How to Go Eco-Friendly With Your Home Design

By
Real Estate Agent with The Cummings Company 95548

Reuse, Refurbish and Recycle: How to Go Eco-Friendly With Your Home Design

Furnishing, decorating or redecorating a home can be expensive, tedious and sometimes a bit frustrating. We must try to keep up with the latest, ever-changing fashion trends while also attempting to carefully balance expenses with the social responsibility of not creating additional landfill waste. We live in a crowded world where the unnecessary dumping of bulky furniture items or interior finishes that are still in good shape shouldn't be tolerated.

Try to keep sustainability in mind as you decorate your home. Seek out items containing recycled content or made from eco-friendly materials. Donate or sell items that could be salvaged whenever possible, as they should be given the opportunity for a second life in another home.

Here are a few simple design ideas with a sustainable approach, to help give a fresh look to your home while remaining eco-friendly.

Focus on the Finishes

If you're starting bare bones with your home décor, you can select interior finishes that contain recycled content or that are made from rapidly renewable resources. There are many flooring options available today that provide style and are also quite cost effective—bamboo, cork or linoleum, to name a few. For carpeting, look at selections bearing recycled materials, or that contain wool or even corn fibers, for a sustainable choice.

For bathroom or kitchen countertops, consider ceramic tiles or beautiful glass made entirely from recycled content. More exclusively for kitchens, look for counters made from concrete, stainless steel, recycled paper or even reclaimed wood. Consider cabinetry materials that are sourced from sustainably harvested forests, such as from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and steer clear of products containing added urea-formaldehyde to offer a healthier interior environment.

If you're redecorating your existing home, try and salvage what you've already got! Refinish those beautiful hardwood floors that can last another lifetime, instead of replacing them. Refurbish existing cabinetry or interior doors by adding a fresh stain, a coat of paint, or updated hardware.

"New" Furniture Doesn't Have to Be New

Shop at thrift stores, antique shops, flea markets or second-hand online retailers for one-of-a-kind treasures and give them a fresh look. Consider stand-out pieces such as oversized wooden or metal headboards, table and chair ensembles, distinctive dressers, buffets or armoires—then refurbish them to compliment your existing décor. Vintage pieces establish an effortlessly unique appeal and help divert unnecessary waste from already overflowing landfills.

Another eco-friendly and cost-effective option is to refinish the furniture you've already got at home. Some sanding, new hardware, and a fresh stain or paint color added to a single piece of furniture—or a complete ensemble—will give a room an entirely new look. Consider a distressed look or even add stenciling or texture. Encourage a family project and the whole gang will take pride in the finished product!

Use some imagination and creativity to give new meaning to existing pieces or eclectic, previously-owned treasures. Antique dressers make gorgeous bathroom vanities; and with a reclaimed wood top, you can make exceptional kitchen island creations. Search out vintage lockers for storing mudroom essentials and display houseplants on rustic hutches or armoires left lazily ajar.

If you absolutely must have something new, seek out furniture derived from eco-friendly products and those made from recycled plastics or metals. Consider ethically sourced wood or accent pieces made from rapidly renewable materials such as bamboo.

Addressing the Finer Details

Don't forget to also think sustainably when fine-tuning your home décor. Seek out throw rugs or blankets derived from natural or recycled fibers. Do the same for your fabrics and textiles, and consider green options such as organic cotton or linen, hemp or jute.

Most importantly, instead of buying new, search again for unique, second-hand treasures. Make a bold statement by adding one-of-a-kind light fixtures to any room. Refurbish vintage mirrors or antique picture frames. Utilize abandoned window panes for your photo collections.  Consider rustic galvanized tubs, wicker baskets or ornamental canning jars for your storage needs and add a touch of classic elegance with a single glass vase or antique table lamp.

As consumers, it is our social and moral responsibility to think about how our individual actions affect the world we live in. We can help not only to divert unnecessary waste from already overcrowded landfills; we can have a lot of fun doing it.

Eco-friendly home design resources:

http://recycledinteriors.org/being-green/
http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/Ecofriendly-Kitchens
http://www.bhg.com/kitchen/remodeling/planning/eco-friendly-kitchen-ideas/

 

Find your homes current value by clicking on one of the following links:

 

Homes for sale in Mobile between $0-99,999

Homes for sale in Mobile between $100,000-199,999

Homes for sale in Mobile between $200,000-299,999

Homes for sale in Mobile between $300,000-399,999

Homes for sale in Mobile between $400,000-499,999

Homes for sale in Mobile between $500,000-599,999

Homes for sale in Mobile between $600,000-699,999

Homes for sale in Mobile between $700,000-799,999

Homes for sale in Mobile between $800,000-899,999

Homes for sale in Mobile between $900,000-999,999

Homes for sale in Mobile for $1,000,000+

See all of The Cummings Company's Listings

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Topic:
Home Improvement
Tags:
recycle
decorating
decor
home design
reuse
home decor
ecofriendly
going green
refurbish
design ideas
rustic
finishes
the cummings company

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
4,797,261
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Thanks Ryan.  Great information on how we can all be a bit more sustainable in our homes.

Feb 18, 2015 08:12 PM #1
Rainer
361,418
Julie Baldino
Front Door Realty - Vancouver, WA
Opening Doors to New Chapters...

Love the part that new furniture doesn't have to be new! Reuse, reuse, reuse.  If we all did that, our garbage dumps wouldn't be so full. Great information. Thanks Ryan ~ Julie

Feb 21, 2015 02:57 PM #2
Rainmaker
904,941
Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd. - Harrisburg, PA

Hi Ryan,

This is good information.  I have bookmarked your post.  You mentioned things that we often don't think about.  :)

Feb 21, 2015 11:41 PM #3
Rainmaker
285,679
Kelly Cummings and Ryan Cummings
The Cummings Company - Mobile, AL
Your Real Estate Consultants For Life!!!

Thanks for all the Nice Comments. Thank you Joy Daniels for finding it Bookmark worthy. I am going to follow you

Feb 22, 2015 01:24 AM #4
Rainmaker
904,941
Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd. - Harrisburg, PA

I am following you too now - it will be good to to learn from someone that is the 3rd generator realtor - you should have lots of experience to share!

Feb 22, 2015 01:38 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,921,168
Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459
Coldwell Banker - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD!

Ryan Cummings

Thanks for the tips. This is something I need to get more pro active with now

Feb 26, 2015 07:15 AM #6
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainmaker
285,679

Kelly Cummings and Ryan Cummings

Your Real Estate Consultants For Life!!!
FREE No-Obligation Consultation
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information