Greening your home decor is easier than you might think, and not only will it reduce your carbon footprint, it could save you a heap of cash.
Jane Drew reports
PHOTOS COURTESY OF Pexels
“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” So said William Morris at a lecture before the Birmingham Society of Arts and School of Design in 1880.
It’s still a good maxim to live (and decorate) by but for the contemporary home decorator there’s something missing – there’s no reference to our desire to live in an environmentally conscious way. If Morris were lecturing in Birmingham this month, he would probably say: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be both eco-friendly and useful, or believe to be beautiful.
So how do you go about creating an environmentally aware home filled with useful and beautiful eco-friendly pieces?
REDUCE YOUR SPENDING
Tip one: shop less. Eco-friendly decorators aren’t blind followers of home fashion, nor do they shop for recreation. They might donate or sell items that aren’t ‘useful’ or that they no longer consider ‘beautiful’ but they won’t replace furnishings for the sake of it, and they’re unlikely to remodel their homes every couple of years to keep up with the Joneses.
Eco-friendly decorating isn’t about constantly buying new or more; it’s about breathing new life into old pieces and reworking what you already own.
UPCYCLE AND REPURPOSE
The simplest and easiest way to green your home is to bring a few plants inside. In addition to improving the air quality, indoor plants are also a great way to brighten up an otherwise dull corner.
If your home decor is looking tired, simply painting the walls can make all the difference. Choose eco-friendly paints that are free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can be harmful to both your family and the environment. Another quick fix? Move the furniture around, refresh photo frames and rearrange your artwork.
It may take a bit of work but DIY-ing your old stuff into new stuff is more satisfying than buying new. By switching up the upholstery on a faded sofa, you can reinvent a room. You can also restain or repaint wooden pieces to give them a fresh new look and cover any visible signs of wear and tear. If your creative side refuses to come out, hire someone else to do the job. Upcycling is much cheaper than buying new, and the upcycled pieces will still feel new to you.
Finding new uses f or old objects is another fun way to green your home. Turning a piano into a bookshelf or a phone booth into a couch is too much to ask of most of us, but a simple project like using an old trunk as a coffee table, or a vase as a cutlery jar can be an interesting, eco-boosting exercise.