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Bring in the new year with green home design

Robin Baron began her career as a fashion designer and understands that like fashion, home design has a significant influence on attitudes, energy, and inspiration.

Robin has appeared as a home design expert on radio and television s...

How to stay true to your eco-conscience

The new year is here, and we are all thinking about our resolutions whether they are improvements to our lives, communities, or ourselves.
Green home decor

One of my resolutions is to continue recycling, reducing, and reusing and to inspire others to do the same. The new year might be just the right time for you to refresh your home while maintaining a commitment to eco-consciousness! Here’s my quick green guide to home design.

Go green home guide

Recycle logo

Recycle

We all need to continue recycling our plastic bottles, paper, and cans. So why not go a step further and purchase materials made from recycled products to refurbish our homes? These recycled tiles from Sustain Interiors or countertop materials from Icestone serve as a perfect example. When it comes to eco-friendly design, you no longer have to sacrifice style! Whether you need tile, countertops, or flooring you will have no problem finding an eco-conscious option that fits seamlessly into your design style.

Reduce

There are many home décor companies that strive to reduce their carbon footprint and more often than ever, you will now find furniture, accessories, and building materials made from naturally sustainable materials. Bamboo is a great example. Almost any household item can be found in the material, and bamboo is also a great flooring option. Bamboo regenerates eight times faster than many other wood sources, making it sustainable and a responsible choice.

There also many furniture companies (both large and small), like Vanguard or Cresent Fine Furniture that have taken steps to drastically reduce their carbon footprint through business practices that avoid unnecessary waste and the irresponsible use of natural resources.

Reuse

Reuse has to be my favorite of the "three r's." Reusing antiques and repurposing found objects always seems like an adventure to me and can be a fun hobby. When it comes to home design, there are so many ways to reuse! Ever think of taking wine boxes to make bookshelves or using old window shutters or an old iron gate as a headboard?

One of the best ways to reuse is by installing reclaimed wood as flooring or even as paneling on a wall. In fact, I often prefer this, as the imperfections create great character that, like wisdom, only age can provide. Pulling wood from old barns and factories and giving it new life just thrills me and provides a unique end result! Pioneer Millworks is an example of a company doing just that. As the largest domestic resource for reclaimed wood, the company provides wood in an array of styles from elegant to rustic.

Whether you are making small changes to your home or embarking on a complete overhaul, there's always a way to keep it green! Check out the Sustainable Furnishings Council Web site – it's chock full of information for designing green in 2011.

More for your eco-friendly home

Pros and cons of going solar in your home
Easy ways to go green in the kitchen
5 Simple swaps for a sustainable home

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