It’s hard to really stay eco-conscious. We have wants, and often they come with the need to do harm to pull them off. Refurbishing is one example. A change of décor is something that we’re craving more and more as trends change faster, but there aren’t many planet-friendly ways to go about it.
Or are there?
We’ve scoured the world for the best way to keep your effect on Mother Nature to a minimum while still giving your home the makeover you deserve with great eco-friendly décor.
We’ve got lots of ideas, including recycled furniture, LVT flooring, and smart tech alternatives. Read on to see our suggestions!
6 Ideas for Eco-friendly Décor and Sustainable Home Furnishings
1. Embrace the Minimalist Trend
Deciding what you want to do with the room starts with the type of style you want to go with. From there, you can make decisions on how you want to go about it.
The idea of minimalism puts people off since it seems very extreme. It can come off as cold or barren, but there are a lot of benefits to the minimalism trend. You don’t have to stick to it religiously. Lots of other trends have touches of minimalism baked into them. Think of it more as an ideal than a style.
The point of minimalism is to only have what you need and to be sparing with material objects. Doesn’t that sound like an eco-friendly way to live? Start by picking a few beloved pieces that make a statement and put away the rest. You don’t have to get rid of them. After all, we all get tired of our décor eventually but put them away so that we can pull them out when we need a shakeup.
2. Think About Your Flooring
When it comes to flooring, you might assume that the most eco-friendly option is solid wood flooring. After all, it’s a commitment to get solid wood flooring. It’ll last forever. But that actually isn’t the case.
LVT flooring or vinyl flooring is actually the best option for a lot of reasons, the top of which is the environment. Did you know that vinyl flooring can be recycled ten times before it loses its performance? Vinyl is made from sustainable products and processes, which means it has far less of an impact on the planet than laminate flooring and other options.
Plus, LVT flooring is very versatile. It won’t warp like solid wood and is waterproof, so it’s easy to maintain, and you can get just about any design you fancy printed on it, making it perfect for hallways, living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms. And the cherry on top: it’s the more affordable option against solid and laminate flooring.
3. Go Second-Hand with Furnishings
In a move that the planet, society, and your purse will thank you for, you can buy your eco-friendly décor and furnishings from vintage warehouses or charity shops.
Charities like Shelter and British Heart Foundation are often given very good furniture pieces waiting to be delivered to a loving home for a fraction of the price. Because of the nature of fast fashion affecting even furniture, a lot of these pieces are actually very up-to-date and trendy, but the classic pieces age like fine wine too.
The best part is that these charities are also willing to pick up your pieces for free, and Shelter and the British Heart Foundation will deliver your new furniture for only £25. That’s a far cry from the delivery price from home stores.
And the best thing about it is that a lot of furniture is timeless. Your granny’s cabinet could just as well look good in your new home, and you know that you can’t hear the term “mid-century” without someone gushing. Plus, if you get something that’s solid wood, you’ll have a piece that will last a lifetime.
4. Upgrade What You Already Have
Speaking of furniture, there is a very eco and budget-friendly way of making your home look new with exactly what you already have: upcycling. Upcycling is taking over the internet right now, and that’s because just about anyone can get in on it at some level. Sure, the show-offs say that with a garage full of tools and space.
It’s still possible, however, to give your cabinets a lick of paint and instantly upgrade your room in the smallest of spaces. The staple gun and the glue gun are wonderful things in the world. If you’re stuck with the fast fashion flat pack pieces you bought, you can reinforce and repair them rather than shelling out for a new piece or turn something bland and boring into a statement piece in your home.
When it comes to heating, you can hook your boiler up to a smart meter that will monitor the temperature in your house. You can set a temperature for it to reach, and once it gets there, it will turn the heating off and back on again when the temperature drops to a certain extent. All of this can be controlled from your smartphone, so no more wondering if you turned the heating off when you left the house, or watching Dad scrutinize the dial, asking, “Who touched this?”
5. Use Eco-friendly Materials
As we’ve all become a little more eco-conscious, a lot of eco-friendly or sustainable items have landed on the shelf. If you’re planning on an upgrade to your home or refurbishing some furniture, you can go that extra mile and look into items that are eco-friendly. Paint has eco-friendly alternatives, and you can use bamboo and salvaged wood for a rustic addition to any furniture or countertop. Or upgrade your countertops and backsplashes with recycled glass. All of which will be highly durable and fit for cleaning purposes.
6. Get Smart About Energy
Smart tech doesn’t just mean technology that is smart enough to follow a command, but instead, it stands for Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology, and it means that it can assess a situation and offer a solution, usually with control sent to your smartphone.
Since the smart tech boom in recent years, this means a lot of different gadgets entering the mainstream and a lot of them have been designed in the age of energy conservation, so they are either made to save energy or at least use as little as possible.
This is hugely beneficial to you and the planet. You can implement smart tech all over your home that will save you and the planet energy. Lights can be replaced with motion sensing, dimming, colour-changing LED bulbs, so you’re getting exactly as much light as you need/want. There are some really attractive options and smart tech for your home can be a great example of innovative eco-friendly décor.
Final Thoughts on Incorporating Eco-friendly Décor into Your Home
There are a lot more options than you might think when it comes to upgrading your home – and you don’t have to sacrifice style to do it.
Get that bold accent wall with sustainable paint. Get that mid-century dresser you’ve always wanted pre-owned. Get that parquet flooring that would go beautifully in your bathroom, with waterproof, sustainable vinyl.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can vinyl flooring be recycled?
Yes, in fact vinyl flooring is very susceptible to being recycled, to the point that you can recycle it 10 times without losing any performance. Read the full guide to learn more about eco-friendly décor and flooring options.
Do our homes have to be boring to be eco-friendly?
Absolutely not. You can get eco-friendly paint, which is a great way to upgrade any home in any way you want near instantly. Upgrading while being eco-friendly simply takes a little care and some wise decisions. Read the full guide to learn more about stylish and bold eco-friendly décor and home renovations.
Are smart gadgets expensive?
Not necessarily, depending on what you’re looking for. We would say it’s worth the upfront cost if the money is outweighed by your energy bills. If you’re only looking at ways to open your blinds in the morning, for example, you’re not getting that money back. But LED lights and smart thermometers will allow you to use less energy and therefore save money and the planet. Read the full guide to learn more about eco-friendly décor smart devices for your home.
What interior design styles have a bit of minimalism in them?
Well, you can go minimalist with most trends if you’re sparing with what you show, but the ones that really lend themselves to the concept are Mid-Century Modern, Scandinavian, Japanese, Art Deco if you’re careful, and Industrial. But keep away from Maximalism, the complete opposite of Minimalism or Bohemian, unless you’re willing to be sparing.
Habitat for Humanity: What is Upcycling?
Minimalism Made Simple: 6 Reasons Why Minimalism is Good for the Environment
Science Direct: Environmental Impacts and Benefits of Smart Home Automation