Blending Environmental and Stylish Decorating Ideas for Small Spaces
Housing accounts for about consider 33.6% of all emissions in the U.S., making it the largest source of energy-consumption by everyday Americans. Utilities, furnishings, and electronics are among the products guzzling up energy in the country. Updating small spaces in a home may be the first step for many people in combating our environmental crisis.
Modernizing a small space to be more environmentally friendly may be more easily accomplished through small changes rather than large-scale ones. While solar, wind, and hydroelectric are among the most efficient forms of energy, they are not always conducive or cost-effective choices. Decorating small spaces with green and modish furnishings such as electric fireplaces or LED lights may be a better first step. Other eco-friendly solutions such as repurposing and recycling are also a step in the right direction.
Eco-Friendly and Stylish Living Ideas
Creating an eco-friendly home doesn’t have to mean skimping on style. There are a plethora of stylish living ideas that can help you maintain your values while still living comfortably and modishly. Below are a few ideas to consider:
Thrift shopping is a way to reduce your carbon footprint and shop smart. Though items may lose their market value after somebody has owned them, they don’t necessarily lose their worth. Many thrift stores, in fact, sell furniture and decor for prices dramatically lower than their worth. Frequent your local thrift stores to find bookshelves, tables, chairs, and artwork, among other furniture and decor. These items can often be repurposed for a fraction of the cost of buying a new product.
According to the Department of Energy
, “about 30% of a home's heating energy is lost through windows.” With proper maintenance, however, this loss of energy can be subverted. In the cold winter months, hang some DIY curtains over the windows throughout your home. The curtains will help insulate your home while also adding a touch of decor. Materials for the curtains can be purchased at a local thrift store to further reduce your carbon footprint. In the warmer summer months, install window screens to limit the use of the AC and keep out bugs. Seasonal renovations like these provide eco-friendly solutions that don’t jeopardize style.
The average United States family uses about 40 gallons of water per day
on showers alone. Installing a water-efficient showerhead, however, can reduce the number of gallons used per day. Partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), WaterSense
showerheads use about 20% less water. WaterSense products come with EPA-certified labels making them easy to find in stores. These showerheads can add a sleek look to your shower while optimizing for comfort and efficiency.
There are a variety of eco-friendly choices that can be made when it comes to laundry. For instance, swap out your dryer sheets for dryer balls. Dryer sheets are full of chemicals that are bad for both your skin and the environment. Dryer balls
, on the other hand, are a natural fabric softener, an environmentally friendly product, and an economical choice. If you don’t want to run your dryer, consider line-drying your clothes. This can be done on a clothesline or drying rack. Utilize these items as a sort of an eco-friendly open closet.
Houseplants not only add character to a home, but also provide benefits to those who live there. As they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, plants clean the air
and can make indoor spaces feel fresher. The different sizes that houseplants come in mean they can fit in any sized room, including small and cozy ones.
Energy Saving Decorating Tips
Electric heating and lighting is an economical way to supply energy to a small space.
Consider the following tips for energy-saving decorating:
An electric fireplace TV stand
has the ability to heat the entirety of a small living room without jeopardizing eco-friendliness or space. These items are modish and green, and present none of the work needed to maintain a wood or gas fireplace. However, those simply wishing to repurpose their unused or inefficient fireplace can install an electric fireplace insert
instead. The insert can slip right into your fireplace mantel.
The light-emitting-diode (LED) is a highly energy-efficient source of lighting that has grown popular in recent years
. Not only are LED lights eco-friendly, but they’re also cost-efficient. Unlike traditional incandescent lights, LED bulbs are durable and long-lasting; in fact, they’re 90% more efficient
than incandescent lights.
Installing LED lights into your small living room or bedroom will provide lighting throughout the entire room. Additionally, many LED lights have smart technology compatibility. With smart technology compatible devices, you can save energy by remotely turning off lights you may have accidentally left on. Other smart technology features include dimming settings and light color changes, allowing you to create the perfect atmosphere for your space at the click of a button.
Another green decor choice is electric candles. The traditional candle made with paraffin wax is highly toxic for you and the environment as a whole. By replacing the traditional wax candle with an electric one, there is no need to cast aside comfort and style.
Environmentally Friendly Material Sourcing
There are plenty of ways to blend together green and fashionable decorating ideas, many of which have the added perk of saving money. Purchasing environmentally friendly products or repurposing used materials are two such ways. Below are a few ways to sustainably source materials:
provides an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint while designing a stylish room. Look for certified eco-friendly paints in your local paint stores. Additionally, ask for mistints, and recycle your leftover paint. “Mistints” are paint colors that were not quite what a customer was looking for. Purchasing a mistint gives you perfectly good paint for a fraction of the original price. Any paint you don’t use can be donated to a charity for housing projects or to one of your local construction stores.
Construction sites often have a wealth of materials capable of being repurposed. Even slightly damaged materials can potentially be fixed and be given a place in your home. Windows, doors, and light fixtures are just a few of the items found at construction sites. Other materials include wooden beams, ceramic tiles, and bricks. You can repurpose wooden beams by crafting your own table or building shelves along your walls. The shelving will not only be eco-friendly, but also provide more space for storage in a small room.
Although reclaiming materials may take more time than simply purchasing new ones, it will save you money down the road. Also, always ask for permission before entering or taking any materials from a construction site.