How green is your home decor? I’m not just talking about the color palette—I’m talking about how sustainable your home decor is. Going green is about more than using energy-efficient light bulbs and cutting back on your use of power. The items you choose to decorate your home with can also impact your carbon footprint.
Eco-friendly home decor
Home decor trends come and go, which is why many people find themselves shopping for the latest and greatest furniture and accessories throughout the year. And while it’s always fun to add something fresh to your interiors, it’s not exactly a green move when you’re constantly tossing perfectly respectable items in favor of newly manufactured goods.
Before heading to the big box store for a new pair of curtains or coffee table in the season’s hottest hue, you may want to reconsider the way you shop for home decor. Slow down and look around—by being more aware of your surroundings, you may find that eco-friendly home decor options exist where you least expect them. Be open to more possibilities, be patient and be prepared for not only green living but also green cash—because you’re not just saving the Earth, you’re saving money, too.
Below, I’ve listed five different places to look for more sustainable eco-friendly home decor items, along with useful tips on how to incorporate eco-friendly elements for next to nothing. Enjoy!
I can honestly say I have never bought brand-new curtains. Or tablecloths. However, I do have plenty of pretty fabrics adorning my windows and tabletops, and that’s all thanks to opening my eyes to the possibilities that lie, literally, along the road. Two years ago, I moved to a ’hood with neighbors who constantly leave their unwanted goods on the curb, including incredible curtains, tablecloths, vintage chairs, art-deco wall decor, shelving and the perfect coffee table. I’ve also made use of old shutters and window panes as minimalist wall art. Roadside treasures also usually result in undertaking fun DIY projects. I’ve even seen cast-off pallets used to make some pretty amazing furniture!
- Thrift Stores
Never leave a stone unturned when it comes to thrifting. Had I not dug to the bottom of a linen bin, I’d have missed out on pretty vintage curtains and so many more gems I’ve discovered at my local charity shop. This is also where you’ll need your eyes to be wide open and willing to let the creativity run wild—seeing old mismatched colored glasses turn into flower vases or candleholders and looking at a set of old books as shabby chic accents. Its book pages could also be framed or used in making paper roses—the possibilities are endless.
- Family, Friends and Facebook
Pay attention to things your family and friends want to get rid of, things that could become future home decor products. For example, I have a friend who gave me three very old suitcases that were perfect for transforming into a nightstand once they were stacked on top of one another, and a chair my mother no longer had room for just happens to fit perfectly in my living room. These days, you’ll also find useful Facebook groups, like a local furniture swap page or yard sale page, which can be a great way to upcycle and get to know your neighbors, too.
When it comes to stepping outside, look beyond flowers for decor ideas. Why not put a sprig of rosemary in a small vase, a bunch of twigs inside a mason jar or a few pine cones in a centerpiece bowl? An interesting piece of driftwood could look fetching above a doorway. Particularly during the holidays, consider incorporating some magnolia leaves in your place settings or holly and bright red berries into your wreaths.
- Under Your Nose
Sometimes, your new-to-you home decor accent is something you can find without even leaving the house!
- Switch out old photos with photos you’ve had boxed up for too long
- Or, fancy up a tired piece of furniture with a new coat of non-toxic paint.
- Flip an old shelf on its side for instant, adorable bins for your records.
- Or, take a record sleeve you love and turn it into wall art.
Whatever you do, don’t feel like you have to buy a brand new piece of art or home decor accents in order to add some “green” to your home. What will you do to implement a more eco-friendly approach to our home decor?
About the Author
Kelly Rae Smith writes for Shutterfly.com on a variety of home decor and sustainability topics. Her recycling ideas are inspired by her passion for green living and her color and tone inspiration for sustainable decor comes from the Shutterfly Color Guide. More great ideas can be found on the Shutterfly website.
Feature image courtesy of Lia Fagan (Flickr)