Incorporating Sustainable Design into Your home
Kermit may have said it’s not easy being green, but we think he was wrong. With so many products and design options available for your home, being “green” can be a relatively easy and environmentally friendly way to create a beautiful room design. From paint to lighting, accessories to fabrics, furniture to wall coverings, being eco-friendly at home has become an extremely high priority for many homeowners, manufacturers and consumers. There are so many exciting options for incorporating green design into your home!
Natural fibers, like rattan, bamboo, abaca, government-certified hardwoods and plantation-grown woods (which are grown specifically for furniture in order to avoid depleting forest-grown woods), provide homeowners with a wide variety of styles, textures and designs from which to choose. If purchasing eco-friendly furniture for your home is a priority, you might check to see if your furniture manufacturer is a member of the Sustainable Furniture Council (SFC) which was established in 2007.
Not only have the soft light of halogen lamps been all the rage for the past few years, they are a boon to energy savings, as are the wide variety of energy-saving light bulbs available in the marketplace. Furniture isn’t the only arena for natural fibers; we’re also seeing natural materials such as cork, rattan and twig in eye-popping lighting pieces.
Believe it or not, gorgeous decorative fabrics are being made from recycled plastic water bottles, recycled polyester and recycled paper. Oftentimes these eco-friendly fabrics are treated and finished with only water-based or environmentally approved dyes. You’ll find nature-friendly bamboo in fabrics, too, where it’s used as a fiber for towels and in natural woven shades.
Paints now feature low odors, faster drying times and stronger durability, all by maintaining environmental codes. If repainting is in your future, be sure to ask if the paint you’re considering has a low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) rating, so that you can continue your environmental stewardship. Natural grasscloth wall coverings are another way to add warmth, beauty and texture to your wall décor while maintaining your green focus.
Reduce. Reuse. Recycle
Designs all around the home today feature products that have been repurposed in order to minimize negative impact on our environment. It’s easy to turn that old chest into something funky and fun with a coat of paint and new hardware or reuse an old piece in a new space to bring character and interest to the room. Recycling furniture is an easy option with reupholstery (bonus points for using a sustainable, green fabric!).
And let’s not forget the importance in design of the color green! This ever-popular shade can be found in almost every design scheme. Whether you incorporate green with succulents, plants or trees displayed in you room’s design or you make the hue a predominant feature, any shade of green will add a bit of the great outdoors to your décor.