Transform your sanctuary with sustainability in mind

A new season is upon us, which means it’s the perfect time to switch things up around the house. The best part about decorating in an eco-friendly way is that you are not only having a positive impact on the planet, but you can also save a lot of money. Plus, you get to be extra creative and hands on when it comes to recycling and repurposing items, which makes the overall process a lot more fun instead of stressful. Before you start off, our biggest piece of advice is to create a mood board and gather inspiration, so that you have an overall look in mind which you are trying to achieve.

Here are some of our top ideas to help spruce up your space this summer...

1. Find a sustainable rug

rugPinterestHeavier rugs and carpets are a cozy addition to your home during the fall and winter because they bring warmth and richness to the space. But for the summertime, there are a lot of lighter and sustainable materials to choose from, such as jute (pictured), seagrass, and recycled plastics that will add freshness and texture. If you’re ready to let go of your old rug or carpet all together, be sure to consider donating it so that its lifecycle can continue.

2. Revamp cushions and pillows

CusionsUnsplashSummertime is all about experimenting with pops of colour and pattern to brighten up the home. Instead of getting rid of pillows and cushions you already have, give them a twist by purchasing fabric and sewing new covers. It’s a perfectly simple way to create a fresh look for the season, and you can easily revert to what you had before when fall rolls around. Try a trendy motif or neon material for a statement pillow, or experiment with hues of sage green and pale yellow, which look fabulous in a minimalist space.

3. Add houseplants

bigger houseplantsPhoto by Annie Spratt on UnsplashHouseplants are a major decor trend right now, and they have a much bigger impact in your space than just looking beautiful. The more greenery you add to your home, the cleaner the air will be—because plants act as natural purifiers and eliminate toxins. Plants are also known to boost your mood, reduce stress and are very therapeutic as well. Head on over to your nearest garden centre, and make sure to do some research beforehand so you know how to take care of your plants and help them thrive in the house.

4. Try eco-friendly wall decals

wall decalsPinterestYes, eco-friendly wall decals are a thing and they can update your space in an instant. This is a simple way to create a statement wall, or add some flair to a space without having to deal with paint. Sustainable decals are reusable, PVC-free (polyvinyl chloride contains dangerous chemicals that can be toxic, especially to children’s health when they evaporate into the air over time), and use solvent-free ink. Stick on and peel off whenever you’re ready for a new look.

5. Upcycle a statement piece

UpcyclePinterestWe all know the saying: “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” So check out your nearest thrift shop or browse online in places such as Facebook Marketplace for items that could easily be upcycled and transformed into statement pieces for your home. For example, this vintage suitcase (above) has a new life as a coffee table. Not only does it look one-of-a-kind, but it will also make you feel good to preserve an object that might have gone in the landfill. Other ideas include using old door frames as tables, picture frames as trays, bottles and mugs as hanging light fixtures, plus more.

6. Create an mini indoor garden

Mini gardenPinterestIf you have an empty wall, you don’t necessarily need to purchase a piece of artwork when you can create something yourself. We love the idea of making a mini indoor garden for the summer, which also looks fabulous on the patio as well. All you need are several pieces of wood, mini jars (we recommend using Mason jars, or any other jars you might have at home), and some reusable tea lights or soy candles. Not only are you adding greenery to your space, but it’s also a beautiful way of adding subtle lighting into the home in the evening so that you can use less electricity. Note: If you have a few extra tea lights or candles, pop them into jars and place them around the living or dining area to create a calm ambiance and further save on electricity.

7. Change out your drapes or curtains

DrapesEtsySimilar to rugs and carpets, heavier drapes and curtains can be switched out for softer materials that will let in more natural light in the summer, which automatically opens up your space. Look for sustainable, handmade options such as these 100 percent linen drapes that will complement any setting. Again, if you’re not looking to purchase, then take on a DIY project and sew them yourself.

8. Add a splash of colour

paintPinterestIf you’re ready to go all in and paint areas of your sanctuary, then the product you are purchasing is key because it can have an effect on the health of you and your loved ones (furry friends included). Many interior paints contain low-level toxic emissions known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that can evaporate into the air and cause symptoms such as headaches and dizziness, and can lead to allergies. When looking for an eco-friendly paint, keep an eye out for certain labels such as VOC-free, solvent-free, Greenguard Certified and more. A lot of sustainable brands are also using recycled packaging, so opt for those products if you can.