When it comes to decorating the rooms and spaces within and around your home, there are so many choices, that you can quickly feel overwhelmed. There are some budget friendly choices that are just as kind to the environment. Consider some of these eco-friendly ideas the next time you need to do some remodeling or redecorating of your home decor.
Utilize these ‘lucky 7’ ideas to give you a good head start in the direction of creating your dream home that can last for many decades.
1. Paint – this is one of those tried and true principles. It is just too easy and inexpensive not to try out. You can add an entirely different look and feel to your space within hours to a day or so of color selection to actual finished product, depending on whether or not you will be doing the work yourself.
What’s the trick with paint? Well, for one thing, you’ll want to use a neutral color that can used to create a more uniform and cohesive look throughout your home. You can always use different colors as accent walls and in individual rooms. The way to make this project more friendly to the Earth and your indoor air quality is by using low VOC paints that are less toxic. These come in just about as many colors as the standard paints and can be ordered from your local home improvement warehouse.
Another ‘green’ wall covering approach is to use another sustainable product. You may have heard of clay plaster walls used in Old World styles commonly called Venetian plaster. This product is basically a material made of Earthen clay that can be colored or dyed to create a wonderful wall covering material. When applied, rooms often feel more comfortable and have a solitude about them.
2. Wallpaper – Similar in idea to the paint recommendation in the fact that we’re still working on the walls, wallpaper is making a comeback. And, you can find green wallpaper, too. It is green in the sense that the materials are made of recycled products and the adhesives and such are more environmentally sensitive. You can use some fabric softener to remove most newer wallpapers.
If you’re scared of using it in an entire room, use it as accent features on single walls as with paint. You can also use wall decals in a similar way as you would both wallpaper and paint. These vinyl stickers, really, can be applied very quickly and easily. They come in various shapes and prints, from flowers, figures, geometric patterns and text.
3. Accent Pillows – these can be used to quickly add a bit of color or dash of flair to an otherwise conservative looking couch. They can be recovered older pillows to use the ‘reuse’ concept of the three-R’s of sustainability: recycle, reuse and re-purpose. An accent color or pattern can be just the antidote to that boring or stale space.
4. Fireplace updating – You may or may not have a fireplace in your home. If you do and it is dated, one simple green solution is to opt for fireplace refacing as the way to get a new look without the cost and environmental damage of having to waste more material. You can either take down dated tile surrounds in favor of a cleaner wall appearance. Or, you might find that adding a stone or cultured stone façade gives you an elegant new fireplace design. You can also choose to go with a variety of glass tiles that could be an elegant focal point of your space. Modern fireplace screens and a fireplace tool set will also be important elements to add to this renovation project.
5. Patio – This is the domain of a completely new article and entire websites, actually. However, let’s discuss some of the ideas pertaining to outdoor living here. This more modern trend in bringing the indoor living principles and accessories outdoors continues to expand in terms of what products and accessories are available.
You will find that addressing how you use your patio will go a long way toward helping you determine the type of furniture and other items you want to include outdoors. If plastic patio furniture is not your style, there are other materials like wicker and even sustainably harvested teak.
Another thing to consider is your choice for outdoor flooring. This could be a simple poured slab, a stamped concrete surface or using pavers for a more natural cobblestone look. There are also outdoor heating, lighting and kitchen features to consider. As mentioned, entire patio sites are dedicated entirely to the concept of this outdoor living concept.
6. Flooring – Different than outdoors, your indoor flooring has some specific ways to go green. Bamboo flooring is just one choice that is beginning to become more and more popular. There are even some choices in terms of hues from which to choose now. You are not stuck with that light colored bamboo look.
Of course, there are other sustainable flooring materials as well. Cork flooring is another eco-friendly product. Let’s not forget about tile. This is a great and fairly maintenance-free material. Combined with a radiant or underfloor heating system, you can actually have a more comfortable space.
7. Updated Fixtures – You don’t need to wait until you are trying to sell your home in order to update all or some of your fixtures. Here, we’re talking about your handles, knobs, pulls, towel racks, faucets and the like. You can gradually replace them as your budget allows. Just by replacing older brass fixtures with more modern rubbed bronze or matte finished stainless or nickel can dramatically enhance the look of your space. You may even be able to put off those kitchen remodeling plans for a few months!
The same could be said about light fixtures. They can be dated and you’re just so used to using them, you turn a blind eye. You can use newer light switches and fixtures to put your home in an entirely new light, literally! Also, as with your water use, you can put many of your lights on dimmers to save electricity. Where possible, you can add CFL bulbs to further help with energy consumption.
Hopefully, you’ll find these ideas useful and helpful as you integrate some modern touches and home decorating ideas to make your home more comfortable, modern and eco-friendlier.