One of the simplest ways to practice the “reduce, reuse, and recycle” mantra is to shop in your own home when you’re ready for a décor change. The wood harvested to make the frame for a new sofa, the foam created to stuff it, the chemicals used to protect its fabric, and the gas used to fill the boat or truck it’s shipped in all have negative effects on the environment.
If you want to lessen your environmental impact…and likely save yourself some money, too:
Think carefully about how each room in your home is used. Is each space meeting a current need?
Consider changing the purpose of your grown child’s room from guest room to home office. Switch your dining room and your living room. Turn a guest bedroom into a home gym.
Once you know what purpose each room will serve, “shop” in your home for furnishings that suit the space.
A chair that’s in your living room now might work beautifully in your new home office. A bedroom dresser could look great in your entryway. Don’t forget your attic treasures, too!
Consider reupholstering or slipcovering soft furniture and refinishing or painting case goods.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much of your current furniture can have a totally new life in a revamped interior design.
Experiment with wall colors, accessories, and lighting.
Move things from room to room until you’re happy with the location. Simply re-grouping accessories you already own can showcase them in an entirely new way and complement your new décor beautifully.
Fill in with new purchases as needed.
There are many new products out there that are made with sustainable materials and processes – or consider shopping for what you need at consignment stores or via ebay or Craigslist.
It can be hard to re-design your décor, so paying for a few hours of an interior designer’s time may be well worth it because she (or he) will see your home with fresh eyes. If that’s not in your budget, ask a friend or family member to come over to help you shop! You’ll appreciate their perspective and have fun transforming your space.