After a while our homes need a change or some updating. They can seem tired and old and in need of a little refreshing. Ideally, perhaps, you might like to move to a larger home but the economy has you worried and you want to spend your money wisely. So instead, you’ve decided to renovate your home not only to perk it up but to better accommodate your current needs and lifestyle. If you haven’t thought to do so already, you might want to think about some environmentally savvy ways to renovate your home.
Don’t get caught up with having to have the newest and shiniest. Think about other materials like reclaimed wood which is not only an environmentally sound choice, but sublimely handsome and growing in popularity in all sorts of home renovation projects. Reclaimed wood is a great choice for counter-tops, flooring, and walls. One CKD (certified kitchen designer) recently used reclaimed wood around a kitchen hood. In the end, you will save time, money and energy that would be required to produce a similar and newer product.
If you plan on tearing down walls or even knocking down entire rooms, walk around your home first to see what you can salvage and re-use beforehand. Not only is this eco-friendly, but it will save money in the end. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Most likely there is a ton of material you can salvage and re-use. Consider everything from light fixtures, to flooring, tile, bricks, cabinets and molding. If you plan on replacing the chandelier in your dining room, instead of tossing it, think about using it in another room – maybe your kitchen, your daughter’s bedroom, even a bathroom!
So you really don’t want that dining room chandelier in any other room. Don’t toss it, instead bring it to Goodwill or a consignment shop. Perhaps you even have a crafty friend who might enjoy repainting and re-purposing it. Another great option for your chandelier, as well as other items like appliances and cabinets, is Habitat for Humanity. Not only do they welcome all unwanted materials, but they sell all donations and 100% of the proceeds from these materials are used to build new homes for the underprivileged. With this in mind, not only are you being environmentally friendly, but you are truly giving back to the community.
When you are shopping around for new appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers and ovens look for those that are the most energy efficient. These products have the Energy Star logo right on them and will give you all the information you need. Many of these large appliances, especially the upscale refrigerators, generate a lot of electricity. For many people these high-end appliances are not only cost prohibitive initially, but they will end up costing a great deal more to run as well.
Habitat for Humanity is one such retailer, but there are many across the country, some even specialize in high-end products. This can be a great and cost-effective way to redo your home. If, in the end, that SubZero fridge is an absolute must have, you could save thousands of dollars buying one that has been used for a couple of years. Cabinets may be the largest expense of a kitchen renovation, these salvage shops often have high quality cabinets in fabulous condition. It’s an idea certainly worth investigating.
As I just mentioned, the greatest expense of any kitchen remodel may very well be your cabinets. Instead of replacing them altogether, consider repainting them or simply refacing them. Most likely your cabinets are in great conditions. New doors and drawers can give seemingly tired cabinets a whole new life!
Low voc paints are earth-friendly and better for you and your family. Benjamin Moore, for example, a leader in paint technology and innovation since 1883, offers their Natura No-Voc Paint. This paint is practically odorless, 100% acrylic and splatter resistant. It’s self priming and carries the “Green to Promise” designation. Best of all the Natura line is available in every Benjamin Moore color!
Choose a high quality insulation. The better insulated your home is, the better it is protected from the elements. Your home will stay warmer in the wintertime, allowing you to keep your thermostat at a lower setting, and cooler during those hot summer months.
Many people are starting to consider solar energy when remodeling their homes. Solar energy can impact you heating bill as well. Skylights and solar panels are known to keep energy costs down. They can be used to heat, or help heat a home, and often give enough power for small items like fountains to run.
Antique shops and consignment shops are great places to visit for items such as doorknobs, light fixtures and even mantels. Not only does this help your bottom line, but these repurposed items will add a charm and warmth to your home that simply cannot be replicated by their newer counterparts.
In the end, choosing to renovate your home in an eco-friendly manner not only helps the environment but allows you to do so while giving back to your community while saving some serious money. What’s not to like about being environmentally savvy when it comes to your home?
Trina Turk Pillows at burkedecor.com offer vibrantly patterned statements. Nuloom Ikat Rugs come in a variety of patterns and colors to give your floor a modern look. DENY Designs Bianca Green Throw Blanket at wayfair.com adds graphic detailing to your apartment-size sofa. Banksy Life Is Beautiful Canvas Print at icanvas.com is available in several sizes for a wall needing an urban edge. Surya Cosmopolitan Transitional Area Rug at amazon.com has a bold, graphic pattern that gives a small space an expansive feel. Don’t give up on your apartment just because it’s small. Give it the high-design look you’ve always wanted; it’s easier than you might think, thanks to these products and tips. The saying “Good things come in small packages” is popular for a reason. Use it as your small-apartment-living mantra.
When square footage is limited, the last thing you need is an obstacle course of furniture to weave through. Stick to the basics of what you need to enjoy your space. This doesn’t mean you need to live in an empty apartment; it means you should select pieces that serve double duty. Some ideas for multifunctional furniture include. An ottoman (even better: a storage ottoman). It can convert your sofa into a chaise sectional or work as a coffee table (with a tray on top for stability) or extra seating. A sofa table. This can serve as a makeshift dining table, a desk or an entryway table. Go the extra mile and choose a narrow 30-inch-high bookcase or a sofa table with shelving. Stacking, self-storing furniture. Nesting side tables have a variety of uses. A bench. It can serve as dining room seating, a coffee table or a low media cabinet.