Earth Day is a great time to remind ourselves that the environment is not just the great outdoors, it is everywhere around us. Thinking about how we impact the environment in our interior decorating can give us an opportunity to be mindful about this big, beautiful planet that we call our home. Here are some ideas that range from easy to implement to wildly ambitious. Either way, I hope that you find them inspiring.
There is one quick change that you can make right now: switch out your incandescent lightbulbs with energy-saving fluorescents. Even better, switch to LED fittings and fixtures. Your energy bill will thank you and so will the planet.
REDUCE, RECYCLE, REUSE
I am a huge fan of the “reduce” part of the holy trinity “reduce, recycle, reuse.” Make sure that you are not hanging onto old junk and unloved, unused items in your home. If you clear away the clutter, you make room for space and light in both your home and your life. The other two parts, to “recycle and reuse” can be fun when applied to your home. For inspiration, check online sites like Pinterest to get inspired and find some fun ways to recycle and reuse old items in your home.
For example, this old door that was turned into a charming rustic bookshelf.
One of the most literal ways to “go green” in your interior decorating is to bring green into your homes through a green wall. This can be as simple and cheap as creating a vertical herb garden in your kitchen or as grand as turning a living room wall into a work of living art, as seen in the examples below.
All interior designers love paint. Nothing freshens up a room as quickly. It’s also perhaps one of the simplest ways to create dramatic change. What is the best part? If you don’t love the result, simply repaint. Just make sure you use one of the low-VOC or no-VOC paint options—and there are plenty of options—to be eco-friendly.
Right now, I have a client who is trying to find the perfect sky blue for her bedroom ceiling. She wants to feel like there is no roof over her head. Sadly, the first pass resulted in a color that felt grey and depressing: the hunt is on.
Finding the perfect paint color can be frustrating but it is worth the search. Check out the pretty blue of this bedroom with its co-ordinating curtains and accent pillows.
If you’re feeling ambitious enough to do a kitchen makeover then use recycled materials where you can. There are so many recycled countertop options, from glass to bamboo to composites that it can be positively inspiring.
Much like the countertop options available to you, the homeowner who decides to redo their bathroom has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to tile. Choose from the many recycled glass, porcelain, stone and clay options available to create your own little green haven.
MAKE IT PERSONAL
One of the things that Kouboo.com owners Patrice and Joey Gerber like best about their jobs is to meet the artists and artisans who make the products sold on the site. These are people for whom creating is a passion. When you do think about purchasing items for your home, think about choosing something lovingly handcrafted, rather than mass-produced. You will know that you are helping to support communities of people who care about their craft and who do things in an earth-friendly way.