Tips on Green Home Decorating

10 tips for redoing your home in an eco-friendly way

Green home decorating reduces negative impacts on the environment. Making conscious choices about how we live and what we buy is the goal in utilizing green home decor. Green home decor showcases the mantra of the environmental movement: reduce, reuse, recycle.

Green home décor invites you in

Environmentally-friendly, green home décor creates an inviting home, designed around making your house green as well as a sanctuary. Creating an environmentally-conscious living space is all about recognizing and minimizing the effect our choices have on our world. Choosing to fill your home with decorative items whose roots are from sustainable and renewable resources can be easy. Following these simple home decorating tips, you can create the perfect green home refuge.

10 decorating tips to make your home green

  • Reduce Your Want List: Ask yourself if that item you have your eye on is a want or a need. If it is a need, look for products that are produced sustainably as well as ones that are recyclable and made from recycled materials. If your home decorating wish list has entire rooms highlighted, look for ways to refresh the space without redoing the entire room. There may be smaller home decorating projects that make more sense.

  • Create a Focal Wall: An easy home decorating tip to change a room is to create a focal wall: a little paint, and you have a new look. Be sure to choose eco-friendly paints such as clay- or milk-based paints. Another option is to select paints that are labeled "Low-VOC" or "zero-VOC." VOCs, volatile organic compounds, are emitted as gases. The use of water instead of petroleum-based solvents in low-VOC paints makes harmful emissions from these paints much lower than those from regular paints. Low-VOC paints still have some heavy metals and formaldehyde, and emit an odor until dry. VOC levels vary among low-VOC products based on state and federal regulations.

  • Decorate with Natural Fibers: If redecorating your bedroom is on the list, purchase new bedding made from natural organic fibers such as cotton, linen or bamboo. Update your drapes or select chair and sofa covers made of natural fabrics. Slipcovers instantly change the look of chairs and sofas and, because of consumer demand, choices for organic cotton styles are readily available in prints that showcase an eco-design and a green lifestyle.

  • Refinish Your Furniture with Eco-Friendly Products: Low-VOC paint, zero-VOC paints and finishes transform tired furniture quickly and add a new look to the entire room.

  • Reuse Creatively: Your green décor can be a showcase for finding a new purpose for your furnishings. For example, try saving interesting glass bottles and jars from the recycle bin and use them throughout the house as vases and collectibles. Try putting your collection of seashells to use in your bathroom, and set the stage for your next creative idea.

  • Recycle Building Materials: Recycling brings great rewards. Organizations like The ReUse People check discarded building materials for reusable parts to distribute to organizations like Habitat for Humanity — giving you a tax write-off.

  • Donate Unwanted Items to Charity: Consider donating home items you've replaced to non-profits and thrift stores. If you do, your green decorating will bring you more satisfaction and a financial incentive — a tax break.

  • Purchase Pre-Owned Furniture: Picking up green décor through garage sales, flea markets and web marketplaces like Craigslist and Kashless, can help you fill up empty spaces with gently used furnishings. Hosting your own garage sale or selling unwanted items online can help you recycle your old furnishings.

  • Swap Decorative Items with Friends: One new trend is to contact your friends and let them know what furniture and accessories you are ready to change out and finding someone to swap with. Their couch may give your home decorating project a focal point that was missing, and your couch may fit their space better.

  • Spread the Word: Share your ideas with your friends, and together you can share home decorating tips that create the look that you want while encouraging one another to keep your carbon footprint small.

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