We have just entered the new year and with it comes the desire for something new.
New goals, new habits, new fashion style, or new look.
And this time of the year, condo dwellers have the same thing in mind: new condo decorations.
However, as we find ways to redecorate condo units, we have to be socially responsible and understand the new challenges we are facing, particularly climate change. Sustainability, being the talk nowadays, can be your guiding light in improving your condo life.
Being socially responsible, however, wouldn’t have to interfere with our desire for stylish and elegant living space. In fact, it can even give you some inspiration for the new look you can give your condo this year!
Today, we are giving you ten sustainable ways to redecorate your condo unit so you can achieve a fresher look without breaking the bank.
Synthetic materials used in fake plants release VOCs (volatile organic compounds) which can be harmful to the environment. If you use real plants, you turn the effects of your decoration in your favor as plants can absorb these toxins better than your ordinary vacuum cleaner or air filter.
New to having plants at home? This may be the year to start taking care of one inside your condo unit as one of your sustainable decorations. You can even get certain types of plants such as rubber figs or succulent plants if you wish for less maintenance and consumption of resources.
Why buy modern, newly-manufactured pieces that are made with various hazardous materials, when you can recycle and go crazy with retro furniture and decorations?
Eco-friendly, vintage pieces are less likely to have VOCs or have already gassed them off during its earlier years. In addition, modern pieces tend to be more fragile due to cutting manufacturing costs and the intentional short lifespan. On the other hand, vintage furniture are designed to withstand time and heavy usage.
You can find retro furniture from your local thrift shops and antique stores, or you may even have one in your parents’/grandparents’ storage room!
Be One with Earth’s Elements
There’s a reason why using stones, glass, and metal are always featured on tips on how to decorate small apartments as well as bigger ones.
These options can instantly make your condo elegant and refreshing. But what makes them even better is that they are very easy to maintain due to their durability.
There are a few places you can incorporate this small condo decorating ideas:
- Small pieces of furniture
- Center tables
Pick Your Wood
Incorporating wood into your small condo living room theme just so you can say it has a sustainable design is one aspect many people get wrong.
While using wood instead of plastic makes sense, there are a few issues that may come with it.
One issue is deforestation and irresponsible wood harvesting. Another issue deals with the chemicals used in sealing and coating hardwood, which releases VOCs into the air.
If you prefer using wood, bamboo is a great alternative. Bamboo is a grass, and it grows quickly unlike other sources of wood making it easy to reproduce. At the same time, bamboo is water resistant, making it durable against water spills. You can use bamboo as wall covers, small furniture, or even use it as your kitchen counter material to give you a rustic feel.
You may also use reclaimed wood or outsource secondhand lumber for a more sustainable wood decoration in your home.
Maximize Natural Lighting
Given the limited source of light for condo units, it is crucial that we find ways to maximize natural light if we wish to live in a sustainable home.
To do this, you can clear the space around your windows and allow more light to enter. You can also place mirrors strategically to help spread light across the room and other places in your condo unit.
Use Mason Jars
When looking for condo decorating ideas, the living room always takes the spotlight. But if you wish to really live a sustainable lifestyle, you need to breathe air into your kitchen as well.
Chances are, you have a few empty mason jars lying around. Instead of storing them, why not use them as a container for raw oats, small cookies, and other treats, or even as your new drinking glass!
While mason jars look appealing inside the kitchen area, you can be creative and fill it with decorative pieces, use it as candle holders, or as mini piggy banks that you can display in your living room. Your imagination is the limit!
Skip the Carpet
New carpets, while pleasing to the eyes (and feet) can be highly toxic. They contain some of the most harmful VOCs due to the chemicals made to glue them and make them stain resistant.
Instead of using carpets made of synthetic materials, find one that is made of natural materials such as wool.
Better yet, skip using any carpet at all.
To maximize the space in your condo unit and achieve a minimalist look, opt for pieces of furniture that have multiple functions.
Think of beds with built-in drawers or storage boxes that can act as a small chair.
This way, you can reduce the materials you are using in your living room without sacrificing precious space.
A Soft Touch
Curtains, pillow covers, beddings, and other areas where you may be using fabric, is a great opportunity for a change to sustainable living.
Most people use cheap synthetic fabric, but these can cause several environmental issues. Aside from being easily damaged, they also emit harmful VOCs due to their treatment during the manufacturing process.
Invest in fabrics that use natural and washable fibers. You may opt to use organic cotton, linen, and hemp. Not only will it contain little to no pollutant, but it is also more durable, allowing you to use them for years.
Channel Your Inner Artisan
You can absolutely make handmade decorative and functional art pieces for your home, and you can show these pieces off to your guests.
Some examples would be paper mache vases or baskets, cork mats, and refurbished crates and boxes.
The rule, however, is to reuse old items instead of buying them.
These ideas are easy to do and can be done slowly to convert your condo into a sustainable living space.
But before you make any changes, consider any possible restrictions imposed by the developer and approach the admin office. In most cases, you should not do anything that may affect the electrical wiring or plumbing system. Making changes to floors, ceilings, partitions, bathroom, and kitchen fixtures may be allowed, but confirming with the building admin can remove any doubt.
Switching to a sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle may be the best change you can make this year. With the tips provided above, you can start your transition smoothly and with style.