STYLE AT HOME design editor and host of Pure Design on HGTV, Samantha Pynn is all about green decor. She visited the show to share some great tips and strategies for taking an eco approach to your decorating. (To see where Sam got everything for her bedroom makeover, check out her Sourcing Guide.)
TIPS ON TAKING A GREEN APPROACH TO DECORATING
Consider working with what you already have!
Sam always checks for hidden treasures in the basement or spare room.
Relocating an old piece gives it new life - moving a chest of drawers from a bedroom and setting it up as a console table in the living room makes it seem fresh.
Reworking your furniture placement in a room will also give it new life - you can anchor mixed pieces with a carpet, this can instantly make the furniture feel unified because it will all read as one unit working together. Update an old sofa with throws and pillows.
Painting your old furniture or even light fixtures can also unify them as well as make it seem new.
Sam loves shopping second hand - loves getting a steal and then having it transformed.
UPCYCLING! Sometimes you will need to invest more money into the piece than you actually paid for it, but you'll get personality and character and often better quality than new. Furniture built a long time ago was often built to last! Develop the skill of seeing a piece for what it COULD be.
Research green options when buying new
Look for new products that have an eco quality.
Buying from local sources or manufacturing is preferable.
Sustainability vs. Durability - Green is always weighing the pros and cons of each situation and each product's attributes. E.g. Low V.O.C. paint is great but won't always last on high traffic surfaces like kitchen cupboards. Painting it once with long wearing chip resistant paint means you'll have a strong surface for longer and extend the life of your cabinets.
Recycled or sourced from managed forests. (About 50% is made from renewable resources.)
Forestry Stewardship Council approved.
Manufactured with methods to conserve water, energy and minimize waste.
Traditional water based inks, low voc paste.
Source: Graham & Brown.
- Bamboo - Bamboo is not produced from a tree but an extremely fast growing grass. Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on Earth - truly a renewable resource. After harvesting, the bamboo root system sprouts a new shoot the following rainy season. Bamboo can be harvested every 3 to 5 years (the older the harder).
- Seagrass - Durable, sustainable, water resistant, and attractive. Grown in China in paddies. The grass is harvested, dried and spun into a strong yarn for weaving, cannot be dyed.
- Sisal - A natural plant material that is strong, durable and sustainably harvested.
- Wool carpets - Long lasting, natural fibre. Ages well. More resilient than nylon. Buying wool supports farmers!
- Recycled nylon carpets - made with post consumer or postindustrial material used in making fibres - may even use pop bottles!
Organically grown hemp seed, flax seed and cotton seed - versatile, healthy for you, your home, the environment.
Silk is a protein fibre (silk worm), generally free of chemicals, renewable resource, biodegradable (nylon and acrylic are made from fossil fuels take 500 yrs to biodegrade)
DeBoers eco line of furniture- EverGreen Chair - eco doesn't have to be modern or ultra funky - it can be classic traditional too!
Lampcage chandelier- Custom, handmade, light fixtures and lamps made locally from recycled metal from scrap yards.
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