Like food, clothing, and so much more of everyday life, the furniture in many American homes is mass-produced. Not only can home decor lack character, it can be void of natural life. Decorating in an eco-friendly fashion has become a growing trend. While you might think that it’s overly expensive, it’s easier than it might seem to incorporate natural wood, glass and recycled products in a chic way.
Forage for Decor
Some designers like Michelle Kaufmann of Michelle Kaufmann Designs frequents Goodwill or the Salvation Army to find items to re-purpose. The shape or size of a thrown-away item might fit a specific nook in your living room. Recycled homemade furniture is widely popular on Pinterest, with users either pinning or discussing how to breathe new life into materials that have at one time served their purpose. Old bed frames and vintage dresser drawers come to life with a little handy-work and TLC. Think of re-purposing items as doing the environment a small favor, while also providing a unique design quirk to the green motif in your home. Afterall, green interior design is about using space, light and materials in an environmentally sensitive manner.
Consider Environmental Impact
Lighting solutions are often the culprits of hidden energy consumption. Eco-minded home decor takes those earth-harming issues into consideration. Although we might not consider the wasted energy on a day-to-day basis, online retailer Wayfair has made it easy for consumers to purchase eco-friendly lighting decor. By including options like bulb type, customer reviews, and even Energy Star approved pieces, sensible consumers can shop for lighting accessories that meet their green standards. Chandelier lighting options look elegant and are often built with low-impact materials and light bulbs can be fitted with energy-saving or LED bulbs. As always, when purchasing new furniture for your home, consider buying items with nontoxic glues and upholstery made from natural cotton, hemp and linen. This helps provide a fresher option for your living spaces.
Snatch Up Reclaimed Wood
Driftwood from the beach or weathered wood from a forest cabin—wood elements that add a piece of nature into the home can really change the vibe of the rooms where you spend so much of your lounging time. According to Cheryl Terrace, owner of eco-decorating firm Vital Design, the concept of using reclaimed wood is “wabi-sabi,” or the Japanese term for “finding beauty in imperfection.” Reclaimed wood is just that—the rough edges and textured bumps make the material desirable in decorating.
Reclaimed wood is so trendy that big furniture companies are reselling art-like coffee tables, end tables, dressers, bookshelves and other items for exorbitant prices. Unless you’re a designer, and have access to old reclaimed barn wood, you might have to consider paying high prices for larger pieces that you desire.
Search around both online and in your community. Take time to understand what your current furniture is made from, and which items you might be able to replace with those that reflect nature.