Define the look
The sun is our main source of light and an ecofriendly home should bring in as much natural light as possible, with lots of windows spreading daylight throughout the house. As night falls and artificial lighting is needed, think carefully about the room and the function that that lighting will play, to ensure energy efficiency at all times.
The easiest and most affordable way to transform the look of a room is with a fresh coat of paint. When choosing paint and paint colours, consider texture and maintenance as well as how the wall will reflect light, affect the warmth and size of a room and complement your décor. Opt for natural paints with non-toxic ingredients such as talcum powder, milk, beeswax and earth pigments. Natural paints are available in a range of colours and textures direct from manufacturers such as The Original Milk Paint Co. and BreatheCoat, or through DIY stores like Builders Warehouse.
An ecofriendly home should have furniture that is well designed and built to last. Constantly changing your décor is draining on your bank balance – and the environment.
Making creative use of the elements already in your home, as well as incorporating good secondhand furniture or heirlooms, ensures you dont always have to buy new pieces. When choosing a couch, for example, make sure it will be able to meet your changing needs in the years to come while reflecting your personality and style – and, of course, being comfortable.
When purchasing solid furniture like a table, it makes sense to buy wood. Secondhand pieces or hand-me-downs should be your first consideration here.
A classic wooden table will look good with most modern furnishings but, if you need to buy something new, make sure it will age well. You could also find out whether the wood was sourced from a sustainable forest. Quality pieces of furniture should be able to accompany you throughout your lifetime.
Soften the look of a room with scatter cushions, curtains, throws and other soft furnishings and accessories that add character and colour. Choose natural fabrics such as organic cotton, hemp, linen and wool, or recyclable materials such as wood and recycled glass. Patterns and textures should draw inspiration from nature, bringing tranquility and relaxation into your home.
Take to the floor
Flooring needs to be practical, easy to maintain, waterproof and comfortable underfoot.
Natural flooring materials that are environmentally friendly, renewable and easy to clean include wood, cork, stone, ceramic or brick. If you need to add warmth to your floors, use rugs instead of fitted carpets as they are easier to clean and can be taken outside to air, reducing the problem of dust mites and allergies.