The communal heart of our homes is beating louder than ever as our living rooms have transitioned to function as offices, classrooms, gyms, and more, in addition to being places of comfort and relaxation.
Now that the living room has become Grand Central, it’s only fitting that we look at this space through “greener” glasses and make it more sustainable and healthier for ourselves and our loved ones.
📷 Sarah Crowley
Traditionally, physical and mental health has been less of a priority than energy efficiency when it comes to eco-friendly houses. But the coronavirus pandemic is upending the status quo, highlighting that the indoor environment is truly of paramount importance amid a rise in anxiety and depression.
Here are some tips for creating the perfect environmentally friendly living room, where you can share moments of joy and create lasting memories.
Invest in Green Furniture
If you have your heart set on new pieces of furniture, make a conscious choice to go the green route in your home designing excursion.
Eco furniture not only causes less damage to the global environment but also makes interior environments safer. Produced from organic materials with minimal amounts of chemicals, eco furniture doesn’t emit harmful pollutants like volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
What many don’t know is that furniture, paints, carpets, and fabrics can all release VOCs that could cause allergies, asthma, and migraines. So it’s wise to heed experts’ concerns and choose from a broad spectrum of affordable, eco-friendly furniture available at your fingertips.
Sheep wool and coconut fiber are considered the most sustainable materials. Cork is also natural, biodegradable, and provides wonderful texture to the surfaces of homes. You could invest in some minimalist cork pendant lights. Bamboo is another option – it’s incredibly durable and water-resistant – a great fit for a set of coffee tables. Also, armchairs and sofas can be peppered with pillows made from unbleached canvas.
To put your mind at ease when you are starting out eco shopping, look for green furniture certifications. You could also check out the Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC) website’s database of furniture manufacturers committed to eco furniture practices.
Be Creative With DIY Crafts
Put recycling, upcycling, rearranging, and repairing things you already have at the core of your design philosophy. Get creative – there are countless ideas that you can try, like using large mason jars to design lampshades.
Maybe you have a mountain of leftover cardboard boxes from Amazon orders. Before chucking them, think about building shelves with thick, sturdy cardboard. Cut the lids off, style them, tape a row at a time, and paint. You would have seen this trend all over Pinterest.
Take a trip to a local antique shop or vintage store that’s selling second-hand items. It’s a win-win because you support local businesses, do your bit for the planet, and can readily curate some really great stuff. Your home will have a patina of globe-trotting sophistication in no time.
Use Eco-Friendly Flooring and Paints
If you've got the home revamping bug, give your living room a new lease on life with a fresh lick of paint. And what’s a better update than new flooring?
📷 Casinha da Port'azul
Some believe walls and flooring have nothing to do with making an environmentally friendly living room, but they are actually the areas where you need to focus the most.
Bear in mind that bamboo flooring is just as versatile as hardwood. Opt for fresh green or yellow paint to complement the natural tones of the bamboo. And you can carry the bamboo elements throughout the room by pairing bamboo shades with bright-colored curtains. Look at natural fiber carpets made of seagrass, sisal, or jute too.
No matter where you live, there are a range of eco-friendly paints to choose from as well as terms and certifications that can serve as a guide. This will minimize your carbon footprint and make your living room non-toxic or at least less toxic.
Slow and Steady
Going green can feel overwhelming, especially for those who are less familiar with the concept of sustainable design and are just starting to audit their impact on the environment. So, it’s better to make your home eco-friendly one room at a time. The living room – one of the most frequently used rooms in the home – is a great place to start.
Involve everyone in the process and incorporate a blend of everyone’s taste and style to create a healthy space for all the family. On your eco-conscious journey, DecorMatters is here to help you every step of the way.