Taking the environment into consideration has become the norm for many consumers these days. From electric vehicles to water-saving washing machines, it’s easy to take steps toward an eco-friendly lifestyle; but what about your decor? Trading in your traditional appliances for products that are more eco-efficient isn’t the only way to upgrade to something more planet-centric.
There are many ways to decorate your kitchen and dining room while staying on the environmentally-conscious side of things. From choosing the right materials to making sure the product was created in a sustainable manner, sometimes decorating eco-style can be intimidating. Don’t worry, these eco-friendly decorating ideas for your kitchen and dining room are just what you need to get started.
1.Use recycled and upcycled items.
Using recycled and upcycled items to decorate your kitchen and dining room is by far the most efficient way to start saving the planet. If you think about it, all the materials, water, and power users to create a decorative piece are wasted once that item ends up in a landfill. Reusing something gives it another life and potentially saves another tree from becoming a table or chair.
While recycling involves reusing the same item, upcycling means you take an item and change it or use it in a creative way, like using glass jars as mugs or turning a chair into a stool by sawing off the back. Upcycling and recycling don’t have to mean you run out and spend your entire paycheck at the Goodwill, you can buy and reuse antique pieces in good condition or even look around your own home for items needing a new lease on life.
2.Choose Natural Fibers.
Choosing natural fibers for your home is like choosing healthy food for your body. Man-made materials like plastic can often have ingredients that are harmful and should be avoided. Switching to natural fibers to decorate your kitchen and dining room can help keep you and the environment a little safer.
Natural fibers like cotton, hemp, and jute are good choices for kitchen and living room decor; think jute rugs and cotton dish towels. Linen is a strong fiber that is good for tablecloths and cloth napkins, which are an added way to help the environment by washing and reusing them instead of paper or plastic throw-away products.
3.Use Reclaimed Materials.
Using reclaimed materials differs from recycling in that you’re using materials from existing items to make something completely new. Instead of going to Home Depot for some lumber or supplies, use existing materials from items you no longer need or use. This could be wood, textiles, glass, or stone, just to name a few.
There are countless ways to use reclaimed materials to decorate your kitchen or dining room. You can add reclaimed wood shelves from moderntimbercraft.com for stylish storage or use grandma’s old curtains to reupholster your dining room chairs. An old mirror can be broken into pieces and used to create a sparkling mosaic overlay for a tray, lamp, or vase.
4. Decorate With Indoor Plants.
Not only do houseplants look good, but they are also utilitarian too. Adding green plants to your kitchen and dining room will actually help the environment by removing carbon dioxide and adding oxygen to our atmosphere. Additionally, green plants like herbs can be used for tea and cooking as well.
Orchids can add some class to your rustic dining room and potted herbs can brighten up a kitchen window. Larger plants like Ficus trees and Palm Ferns make great decorative additions to your dining room as well. If lighting challenges prevent you from having houseplants, try cut flowers or dried flowers as a way to add style and flair.
5. Save Energy with Style.
It’s one thing to recycle, upcycle, reclaim and plant herbs, but if you’re using enormous amounts of energy to power your home, you’re not doing all you can for the environment. While going solar doesn’t add to the decor of your kitchen or dining room, making a few lifestyle changes can give you both style and efficiency.
Add a fireplace to your dining room instead of blasting the heat through the entire house. This adds both warmth and a romantic feel; try using recycled, reclaimed, or upcycled materials. There are so many stylish ceiling fans on the market these days, choose one made with eco-friendly and sustainable materials to replace your air conditioning on days where it’s tolerable.
Not all eco-enthusiasts have the time or money to revamp their kitchen and dining room, but a little goes a long way. Here are a few quick and easy eco-friendly decorating ideas you can use to get started.
- Use light-colored natural window coverings to let in natural light.
- Upcycle used coffee cans by painting them and using them to pot your kitchen herbs.
- Decorate your living room with cut flowers from your garden.
- Decorate your kitchen with a wooden bowl of exotic fruit.
- Use natural beeswax candles to spiff up your dining room and add a touch of elegance.
It’s our job as humans to do all that we can to protect and nourish the planet we inhabit. As we steer away from plastics and other potentially harmful materials, we open the door to a more planet-centered approach when it comes to decorating our kitchens and dining rooms.
The easiest way to make the transition to a more environmentally friendly lifestyle is by being a conscious consumer when it’s time to purchase or replace something. Can you reuse or recycle another item? Are you purchasing items made from safe and sustainable materials? These are some questions to ask yourself next time you hit the housewares section of TJ Maxx.
You don’t need to do a full-on overhaul to make your kitchen and living room more eco-friendly, start small by adding some plants or a ceiling fan. As long as you keep our planet and these five eco-friendly ideas in the forefront while decorating, you should be well on your way.