Eco-Friendly Ways To Redo Your Home Or Apartment (PHOTOS)

Eco-Friendly Ways To Redo Your Home Or Apartment (PHOTOS)

Eco-Friendly Ways To Redo Your Home Or Apartment (PHOTOS)

Whether you’re gutting the whole thing or just want at small refresh, redoing your place is the perfect opportunity to incorporate some green elements into the design of your apartment or home.

We just love the look of an old window or door, and the history that comes with it. Set up the door as a table, a headboard, or a coat rack (pictured.) Use an old window frame to display a series of pictures, make a glass coffee table, make a hanging pot rack above your stove, or just give character to an empty wall.

On that note, why stop at doors and windows? You can get almost anything salvage. Doorknobs, fireplaces and mantles, shelves, cupolas, chandeliers, cabinets, and more can be found at salvage warehouses and will give your house character.

You know that smell that lingers in a freshly painted room? Many paints release VOCs (volatile organic compounds) into the air long after they’ve been applied, even longer than after the smell has disappeared. In the short term VOCs can cause dizziness and headaches, but in the long term the EPA has classified them as suspected carcinogens. Besides that, anything that is toxic enough to be classified as a potential carcinogen we don’t want finding its way into the environment and the waterways. Fortunately a bevy of VOC-free paints have hit the market, including the most well-known, milk paint.

If you followed our advice to kick plastic out of your life, you’ll want to display your colorful rows of jars filled with pasta and rice. Or maybe you have a collection of fun vintage china. Whatever the reason, try going without cabinet doors in your kitchen. You’ll save materials — and if you’re redoing the kitchen, time — and create a personal and fun look.

They’re cheap, ubiquitous, rustic, and easily manipulated. Pallets, which are used to transport goods, aren’t just for building wicked bonfires. You can re-use them as a coffee table, a daybed or couch base, or bookshelves. All the materials you need are nails and a hammer, and maybe a saw. You can leave them raw or paint them fun colors. Whatever you decide to do, you’ll be saving money and keeping them out of the landfill.

No green home is complete without the finishing touch of plants. Besides being attractive and eco-friendly (really, what is more green than a plant?) plants are proven to bring a little happiness into your home. So instead of shelling out for a bouquet a day, try your hand at cultivating a few plants on your windowsill.

If you’re going to redecorate your home or apartment, the first thing to be done is clean it out! The less stuff you have, the less shelving, boxes, tables, plastic bins, and display cabinets you need in which to store it all. Less storage place equals a smaller footprint. And as charming as the artfully cluttered look can be, it’s a tough one to pull off without looking like someone from Hoarders. Do Goodwill a favor and give your home the quickest, cheapest face-lift imaginable.

Eco-Friendly Ways To Redo Your Home Or Apartment (PHOTOS)

Hang wine bottles from the ceiling with lights inside. Punch charming designs into coffee cans and string them up. Create a lampshade with photo negatives. Almost anything can be made into a ighting apparatus (and look way cooler) if you turn it upside down, cut a hole in it, and put a light bulb or fairy lights inside. You’re only limited by your imagination.

If your kitchen is an eyesore, the first place to start is with the appliances. Anything older than eight years old can be upgraded to a more efficient model that will use less energy and save you money.

If you have a lot of windows in your home, it can heat up during the day. Then at night all the heat flees the premises, making your climate control work way harder than necessary. You can even that out by incorporating thermal mass into your home decorating. Thermal mass acts as a sort of heat battery, absorbing heat during the day and releasing it at night when it cools down. You can take advantage by incorporating stone, brick, and earthen elements into your home where the sun will hit it. Leave brick floors and walls exposed, place marble and ceramic tile strategically, and even set some nice stone bowls or ceramic accessories on your windowsill.

If you’re planning on redoing your floors, cabinets, or other wood elements, give some thought to the material. You wouldn’t want any helpless rain forest trees to be harmed for your home, would you? You can up the eco element by sourcing bamboo, cork, salvaged wood, or FSC-certified wood.

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