It is always exciting when moving into a new home. Deciding where to place furniture and decorating it to make it your home. It is very easy to follow the masses and copy current trends. There is no problem in doing this, but often the accessories and furniture needed for these designs are expensive and not very eco-friendly.
Our first house had a lovely sixties look that wasn’t quiet to our taste – I so loved the orange, green and brown striped wallpaper in the kitchen, NOT! So we renovated the house on a budget, but although we were on a budget we didn’t consider the sustainability of the renovations and the green qualifications of the items we used too much. I did make a few furnishings -like cushions and some curtains.
Our next place was a new build. At this stage we did consider some eco-friendly aspects, such as the star rating, water tank, recycled water for the garden and washing things like our cars, but still a lot of our furniture was new, our electronics were high energy usage and a lot of our decor not very green.
Thankfully over the last few years and a couple more house moves, we have changed the way we furnished our house. When trying to make those touches to your house, you want to show your personality and this can be easily done by considering stylish environmental materials. Here are some of the suggestions we have followed:
Go second-hand – why not? You can set the scene by choosing furnishings from other eras. If you liked the style of a particular era, it is probably best to get true pieces of that time instead of remakes.
Older could be good - They could be a good investment. Older pieces could become quite rare and wanted by others in years to come.
Add some charm – often older pieces or a fusion of styles can add charm to your home. To friends who visit, it shows your own unique style.
DIY – are you crafty or good with your hands? Why not make your own? Build some furniture with old timber, sew some soft furnishings or create new decorations by putting some older pieces together. Become creative and you may amaze yourself.
Here is some recent changes I made to a couch after a lot of wear and tear from the kids. The printed pattern has brought some brightness into the room.
Become an artist – every wall needs some art. You may have a budding artist inside of you, just waiting to be revealed. Paint a picture, take artistic photographs or mix some art and craft together. The things you can do are only limited by what you want to do.
Think of your health – It can be surprising the number of everyday furnishings that can affect our health because of the chemical toxins they emit. Your décor should not cause allergies, chemical sensitivities or hormonal disruption. If you need to paint a room or two, consider using non-toxic eco-friendly paint. Choose natural products such as wood in hard surfaces or wool or bamboo fill in soft furnishings instead of synthetic fill. Avoid plastic decorations, drapes or furniture.
Bring some green indoors - You can find beauty in Nature. Placing some potted plants around the home not only can add green and some colour, but purifies the air.
Still want to shop? - Then go thrift shopping. Create that vintage style. Or maybe that country look. You will be amazed at what people give away and won’t use anymore that could work very well in your home.
Garage sales & markets – I have picked up some great thing at garage sales, like vintage cups and saucers and cutlery. Great places for all sorts of furnishings and a bargain.
Don’t forget the memories – nothing else makes a home homelier and full of love than things about the people who live in the house. Kids artwork, family photographs and mementos. No need for expensive interior design pieces when you have pieces from the heart.
Be ethical, as well as eco-friendly – there will be times you have to buy something new. Try to buy items that are Fairtrade, made from sustainable resources and eco-friendly. Not only will you be happy knowing you are helping the environment, but you will be helping an industry that is environmentally conscious to grow, making green suppliers more prominent.
I hope this has inspired you to be creative, while still considering the earth. Feel free to comment or to give us your suggestions.
Give your home an earthly passionate make over,
Attracta & the earthly passion team.