The best way to go green with your interiors is to invest in quality vintage items, restore and upcycle. Creating beautiful interiors with uncompromising style all while being kind to the environment.
ECO IDEAS —
When you invest in quality, it will last the distance. Try and resist the urge to buy something cheap because you want it now – instead give yourself time to find exactly what you love and then save to invest in something beautiful that you will not only treasure but you will have forever. If you can adapt to this way of shopping, not only will you have a home filled with beautiful things that you love, but you will therefore look after your things better and they will last longer. Saving the landfill filling up with cheap broken items. Also think about getting fixed rather than just buying new, It is very tempting to just go out and buy new and we feel justified in doing it when something breaks but we need to start being a little more old fashioned and get back to fixing things.
Mood board — Testpots from top in Resene Karaka, Resene Family Tree, Resene Mother Nature and Resene Half Black White. A4 drawdowns from left in Resene Family Tree and Resene Mother Nature. Resene Wallpaper Collection 5223-2. Lidded box painted in Resene Karaka and wooden box stained in Resene Cedar. Floor boards in wood stain Resene Tiri.
Room view — Wall in Resene Family Tree and floor in woodstain Resene Tiri. From left on floor: Crete Pot, 19th Century, French Oak Side Table, late 19th Century: French Harvest Basket, French Cognac Glass Bottle, French Bridge Chair, circa 1950's, all from The Vitrine. On table from left: Ceramic Confit Pot, The Vitrine; Round Art glass, Babelogue; Italian Ceramic Confit Pots, The Vitrine; Small vintage glass bottles, Beeswax candles, Flotsam and Jetsam; Brass candlesticks, Babelogue; French Cloche with Footed Stand, 19th Century, The Vitrine; Circle candlestick, Babelogue; Portuguese Brass and Copper Bowls, the Vitrine; Brass birds and books, stylists own. On wall: Curtis Jere Brass Birds In Flight Sculpture, Mr. Bigglesworthy.
Use furniture made from natural materials and start eliminating plastic from your home. Furniture made from natural wood and other organic or sustainable materials are the best way to create an environmentally friendly home.
If you are in need of an instant makeover and just want a change, before purchasing more things, consider these eco makeover ideas.
A paint update or adding a wallpaper can dramatically change the look and feel of your space without a huge investment or a huge cost to the environment.
Updating or upcycling your furniture with a new shade of wood stain or freshening it up with your favourite new paint colour is another great way to makeover what you have with little impact on the environment.
For those who need that shopping fix on a regular basis, how about investing in plants and fresh flowers. Fresh blooms and foliage add an instant focal point to a room and have the wow factor. It is also a great eco friendly way to invest in something that does not have a huge cost to the environment and also makes for a fresh and healthy home.
Rework your displays using what you have hidden in storage. Try using a trolley or sideboard and restyling it with vintage treasures that you might have hidden away.
Wall in Resene Wallpaper Collection 5223-2 (top) and Resene Mother Nature. Left wall in Resene Family Tree. Floor in woodstain Resene Tiri.
On wall from left: Curtis Jere Brass Birds In Flight Sculpture, Mr. Bigglesworthy. Artworks from left Portrait of the woman; Victorian black mirror ; No 2, ; Portrait of man ; all from Flotsam and Jetsam. German Pendant, circa 1950's, The Vitrine. French Oak Side Table, late 19th Century and French Cognac Glass Bottle, both from The Vitrine. On table: Portuguese Brass and Copper Bowls, the Vitrine. Circle candlestick, Babelogue. Brass birds stylists own. Sharp Danish Organic armchair and sofa, Jens Risom 'Model 611' Cloud Coffee Table, Mr. Bigglesworthy. Vintage Turkish cushions, Antique Kurdish Kilim, Babelogue. On coffee table: Kauri vase, brass vase, both from Babelogue. Brass dish, bell and candles all stylists' own.
With big ticket items such as a sofa or dining chairs, look into recovering them. If you still love the shape and comfort this could be a great option. It is not always that much cheaper than buying new but it certainly is better for the environment and you end up with a bespoke piece of furniture that nobody else has as you selected the fabric.
If you are going to get rid of the old furniture and invest in some new items, think about what you are going to do with the old furniture so that it doesn't end up in the landfill. Selling your second-hand goods is not only great to get a bit of revenue but it also means that it is going to a home where it will have continued use and have value. So even if you don’t get a high price for the item it is a worthy investment of your time. If you cannot sell your items there are many great organisations you could donate or gift them to. The goal is to make sure nothing ends up in the landfill. When searching for your new favourite thing
When considering your next purchase, don’t just think about new but think about adding cool vintage pieces to your collection. With so many great stores around that sell either beautiful mid-century furniture or vintage finds from far and wide it would be crazy to not consider these options. With so much history and craftsmanship in these older pieces, they really add some magic to an interior space.
Artwork — Wall in Resene Wallpaper Collection 5223-2 (top) and Resene Mother Nature. French Bistro Chair, circa 1950's, The Vitrine. Artworks (from left); Portrait of the woman, Victorian black mirror No 2, Portrait of man; all from Flotsam and Jetsam.
Corner with trolley — Walls in Resene Family Tree and floor in woodstain Resene Tiri. Pot, trolley, small potted stand and trunk all painted in Resene Noir, with trim on trunk in Resene Alabaster; all stylists own. From left: NZ Made French Coat Hooks, Horse Sign, black mirror and Number 1, all from Flotsam and Jetsam. Live Simple sign and small card, stylists' own. On Trolley: Modern glass vase Flotsam and Jetsam; Candle, silver jug and small pot plant, all stylists' own; Belgian Endive wooden market baskets, The Vitrine; Beeswax candles and metal storage bins, Vintage truck, Flotsam and Jetsam; French Faux Bamboo Mirror, early 20th Century, The Vitrine; Vintage Turkish cushion, Babelogue.
Sitting room — Walls in Resene Wallpaper Collection 5223-2 (top) and Resene Mother Nature, side wall in Resene Family Tree; Floor in woodstain Resene Tiri. From left: Weaved bottle from Flotsam and Jetsam; Rocking chair, vintage find and wood edge stained in Resene Natural; Lane 'Rhythm' Mid-Century American Credenza, Westclox Twin Ray Starburst Clock, whites aviation photography – cockle bay, 'President' Table Lamp By Jo Hammerberg, Vintage Bmf 'Wavy' Candlestick Holder, all from Mr. Bigglesworthy; Old hospital silver watering jug, stylists' own; French Cloche with Footed Stand, 19th Century, The Vitrine; French Jug, Flotsam and Jetsam; Candle, book and white vase, all stylists' own.
If deciding on flooring options, think about sustainability – stone, wood, cork or linoleum options are the best or some sustainable bamboo composites. Vinyl (polyvinyl chloride, or PVC) is made of toxic plastic, while linoleum can be made from jute, which is bacteria-resistant and biodegradable.
Cut down on the cookie-cutter, mass-produced look of your home’s interior by using recycled and recyclable materials (e.g., reclaimed wood, repurposed items) into the new build or renovation. Where possible, use local materials to cut down on transportation costs and emissions.
You don’t have to hang artwork on a plain wall, try mixing up art, mirrors and graphic components on a patterned wallpaper. The trick to making it work is making the sure the scale of the wallpaper is very different to the scale of the artwork - we have chosen a small repetitive wallpaper print and hung simple large portraits and objects so there is a contrast. We have also kept all the artwork in similar colours of warm yellow tones and bold black, against the green of the wallpaper and paint.
Styling by Amber Armitage. Photography by Melanie Jenkins/Flash Studios. 2021
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