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What is sustainable decorating?

What is sustainable decorating?

We all know more about being eco-friendly and choosing sustainable products these days, but what is sustainable decorating?  It’s a mix of how you decorate your home and what materials you use.  Here is our guide to making choices that are better for the environment.

Do you really need new things?

Instead of just buying something new for your house, think about whether you really need it and if you have anything else that could suffice.

A word that is often used with sustainable is ‘slow’.  Taking a slow approach means thinking about what you actually need.  For example, when you move into a new house, live in it a for while until you decide what decorating you would like to do.  Taking that time means you will have a better idea of what you want for the long-term and will therefore decorate less often.  Doing things gradually gives you the space to really know what you would like in your home.  It’s good to get inspiration from trends but don’t be bound by them, what is popular now may not be what you want to live with in a year or so.

When it comes to kids, there are so many toys made of plastic now.  There may be a facebook group where you can swap unwanted items or buy secondhand items cheaply instead.  Any little steps you can take to cutting down the amount of non-biodegradable materials that you buy will help the environment.

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Can it be reused or repurposed?

Often, we get rid of things or buy new things instead of reusing or repurposing.  If you have furniture that you no longer like, have a think about whether it could be covered in a different fabric, or repainted to make it good as new.  Alternatively, it might be good for a different purpose, ie using in a playroom or outside.

There is so much inspiration available online, from blogs to Pinterest.  There are also handy tips, like using a paint sprayer to paint furniture quickly and give it an even coat.  A fresh coat of paint can make something look completely different.

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Can you choose more sustainable materials?

Sometimes you do just need new things in the home and there’s nothing wrong with that.  Where you can, invest in quality, sustainable materials that you love, which will last for years.  This way of living is the inspiration behind Japandi design, where the focus is on beautiful, functional furnishings made from natural materials.

Sustainably sourced wood is always a gorgeous material to choose.  Look for FSC certifcation, this guarantees that the wood comes from a forest which meets high environmental and social standards.  Bamboo, cork, organic cotton and wool are also great choices, which look stunning in the home.  Many companies are getting on board with environmental concerns, so it’s worth shopping around to find the ones that sell sustainable and recycled products.

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Painting is a popular choice when it comes to decorating and there are now eco-friendly paints available.  These are paints that contain either very little or no harmful chemicals like solvents and VOCs.  VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are gasses that are emitted by some solids or liquid, which can be damaging to both the environment and our health.  Eco-friendly paint should also be made using environmentally conscious methods.  In general, water-based paint is best as it has a lower environmental impact.

There are also sustainable, ethically sourced wallpapers that you can buy to do your bit for the environment.  If it has the FSC mark, it means the paper comes from a forest which meets the highest environmental and social standards.  The ink used should be water-based with minimal VOC content.

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If you want to make sure you get a professional finish, call in the experts.  Herts Decorators provide high quality and professional decorating services to our clients across Hertfordshire, book a free estimate with our team today!


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George Ryland

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