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5 ways to style your home more sustainably

almost 2 years ago
5 ways to style your home more sustainably

Turning a house into a home often involves redecorating rooms, revamping colour schemes, changing accessories and buying new furniture, but rushing out to replace what you might already own isn’t great in the sustainability stakes. In fact, ‘fast furniture’ is the new ‘fast fashion’, with a growing movement against purchasing unsustainable or unethical homewares that are quickly and ruthlessly discarded. 

The option of buying second hand, scanning Gumtree or Facebay for free items and upcycling what you already own are the most sustainable approaches to home styling but sometimes purchasing new is the preferred option.

If your interior plans involve buying furniture, accessories or decorative items, you may like to consider these more sustainable interior options:-

  1.     Towels: one of the top tricks for making your home look more attractive is displaying a pile of fluffy towels. If you’re following this well-used styling method, you can make sensible sustainable choices by buying bamboo towels. Bamboo doesn’t need any pesticides or fungicides to grow, is biodegradable, doesn’t need any chemicals to be turned into yarn and is a self-regenerating, sustainable crop. What’s more, bamboo towels are naturally anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, odour resistant and hypoallergenic.
  1.     Bedlinen: a crisp, crinkle-free set of linen is always a winner when it comes to home styling and there are some excellent sustainable choices when making up a bed. You can buy duvets that are filled with 100% recycled feathers and down, while many mattresses are manufactured with waste wool and repurposed plastic as the stuffing. Hemp bed linen is an eco essential as the production of this fabric is a carbon negative activity, while generic lyocell fabrics, including TENCEL™, are made by dissolving wood pulp that’s been sustainably harvested from forests. Alternative bed linen fabrics include organic or recycled cotton.
  1.     Wood: timber is a natural, replenishable resource so it’s a great contender for furniture, if bought considerately. If you’re buying a new wardrobe, chest of drawers, dining table or bedside cabinet, ensure the item is made from sustainable wood. Look for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) logos on the label or in the product description. Also avoid ‘buying cheap, buying twice’ as sustainable, durable investment pieces are better for the environment than repeatedly purchasing poorly-made furniture time and time again.
  1.     Paint & paper: breaking out the paintbrushes and wallpaper paste are rights of passage when moving to a new home and the careful selection of these everyday decorating essentials can enhance the sustainability of your home. When purchasing paint, look out for water or mineral based products, low levels of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and recycled/recyclable tins or biodegradable packaging. For those keen on wallpaper, opt for non-vinyl paper that can be recycled at home once removed, wallpaper made from recycled products, FSC certified paper and patterns printed using water-based inks.
  1.     Flowers: many of the bouquets we buy to pop in our vases have high air miles, with blooms sourced from Holland and sometimes more exotic climes. The most sustainable flowers, however, come from our own gardens and even our local hedgerows. No flowers? No problem. Some of the best displays consist exclusively of foliage, grasses, twigs and dried seed heads. If you’re not green fingered or don’t have a garden, look for bunches of shop-sold flowers labelled as UK-grown, so you’re reducing air miles and supporting local growers.

If you’d like to practise improved eco-living in a new property, get in touch for moving advice and available flats and houses.

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