Recent years have recorded a very high interest in organic solutions and environmentally savvy ways to go about our lives. Unfortunately, not everyone’s still on board but the increase in interest sure does give us hope. Great thing is that sustainability is becoming really popular in home renovation, which means we’ll have plenty of great options to choose from when it comes to renovating our homes. We’re finally given the opportunity to live beautifully without offending Mother Nature… isn’t that great?
To all of you who are committed to a sustainable lifestyle and still want your home to look amazing, here are some decorating tips that will guide you through your home renovation successfully:
Rely on reclaimed pieces
Although having all the newest and shiniest elements does sound wonderful, try to refrain from doing just that. In renovating your home, think about solutions like reclaimed wood; it’s not only growing in popularity in all sorts of home renovation projects but it’s an environmentally sound choice. Reclaimed wood is a great choice for flooring, countertops, and walls.
Don’t demolish your home – deconstruct it
Prior to knocking down entire rooms or tearing down walls, walk around your home first to see what you can reuse and salvage beforehand. This will not only save you money but it will be yet another eco-friendly move you can make while renovating. You know what they say - if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Consider everything from tile, light fixtures, bricks to flooring, cabinets and molding. Think of adorable little ways to re-use ornaments and accessories as well; for instance, if you plan on replacing the chandelier in your dining room, think about turning it into a lamp or using it in another room (your kid’s bedroom, the kitchen, even the bathroom!) instead of tossing it.
Consider buying pre-owned materials
A rather great and cost-effective way to redo your home is relying on pre-owned materials as the main resource. There are plenty of retailers doing business with these types of materials/elements and some even specialize in high-end products. When you think about it – why would you spend thousands of dollars on a new kitchen set when you can buy one that’s been used for a year and have fun remodeling it? After all, sustainability has much to do with resourcefulness, so – when remodeling, make sure you give power to your logic, creativity and imagination!
When it’s time to go shopping for new appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators and ovens or even smaller elements like skylights, lamps, stereos, etc. – look for the most energy-efficient ones. How do you distinguish the energy-efficient ones from those that are not? Well, these items should have the Energy Star logo on them. If you want to go further with your energy-efficiency and even become completely energy-independent like many property owners in big cities such as Hong Kong, you can consider installing a solar panel system with a quality solar inverter that will satisfy your energy needs. With a quality inverter, you can expect minimal energy losses and best return on investment, so do your research before buying.
Don’t throw away – donate
In the rush to get rid of everything that’s cluttering our space, we often tend to throw away the items we no longer need instead of giving them away. Well, it’s time you stopped for a second and thought things through: give your unwanted stuff to consignment shops, donate to Goodwill, talk to crafty friends who might need the material for their projects, see to find centers that need furniture, etc. Doing this, you’ll stay environmentally friendly while at the same time truly giving back to the community.
Re-face instead of replacing
If most of your furniture and home elements are in good shape, instead of tossing them away, remodel them! A simple act of re-facing or repainting can do wonders for your place. Further, you can make it a fun project for the entire family: everyone gets in charge of a room or particular decorating elements and remodels them after their own tastes!
Use low-VOC paints
With a wide range of low-VOC paints, you don’t even have to worry about the toxic effect of regular paints! These are earth-friendly, rich in texture and great in color selection. Low-VOC paint is practically odorless, splatter resistant and 100% acrylic. Further, it carries the “Green to Promise” designation and is self-priming! For those of you who aren’t that much into the paintwork, you can leave the furniture in its “natural” state after stripping them off paint. Such elements will give your home a hint of rustic elegance and will look beautiful juxtaposed to modern, polished furniture.
Salvage yards and antique shops
Consignment shops and antique stores are great places to visit for items such as light fixtures, doorknobs, and even mantels and some great pieces of furniture. We love how antique elements not only help our sustainable bottom line but add charm and warmth to the home, too. Just beautiful.
Good luck on your journey to sustainable remodeling – we hope you’ll have fun in the process!