Contrary to popular belief, decking your condo out in style while being kind to the environment and not spending gratuitously is completely doable. Louie Santaguida’s lifelong work is founded on the truth that there’s so much in our homes that’s not good for us, whether we’re aware of it or not, and that has to change. So in the spirit of change, here’s a list of resourceful, affordable, and creative ways to go green in the arena of condo decorating:
Furniture. It’s easier than ever to be green as more eco-friendly alternative products are becoming accessible and available. Beautiful eco-friendly furnishings and fixtures are being unveiled everywhere you look. Go for tables, headboards and dining sets made out of reclaimed woods, glass, or other renewable resources like bamboo. Eco-friendly sofas should be filled with soy-based foams. If constructing your own furniture, choose materials like recycled wire and steel. You can get finishes in formaldehyde-free lacquers and VOC-free (volatile organic compound) glues.
Decorations. Use what you have. Oftentimes when decorating a condo, you already have so many of the things you’ll need to make it look and feel great. Check to see what you already own and what can be recycled or revamped. Try to do away with plastic, particleboard, and chromed metal, and instead use organic or natural materials. You may want to use wood panel, cork, or ceramic, which are all gentle on the environment. Aside from being green, they look gorgeous.
Paint. Cut back on the volatile chemicals. It used to be that in order to use environmentally friendly paints or primers you had to spend a lot more. This is no longer the case. Painting is one of the most powerful and cost-effective ways to decorate your home, so why not choose a quality product?
Plants. Greenery. Nothing can substitute the presence of plant life in your personal space. They vastly improve your air quality, filtering out harmful chemicals. On top of their health benefits, they’re simply beautiful to look at, and offer a natural, fresh feel that’s hard to beat. Choose plants that fit your space, compliment your style, and thrive in your climate.
Lights. When looking for lighting, choose ones that are energy-efficient. Think about it: this is good for you, and good for the environment. Compact fluorescent lights not only come in all kinds of stylish shapes and sizes, but can also help you save energy and prevent emission of pollutants that are harmful to your health.