Monday, November 8, 2010

Savvier Greener Ways to Redecorate Your Rooms by Caroline Smith

I'd like to introduce you to Caroline Smith who has kindly offered to talk to us about "green" redecorating. So sit back and enjoy:

Savvier Greener Ways to Redecorate Your Rooms

I’ve been looking at my front room for weeks thinking it needs a change. Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s just that we women like to decorate, but this happens every few months. When the urge to redecorate hits, it can be tempting to hop into the car and zoom on over to Ikea, taking time to stroll the aisles and place item after item in the cart.

Don’t misunderstand, there’s nothing wrong with making a few mindful purchases to revive a room, but this little habit adds up fast. Since I’ve started becoming more mindful of my effect on the environment, I have been thinking about greener ways to give my rooms a new look. Small steps to a more environmentally responsible lifestyle can be easy, and it can start with me. Here’s my eco-friendly plan to makeover my living room:

1. Reorganization – Ikea may not be helping my eco-makeover by providing frames and fun vases, but they can provide me with style ideas. It’s easy to rearrange the goods you’ve already got to look like a room off the glossy pages of an interior design magazine. My place isn’t all that big, and Ikea are known for using space in creative ways. When it comes down to it, most of us own plenty of knick knacks and end tables – so instead of a redecoration I’m looking at reorganization. Reuse and recycle is a green mantra, and it can be a fun challenge to create a new look with stuff you already own. If you have any trouble moving the larger pieces of furniture, I’ve found that a handy bribe of pizza afterwards can do wonders…

2. Slipcover Savings – Since I’m both making steps at greener living and watching my budget, any purchases I make need to make the most change in my room as well as helping me minimize my impact on the environment. Slipcovers are an amazing way to easily bring style and function. They are available in many colors and fabrics, and easily found online, some sites even offering coupons. They are simple to use, and can change the look of a room instantly. Instead of buying another sofa and seeing mine carted off to sit in a landfill, I’m going to reduce my footprint and invest in a new slipcover. I’m a chronic drinks spiller – coffee, tea, water, juice, I don’t discriminate about what kind of liquid should spill onto the sofa. Slipcovers are easy to clean, just throw them into the wash, saving years of wear on your furniture.

3. Freecycle Fun - Freecycle is both an eco-friendly organization, and completely addictive. In the course of my reorganization I’ve found many items I don’t use anymore. Instead of taking them to a garbage dump, I’ve decided to list them on Freecyle and donate to some other designing diva’s d├ęcor. Freecycle is like bargain hunting, except I’m not actually spending any money. I feel good knowing my treasures will find new homes, and have fun finding new treasures myself!

I’m enjoying the challenge of looking at the task of redecorating from a green perspective. It’s fun to be creative and find new ways to reuse items I already have and give my rooms a totally new image in the process. I’ve learned that there are lots of easy ways to recycle old things to give them an updated new look and particularly like the idea of Freecycling, which has proved that one person’s trash is another’s treasure!

This is a guest post by Caroline Smith, who believes being green doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. She runs a website that offers a range of slipcovers for sofas which make it easy to prolong the life of old furniture and save it from landfill. Caroline thinks that if we all make small changes in our daily lives to lesson our footprint on the planet, we can collectively make a big difference.