Ideas for an Eco-Friendly Home Makeover

eco friendly home makeover

Shangri La Wall Flats by Inhabit

It’s exciting to give your home a new look, but wouldn’t be great to know that redecorating can also be beneficial for the planet? By using some of the ideas listed below your home can be redecorated in an eco-friendly fashion.

Furniture

Replacing furniture can have a huge impact on the way a room appears. Buying new and throwing out the old may make a big splash in the house, but it also adds to quickly-filling landfills and requires a chunk of your hard-earned cash. Fortunately, there are ways to spend less and avoid the negative environmental impact, while still making a stunning visual change.

*Refinish – Old wooden furniture that you already own, such as dressers and tables, can be saved from the landfill and you can give them a completely new appearance. Sanding them down and refinishing can make them look almost new again. If an entirely different look is desired, they can be repainted. When choosing either option, make sure to look for eco-friendly, water-based products and those that are labeled as using non- or low-volatile organic compounds because they are safer for the environment and less toxic for the air quality in your home.

*Slipcovers – Dated or worn couches that are still structurally-sound can be given a whole new look by buying sofa covers to go over the top of them. There are several styles, colors and fabrics available. Since they are much cheaper than buying new furniture, several different types can be used to give furniture a new look for every season.

Flooring

Changing the flooring can add a major enhancement to the house, but it can also make the living environment healthier for your family and friends. Hardwood floors look great but ecologically speaking they are not an ideal solution. Instead, try these options:

*Cork – It looks like hardwood but can be found for a fraction of the price. It is mold resistant and does not absorb dust, unlike most carpet, which will be appreciated by anyone with allergies. With interlocking panels it is easy to install and because it is somewhat softer than most hardwoods it also absorbs sound very well.

*Bamboo – While most hardwoods take decades to reach maturity, the rate at which bamboo matures is five years, meaning it can be harvested and replanted much quicker. Bamboo is very sturdy and durable. Eucalyptus is also becoming an increasingly popular choice for many of the same reasons.

*Carpet – If carpet is still desired over wood floors, more companies are working to make green products. These are made of organically produced materials, such as cotton and wool, or made of recycled materials.

*Combinations – Your room could also feature cork or bamboo flooring with added antique rugs bought locally to spread over the floor. Adding any sort of antique or secondhand item is another great way to save landfill space.

With a willingness to do something good for the planet it is still possible to give your home a budget makeover that looks great, and minimizes your environmental impact. A green makeover in your home will be a source of pride for years to come and will reflect your green principles.

This is a guest article from Caroline Smith, who enjoys finding green ways to decorate her house. She owns a website that offers a selection of slipcovers for sofas as well as tips on how to get them to fit on almost any style of furniture.
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Comments

  1. Westchester says:

    You’re right, flooring can make a huge difference. If someone already has hardwood (or has hardwood under their carpets), I love to refinish them. This can make a huge difference and it’s the most cost effective option – refinishing costs less than carpeting. And, it’s better for environment. I love bamboo and install a lot of it. It has such a great look and is uaually less expensive than oak. We’ve been installing more and more cork, but it is still niche. It actually costs more (not less) than hardwood. I think if it cost less, it might take off faster.

  2. I agree with all of these ideas–but I am so unhandy, I would have to find someone to do them for me!