Second-hand decorating: a very green choice
Incorporating green or sustainable techniques and materials is a growing trend in residential design. Home centers now offer many environmentally friendly product choices like low VOC paints and flooring that utilizes recycled material. But recycling doesn’t always involve shredding and reforming items into something new and different. There are countless useful, recyclable objects to be found that require little or no modification. Flea markets, garage sales, secondhand stores, and Craigslist are great resources for very green, very interesting choices.
Aside from being a worthy ecological option, incorporating previously-owned objects into your project prevents a rubber-stamped, matchy-matchy look. By combining mismatched elements, a space develops unique character that reflects the creativity of its owner. By its idiosyncratic nature it becomes a true one-of-a-kind design. And an imperfect collection of objects also presents the impression of having evolved over time.
A room filled with pristine new items can bring anxiety over keeping things in there perfect condition. Surroundings that incorporate previously-used objects have a more relaxed, comfortable feel. They make it easy to achieve a space that is casual but stylish. This may be especially appealing to people with young children, pets, and even teenagers. Second-hand decorating is also easier on the budget than buying everything new, so it’s great for new home makers, or people who like to refresh their spaces frequently. In fact, it’s a great option for anyone on a fixed decorating budget. It doesn’t take much to get a fresh look by mixing a few eclectic pieces with existing furnishings.
A few tips:
*some objects may need repairs for safety, like rewiring a lamp
*use neutral colors on sofas and chairs; slipcovers are a great solution
*use accessories and paint to pull everything together
*if you develop a collection of similar objects, display them as a group for best effect
*when you see a great, inexpensive object, buy it, even without a specific idea of
how to use it…you may repurpose it later and you may never see one like it!
Decorating with recycled items is a great idea for anyone who wants to create a unique, inexpensive, relaxed space on a small budget. And when you’re ready for a change, sell or donate your items so repeat the process.