I was recently asked to put my thoughts together for an article on "green" interior design and wanted to share my thoughts with you too. I am by no means an expert in the area but I have some suggestions you can implement in your home pretty easily.
You may be asking yourself...why should I make my home more green? Some good reasons include 1) adds value to your home, 2) saves you money in the long run, 3) creates a healthier environment for you and your family, and last but not least 4) helps protect our natural environment and wildlife habitats.
Not all of us have the luxury to build custom state of the art LEED certified homes but we can all make smaller changes that can make a difference. So here it goes....
1. Less is more. You can keep your furniture simple and elegant. You spend less money and it keeps dust and allergens to a minimum.
2. Keep toys to a minimum. Let the kids do more imaginative play! Chalkboards are great...they can be reused over and over.
3. Add a window or skylight. Bring in the natural light and use less electricity. For existing windows, let the light in and don't cover them up with drapery and shades until you need the privacy. Your space will be instantly happier and cheerier.
4. Buy only things you love so you won't throw it out next year.
5. Invest as much as you can in good quality furniture such as from Lee Industries! It will last much longer and can be recovered later if needed.
6. Before you throw out something, get creative and see if it can be repurposed with a little paint, trim, or fabric. Subscribe to one of my favorite blogs, Design Sponge, to see some great before and after shots and get inspired!
7. Organize your recycle area so it will get used to it's fullest.
8. Reuse wood. Whether it be for floors, furniture or mantels. It adds a ton of character to any home no matter the style. Check out the reclaimed wood table and floors in this picture.
9. Buy local, especially furniture that doesn't need to be shipped from far away.
10. Use natural fabrics that don't use chemicals to produce and sustainable fibers such as hemp and bamboo. Mod Green Pod offers super fun patterns using organic fibers.
|Mod Green Pod|
11. Use concrete.
12. Shop from flea markets, antique stores and yard sales. Antiques were repurposed and used in this bathroom and kitchen.
13. Decorate in white. White reflects light so don't need to use as much electricity.
14. Use dimmer switches on your lights to use less electricity.
15. Replace your outdated appliances with energy efficient ones. Also, bigger isn't always better. Smaller appliances use less energy. Know your needs before you purchase.
|GE Monogram appliances|
17. Use paint with lower VOCs, such as Ben Moore's Aura collection. I used it my bedroom recently. It goes on beautifully and very little odor.
18. Add live plants and herbs to your home. They clean the air plus make your food taste so good.
19. Have lots of books? Create your own lending library for your friends and neighbors!
|Habitually Chic Blog|
20. Need to replace a toilet...consider a dual flush. I have one in my bathroom and it works great!
|Melissa McLay Interiors|
Photos courtesy of Elle Decor unless otherwise stated.
Here's a cool website that calculates your homes carbon footprint....http://www.carbonfootprint.com/
Have a great weekend! I'm off to Highpoint, North Carolina for the spring furniture market. Can't wait to share my findings!