Sustainable Interior Design
One of the hottest decorating trends for 2009 is going green. Scores of fashionable people are showing off eco friendly interior design styles that are kind to the earth and easy on the eyes. Eco friendly decorating allows you to care for your planet and simultaneously create an eco chic look for your home. Here’s some great nature inspired, eco friendly interior design styles to helpl you out. Eco friendly decorating allows you to maintain the chic styles that you are accustumed to while keeping a clean conscious.
Eco Friendly Paint
According to the EPA, indoor air pollution is a serious dilemma that contributes to a variety of health problems, including asthma, headaches, breathing problems, even cancer. One of the biggest contributors to that pollution is paint. Typical paint releases airborne chemicals knows as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. These compounds are potential cacogenics and create problems both inside your home and out. They are most dangerous when the paint is wet, but can continue to emit harmful chemicals for years.
Due to consumer demand, paint companies have worked diligently to create no or low VOC paints. Early attempts were not met with wide praise from consumers because they didn’t prove durable enough, especially after washing. Today’s no or low VOC paints are much improved. You can find them in most major paint stores and they can usually mix any color you like. We all know paint is an economical way to give your home a fresh new look. Why not make an earth friendly choice when you’re ready to pick up a brush?
Eco Friendly Furniture
Are you thinking of buying some new furniture this year? If so, make an environmentally smart selection. Many companies are joining the green game and producing furniture from sustainable materials or recycled resources. You’ll find chic designs for every room of your house. Look for wooden pieces that display labels from the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC), the Rainforest Alliance or have a Rediscovered Wood Certification. This lets you know the wood is made from sustainable wood or wood that has been recycled.
Another label you want to find on new furnishings is the Greenguard label, which assures you the furniture has low-toxicity. Traditionally manufactured furniture is highly toxic, and like paint, emits high levels of VOCs. Not only does it pollute the air in your home, when you dispose of it, those toxins seeps into the ground and water. It is no longer necessary to use such harsh chemicals to treat furniture. Choose furniture with natural finishes and organic materials when you make a buying decision.
Of course, the best option of all is to recycle furniture. You can find stylish vintage furniture at garage sales, thrift stores and flea markets or try shopping online for quality used furniture. Any time you reuse something, you are avoiding the use of new materials and production costs, plus keeping more items from ending up in the landfill taking up precious space and contaminating the environment.
Eco Friendly Fabrics
Fabrics for your home have also gone green. You can find fabrics that are certified green or look for fabrics you know are all natural. One hundred percent cotton is a good choice, as is hemp, silk, linen and wool.
Another big decorating trend for 2009 is patterns that are inspired by nature. Bold florals, leaf designs, and bright colors are all available in fabrics that have been manufactured without the harmful chemicals that have been used in years past. If you’re thinking of new draperies, bedding, upholstery or pillows, do the earth a favor and choose green fabrics.
Eco Friendly Flooring
There’s a variety of eco friendly flooring options available this year. Cork and bamboo flooring are both excellent choices. They look terrific and are both sustainable materials.
Bamboo is actually a grass and grows at a much faster rate than trees, but it still benefits you with the look of beautiful wood. Unlike hardwoods, however, bamboo plants reach maturity in just 5 to 6 years. It takes many hardwood trees up to 50 years or more to mature.
Cork is an exciting option as well. Not only is it beautiful and sustainable, it is very quiet to walk on. This is an admirable option for allergy suffers, too. Cork comes from the bark of the cork oak tree and can be stripped from the tree every 9 years without damaging the tree. Cork is usually grown organically with no added chemicals used in its production.
Believe it or not, linoleum, not to be confused with vinyl flooring, is a very eco friendly choice because it is produced from flax seed oil. Other environmentally safe flooring options include reclaimed wood flooring and glass tiles.
Eco Friendly Living
You can make your home eco chic in lots of ways. When you’re ready to buy new appliances, shop for the most energy efficient ones you can find. Thinking about adding some kitchen accessories? Try vintage dishes or check out this gorgeous table service made from recycled clamshells.
There’s ways to make every room in your home a little greener without making major expenditures or detracting from your style. Switch to water saving toilets and showerheads. Discover art made from recycled items and add live plants to help filter the air. Check out the new, attractive energy saving light bulbs now available, too. Every little step helps us maintain this planet for our children and their children. It’s not hard to follow the best decorating trend of 2009. Going green is more than a trend…it’s a way of life.