You recycle, you buy from the farmer’s market, and you don’t use soaps or shampoos with harsh detergents—but when it comes to your home decor, you’re at a loss. You’re not the only one. But there are lots of ways to incorporate those same eco-conscious principles into your home’s design, without sacrificing beauty.
You know what they say: waste not, want not. Reclaimed woods are a beautiful way to incorporate that mantra into your home decor, which is something that we at Modernize are all about. While satisfying your urge to be green, they add a textural pop to your home’s surfaces and give older houses a note of authenticity.
Pro-tip: if you’re buying reclaimed wood from a dealer, make sure the vendor has a process for treating the wood, including a full cleaning and running it under a metal detector to locate hidden nails.
Environmentally Conscious Wallcovering
Oh, wallpaper. So pretty to look at, so riddled with chemicals. In fact, studies have shown that your standard wallpaper brand could contain lead or phthalates, which are hormone-esque chemicals that are so toxic, they have been banned in toys.
Unfortunately, paint is no better. That odor you smell you when you bust out a fresh coat of paint? It’s caused by materials called VOCs—or volatile organic chemicals. I bet you can guess that VOCs are not great for you. In high doses, they can cause damage to the internal organs and respiratory systems.
To mitigate the damage from toxic chemicals, try covering your walls with nontraditional materials, like cork wood tiles or burlap. Or, if paint is more your thing, try a low-VOC type such as milk paint, which is actually made from casein, a milk protein.
It’s no secret that more trees equals a happier environment. Unfortunately, some mass-produced wooden furniture is harvested in a way that depletes our forests. But sometimes an oak table or shelf just really ties the room together. Make sure your wood is good by choosing furniture that has a certification of sustainability, such as one from the Forest Stewardship council.
Another way to go is recyclable furniture. Check for the Cradle to Cradle, or C2C certification when you buy. This stamp of approval means that the product can be disassembled and all the parts recycled—after the piece has spent a long and happy life in your home, that is.
Now that we’re all growing more eco-conscious, some creative mavericks have come out from the woodwork to turn trash into treasure. Lighting from mason jars or stools from old barrels—upcycled materials can add some serious quirk to your habitat, and also give new life to spent objects. Your imagination truly is the limit. Sound daunting? Check out this photo gallery for some upcycling inspiration.
Decorate with Plants
For the small fee of sunlight and water, plants will purify your home’s air, humidifying and pumping oxygen into the room. They also lower stress and may even help with your memory and concentration!
Your typical focus in a pot on a window sill is nice, but if you get creative, you can even incorporate them into a room’s design. How about covering a part of the wall in moss, or building a planter into a table or the floor?
As you can see, green home decor is really taken off—so I’ll end this article and let you get started!
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