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06/30/2011

How to Redesign a Room More Earth Friendly

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Want to freshen up a room in your home by infusing a seasonal summery vibe? It’s a weekend project that’s both easy and eco-friendly, when you do it right. Recently, I spent some time perking up my bedroom with a fresh coat of paint, a bit of rearranging and some creative re-using of furniture I already had on hand. The result? A pretty boudoir for a pretty penny!


If you’re eager to energize a space in your home, take a moment to jot down a list of what you’d like to see, then sketch it out to scale on a sheet of paper, just in case you need to rethink any particular pieces.

Brighten walls with a fresh coat of low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint to avoid the more than 10,000 chemicals found in typical interior paint cans. (Read more on choosing low-VOC here.) By choosing a paint and primer in one, you’ll save yourself a can of paint, but you’ll likely shell out a few dollars more to start.

Instead of buying new a fancy, new headboard for a bedroom consider painting a faux headboard—like I did—and dressing it up with a stack of organic fabric pillows. It will save you time and money, and promises a truly custom solution. Unique paint treatments can be used all through the house, behind a bunch of framed photos in your hallway or living room, or even as a faux rug on your patio floor.

Reuse old furniture by giving it new life with a coat of paint. Remove old drawers from a chest and replace with baskets or replace the legs on a nightstand to create a new place for plants in a sunroom.

Spicen up a room with new linens—natural jute rugs or organic cotton pillows—or recycle some of your existing fabrics by turning them into new pieces. A fabric shower curtain that you love but that doesn’t match your bathroom? Try turning the durable fabric into new, outdoor pillows.

Switch your lights to whiter compact fluorescent lighting, which offers a brighter glow and cheaper electricity bills. Or, take down stuffy, dusty drapes and let the light shine in. Hello, Vitamin D!

With only a few simple changes, you can have a cool, clean space in your home that better reflects you, your lifestyle and your commitment to the environment.

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A rug could really go a long way when designing a room. It can make a room cozier.

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