5 Helpful Hints for the Design Challenged

While we all can’t be as creative as Martha Stewart or have as much to spend as Hollywood’s top green designers, but most of us take pride in our homes and care about the environment. Yet for some, the challenges of being green by design are not easily overcome. But do not fear – these five simple hints will help you to give your home some nice touches you can be proud of, without the need to be a professional decorator.

1. Spend on a Few Nice Items Rather Than Many Cheap and Unnecessary Accessories

Although it’s nice to obtain numerous items to display around the house, sometimes it makes more decorating sense to take the same dollars and go with quality over quantity. A nice classy headboard, for example, will give a room a much nicer design feel than will several cheap, synthetic armchairs that don’t match anything else in the room. Therefore, be sure to stick with the few items that will truly add beauty to your home’s atmosphere.

There are also a million low-cost and green ways to make old furniture new again. Strip the old lead based paint in exchange for a favorite color in a low VOC (Violatile Organic Compounds) or VOC free paint. Reupholster an old favorite in an environmentally-friendly fabric like organic cotton or wool. There are so many companies that specialize in green-friendly materials, it’s easier than ever to incorporate such strategies in your home.

2. Choose a Focal Point for Each Room

Typically, as people enter into a space or a room, their eyes will go immediately to one specific spot. For instance, if you have a fireplace in your living room, this is where most of your guests will look first.

Eco-friendly fireplaces are available worldwide, and save in gas and other areas to make up for their initial cost. Such fireplaces require no gas hookup and instead rely on clean-burning denatured ethanol. Use the same green paint you bought for the walls or furniture to make some complimentary artwork. Not only a great way to liven up the walls, but this project can be one the whole family can enjoy.

With this in mind, be sure that the room revolves around its focal point. One way to do this is by adding a piece of artwork or furniture that will help tie together the room, based on its particular area of focus.

3. Paint Smartly

It’s amazing what a new coat of paint can do – even if you don’t cover the entire room or home. For instance, painting just one wall in a room a different color from the rest, you can add an accent that can easily be accessorized with other items in the room such as curtains, throw pillows, or even picture frames.

Bet you can recall many times smelling that fresh paint smell. Fortunately for your nose, and your health, eco-friendly paint excludes these volatile odor compounds. No matter what age group, those with any breathing concerns do not have to be affected by this specialized paint. A healthy and beautiful addition to any space- can’t get much better than that.

4. Revamp Your Windows

Even with just a few dollars, it is easy to give your windows an updated treatment. Many home improvement stores today offer a wide variety of fixtures and other accessories that can dress up your windows, without exerting a great deal of time or effort.

Take the extra sustainable fabric left over from your furniture reupholstering and see what you can do with that. Always wanted to learn how to sew? Something simple like curtains are the perfect place to start. Eco-friendly fabrics generally breathe better as well- allowing for optimal air circulation and minimal stuffiness.

5. Remember Storage Space

When people see clutter, it is usually a sure sign of the inability to decorate. So, don’t let this get in the way of giving your home a nicer design. First, by using just a few simple tools, you can create the storage that you need in order for your home to look neat and organized.

One way to do this is to obtain shoe and coat racks. With these available, loose items of clothing will now have a place to hang, sit, or lay. In any case, it is now out of the way – even if it’s in plain sight.

Another small item that can make a big difference is a mail bin. By keeping all of your paperwork in one single location, not only will you be able to find things easier, you will also eliminate messy papers and mail pieces that may otherwise be taking up space on your tables or counters.

For those who like to display collectibles or knick knacks, obtaining a nice curio cabinet will give these pieces a proper place – and they may even become the focal point in a particular room of your home.

When buying plastic storage containers, look for BPA-free. If you’re open to other materials, consider glass or ceramic. You don’t have to sacrifice style or quality to live green wherever you go. Safe, reusable, sustainable is always the best way to go.

Josh Thompson is a writer and blogger for the interior design community. He also works with the new group discount furniture site LuxeYard.

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