décor.
One easy, eco-friendly choice to help your home is the choice to recycle instead of purchasing new items. By reusing "vintage" or pre-owned items, you'll lessen the production of new items, which means a greener Earth! An old dresser with a new coat of paint might work perfectly in your bedroom. An old bookshelf could be gutted or refinished to create an entertainment stand. Hand-me-down chairs can become stylish new accessories with updated upholstery. Think beyond furniture as well. An old poster from your college days could be the perfect retro display when professionally framed.
Another great method is to check out second-hand stores, yard sales, flea markets, and other places where used home goods are sold. Keep an open mind when shopping that recycling older furnishings or décor items may take a little bit of elbow grease, but the results are often worth the time. Again, think beyond just furniture. Curtains, wall hangings, carpets, and many other items can be found at a yard sale. One eco-friendly way to frame your family pictures is to shop at second-hand stores for old framed artwork. Usually the artwork is generic and has little value, so pop the artwork out, and you have a brand new frame ready to go. A coat of white or black spray paint transforms a gaudily carved wooden frame from worn and outdated to modern and unique.
You may not think of your lighting as a décor feature, but it truly is one of the most vital parts of any stylish home. In addition to highlighting your other décor, lighting provides an instant mood to your rooms. The right type of lighting fixtures can add the perfect final touch to a well-designed room.
Lighting is also one of the easiest ways to bring green products into your home. Eco-friendly light bulbs have been around long enough that they are now more advanced than many other types of lighting. Clean energy light bulbs come in every color, shape, luminosity, and size to fit any style. You can get long bar lights that give your space a bright, industrial feeling while cozy, yellow bulbs will make you feel like you’re reading by a fire.
Finding wall furnishings is often one of the first things that many homeowners focus on when decorating. Paint or wallpaper? Family photos or art? There are many options for covering the walls and they can be done in more eco-friendly ways.
Paint can be purchased in non-volatile component formulas that don’t release any vapors into your home that harm the atmosphere. These non-toxic paints come in a variety of colors, so there’s something for everyone in your home. You can also find wallpapers made with non-toxic adhesives, and by recycling frames and artwork, your wall décor’s carbon footprint is drastically reduced.
Another way to make your wall décor eco-friendly is to decorate one or two focal walls, and allow the rest of the walls to be blank. For example, you can paint one wall a bright color, and keep the others in neutral. Another option is to hang a large piece of art to decorate a small room, and leave the other walls simple. Reducing the amount of things you use helps reduce the amount of waste created in the production of your décor.
Decorating with plants is another easy way to bring “green” design into your home. Not only do plants improve the quality of the air you breathe, they can also be useful in everyday life. Small potted herbs in the kitchen are easily added to your recipes. An aloe vera plant can be used to treat sunburns or rashes. A carnivorous plant keeps your home free of flies and other insects.
Planters can be added to windowsills or hung from the ceiling to keep them off your counter-top. They also make lovely displays on a mantelpiece or hung on a wall in a sunny area.
Going “green” in your home décor can be rewarding and simple. It just takes just a few simple changes and carefully chosen items to make any design fresh and eco-friendly.
Images used with permission, courtesy of www.bigstock.com and www.dreamstime.com