Eco Friendly Home Redecorating
By Cheryl Grace
Redecorating your home room by room is a simple and economical approach to transforming your environment into your personal paradise. Begin with the rooms that you use the most and consider a complete make over, including a fresh coat of paint, non-toxic floors, easy to clean window treatments, comfortable furniture, inspiring artwork, and accessories that best represent your personal taste and personality. And with each replacement, choose safe and eco friendly products that will enhance your décor and improve the quality of energy in your surroundings.
First take everything out of room and do thorough cleaning using chemical free products. Most household products, including cleaning, disinfecting, polishing and freshening chemicals contain various levels of toxicity. There are many green cleaning products on the market or you can make your own all-purpose cleaner.
It may be time to consider replacing your flooring with a greener choice. Carpets are often made of synthetic material or the material has been doused in pesticides and they are also notorious for housing dust mites. Carpet backings may also be treated carcinogenic materials. The new smell of carpet is actually the out-gassing of VOC’s. When choosing area rugs, select natural materials, such as wool, cotton, or jute. Washable rugs are a good choice to keep dust mites at bay.
There are many great choices for flooring including stone, slate, brick, tile, mosaic, terrazzo and concrete. However, growing favorites include bamboo, solid wood, and cork. Bamboo is a grass that doesn’t require pesticides and fertilizers to grow and is dense and as hard wearing as oak. Cork is an entirely sustainable crop, comes in many beautiful designs and is durable and resistant to water. Sustainable hardwoods or softwoods can be found as prefinished floors or refurbished wood. Avoid engineered and composite flooring, particleboard, plywood, and vinyl.
A new coat of low or non-VOV paint in a medium range flat hue will add vitality to any room. Synthetic paint uses petrochemicals during the manufacturing process and disposal of unused paint are nonbiodegradable. Select a durable natural or organic paint, such as Benjamin Moore’s Aura, which is low VOC and covers most surfaces in a single coat or Benjamin Moore’s Saman that is a water-based wood stain. Eco friendly paint is derived from plants and minerals that contain food-safe ingredients, including essential oils, beeswax, tree resins, and mineral pigments. Casein point is another solid choice for unfinished, plaster, wood, or earth walls, as it doesn’t peel or chip and is VOC free.
There are some wallpaper choices made out of recycled paper, however, the culprit is the adhesive backing. Be careful of dyes, inks and mold inhibitors on the wallpaper.
Window treatment fabrics are often saturated with chemicals dyes including pesticides needed to ward off resilient pests present during the growth of cotton and yarn fiber. Chlorine and formaldehyde are just two of the toxic chemicals used for cleaning, bleaching, softening and wrinkle free applications and preshrinking fibers into fabric. Look for fabric for curtains and furniture made with organic cotton or sustainable man-made fabrics manufactured with recycled materials. Natural color dyes are mainly neutral colors such as beige and brown. Or choose other natural options, such as certified wood products for window cover.
Now you’re ready for staging your room with your furniture, artwork, and accessories. Be aware of the function of the room and place only those objects that best suits the activity the room is designed for. For example, children’s toys, workout and office equipment, and craft projects should not be placed in the master bedroom. Next select a theme to inspire the selection of décor, color, style, artwork and accessories. Use what you have in the home first, but avoid purchasing any new objects or products that are organic, eco friendly, safe, and chemical free. Every purchase that is unrecyclable ultimately impacts the earth.
Cheryl Grace is a professional Feng Shui expert, nationally certified interior refiner, and winner of the 2008-09-10 Natural Choice Award for Favorite Feng Shui Practitioner. For a consultation for your home or business or to contact Cheryl, e-mail ggRedecorating@yahoo.com or call 941-400-3816. Visit www.ggRedecorating.com to shop for contemporary Feng Shui décor and enhancements, or to find a list of Feng Shui seminars taught by Cheryl. For daily Feng Shui tips, follow Cheryl on Twitter and her Blog at www.Twitter.com/FengShuiSimply ; www.Twitter.com/FengShuiGreen; www.FengShuiSimply.blogspot.com