Home accessories are a quick and easy place to start if you’re just looking to add some small revitalizing touches to your rooms. Pillows made from antique linen grain sacks that were once common in Europe add rustic-chic texture without being uncomfortable. To add a pop of color to your couch, drape it with a throw made from a natural material and eco-friendly dyes. To add a touch of social consciousness, choose from a multitude of throws made by indigenous communities in developing countries, like luxurious alpaca blankets from Peru or mohair from Swaziland.
Decorative bowls made from reclaimed wood add a touch of natural beauty, as do driftwood or Manzanita branches. Be cautious about adding some natural touches, though – coral, for instance, is often harvested in ways that are unsustainable and threatening to natural environments.
Don’t count out wall decor as a way to express your eco savvy, either. With Landlord Approval) More and more paint companies are trotting out low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints that are safer to breathe. But if you want to add extra dimension to your walls and make a bolder statement, add wall murals printed on earth-friendly canvas. Sites like MuralsYourWay.com bring beautiful nature scenes right into your home. Not only are their canvas murals made of an ecologically friendly fabric material, there are over 5,000 options to choose from. You can choose everything from a jungle scene to the Mona Lisa or you can print a photo of your own on their fabric wallpaper.
Greening your furniture can be done in multiple ways. If you’re ready to buy new pieces, consult an interior designer, who can weed out items that don’t match your standards. But you can re-use and recycle when it comes to furniture, too – just make sure you revitalize first. Consider re-upholstering items like dining chairs with exotic fabrics that are hand-made or antique. Suzanis, brightly-colored Central Asian textiles in graphic patterns make a great statement fabric, as do boldly embroidered Otomi textiles from Mexico. Ask a designer to help seek them out, or check out exotic import shops – sometimes you can find large examples of these textiles that can be repurposed on your furniture.