It’s an incredible day here in Durham, NC. The sun’s rays filter through the budding leaves, creating wonderful shadow patterns that move slowly in the gentle breeze. The cloudless sky reminds me why they call it Carolina Blue and the only sound I hear are birds calling to each other asking where to get breakfast. It is truly a day that makes me thankful for all of that the Earth has to offer.
I spent two full days at the International Furniture Market in High Point over the weekend. Sofas, cocktail tables, lamps and leather where everywhere and I spent a great deal of time appreciating all of them. And yet, it was one booth in an obscure corner of market that caught my eye.
By trade, David is a photographer in Atlanta. But his booth had nothing to do wall art. Instead, he took discarded things and turned them into chandeliers and lamps. He had funnels, wash basins, garden fencing hanging upside down, their insides awash with light and hanging from the ceiling. An old rotary phone was turned into a desk lamp. He even took an old gas pump, dismantled it and used the number wheels as a lamp base. They were amazing! I could see the phone lamp so easily in a home office. How fun would THAT be?!
The timing of my trip, Earth Day, made me realize that we can do so much to our home these type of new, funky and useful statement pieces that were once considered trash.
Here are some ways that you can put planet-friendly pieces in your home and still have it be chic:
- Kitchen: Did you know that there are cabinets that have created from corregated cardboard? That’s right! The box that your last Amazon or Zappos delivery came in could be used a new pantry! Its a great look and very Earth friendly. What do you do with your old cabinets? Garage, closets and playrooms can benefit from the additional storage but you could also donate them to Habitat for Humanity and let another family experience the joy of a family meal created in their own kitchen.
- Bathrooms: Bamboo makes a terrific material for cabinets. Recycled glass tiles add zip to tub and shower walls. Speaking of recycled glass, concrete counter tops will sparkle when you add it to the mix.
- Home office: An accent wall created entirely of cork. So glamorous and obviously useful for hanging project time lines, soccer schedules and your favorite cut-out comic strip.
- Entry: Do you know that old chair that you have there now? The one that no one ever sits on but fits the space but needs a bit of resuscitation Why not reupholster it…with canvas…that has a painting on it? Have it on a white cork tile floor and simple floor lamp and you a funky welcome space.
- Living spaces: An ottoman made from an old area rug is not only beautiful but it’s incredible functional. I mean, you put your FEET up on the ottoman, right?
Using colors and materials that you find in nature (I hate using the word “Organic” as it’s so overused but that’s the only word that applies) will never go out of style. This year, emerald green, coral pink and peacock blue were all over Market. These colors reminiscent of lush grass, deep waters and sunrise-painted skies are a wonderful way to tip your hat to our planet. Using stone, glass and metals add a layer of texture that not only shows your appreciation of our Mother but creates a warm and inviting space.
Yes, there are obvious things: use the Earth-friendly light bulbs. Use low CF paints. But it’s those not-so-obvious things, the things that make you stop and say “Oh my gosh! How cool!” that will really make you home a little more Earth friendly without sacrificing style.