10 Tips for Sustainable Decorating

If you’re home is in need of a spruce, perhaps you don’t need to head to the shops right away? These decorating tips won’t only help alleviate clutter, but can save you money as well!

Do you love a good putter around and rearrange at home? I love it so much that it is really one of my main activities! Moving things around in your home, rather than always buying new items, is a perfect way to create a new look without breaking the bank, or being wasteful. You can also add small items for big impact, such as a new throw rug, cushion cover or rug, rather than changing an entire room. A fresh lick of paint is a perfect way to bring your tired living areas back to life. I find putting some items away and bringing them out later, makes you feel like you have new treasures, as you rediscover their charm. Combining vintage and new items, especially when they are locally and ethically made, creates the perfect balance.

Sustainable DecoratingHere are 10 tips for more sustainable decorating in your home:

  1. Don’t be afraid to use unusual objects in your styling and vignettes around your home. You can include items such as old bottles, industrial items and pieces of fabric, to create layers of stories and textures.
  2. Add visual interest with texture and colour – organic materials such as leaves, bark and fresh and dried flowers make a beautiful statement. Look for seeds, branches or interesting pieces of bark when you are out walking.
  3. Add some new pieces from local makers and fair trade businesses to create that perfect blend of old and new. Check Magill Road and Unley Road shopping precincts for a lovely range of vintage and new stores, or check online. The Sustainable Home Hub, launching on 2nd September, will list a range of design+build+decorate businesses all in the one place www.sustainablehomehub.com
  4. Use old suitcases and boxes and crates for storage. Get creative – turn crates on their sides and hang as a shelf; stack for a side table with built in storage, build a coffee table from a series of crates with casters for feet, or a stack a group of old cases.
  5. Clocks are brilliant for decorating impact and often easy to find in op shops and vintage stores.
  6. Did I mention flowers? Flowers, flowers and more flowers! Always add flowers to your home.
  7. Contrasts work really well – mix rough with smooth, square with round and old with new. Add pattern and colour but be sure to have neutrals to balance the look.
  8. Get to know the local op shops and what they specialise in. For example, the Salvos on Goodwood Road and North East Road, have a huge range of homewares, collectibles and furniture. Check the smaller ones too, like the Animal Welfare League on Reid Avenue at Tranmere. The Norwood Vinnies can be a treasure trove.
  9. Create nooks in your home that encourage people to linger. Add a vintage chair or two, a locally made artwork on the wall, some comfy cushions and a vase full of flowers. Sit some magazines on the crate side table you have made!
  10. Visit the local markets for absolute decorating gold – there are so many in Adelaide now and you can find a range of vintage and new items to bring home and love.

Sustainable DecoratingHelen Edwards is a writer, blogger and podcaster at www.recycledinteriors.org. You can catch her posts and weekly podcast on the blog and find out more about the Sustainable Home Hub, launching on 2nd September.

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