Believe it or not, your choices for home decor and design make a difference in this world. Besides impacting your own life and well-being, these choices affect your relationships with others, as well as your community and even the Earth. From repurposing unneeded items to downsizing into the perfectly sized micro-home, even a minor decor choice can have a major positive impact on the world.
1. Pass It On
Good home decor doesn’t have to mean new home decor. Online resale entities such as newcomers Chairish and Viyet showcase quality pre-owned furniture, decor and home accents offered by individual sellers. Whether you’re no longer into your ’60s dining room set or you’re ready for a few small sculptural pieces to display in the living room’s built-in bookcases, these are the sites for you. Unlike eBay or Craigslist, both sites are user-friendly, attractive and operate more like online stores. Each item for sale is curated by a staff member and everything must be approved before it goes live on the site. The end result: less clutter in your home and the landfill as unneeded decor pieces can enjoy lengthy lifespans in their new homes.
2. Sunken Treasure
“Deadhead” logs – logs cut hundreds of years ago and lost as they were sent floating over lakes and rivers to be milled – provide a sustainable source of excellent wood with absolutely zero impact on live trees and forests. Logging was big business in early colonized North America. Trees were abundant and settlers needed wood for homes and storefronts. Much of the wood cut during the 1700s and 1800s came from old-growth forests full of trees valued for their durable, attractive wood grain. Many of these logs never made it to the sawmill. Instead, they’re resting on the bottoms of lakes and rivers, preserved by tannins in the wood and the conditions of the lake and river bottom. Once harvested, dried and cut into slabs or boards, these logs become tables, floorboards, decor pieces and even musical instruments with excellent tonal quality.
3. Go Global for Global Good
Retailers such as Ten Thousand Villages and To The Market offer an eclectic assortment of goods sourced globally, much like other decor imports stores but with one big difference: every item in the store is made by an artisan in an impoverished or otherwise underprivileged area. The income earned from crafting the goods supplies artists with means to support themselves and their families, resulting in better lives and better living environments. Uncommon Goods offers a slightly different take on the purchase-to-help-others business model. For each purchase you make, they’ll donate $1 to a select non-profit organization of your choice.
4. Create Your Ideal Mindset With Color
We’ve all heard how color can impact our moods; blue or lavender in the bedroom helps the mind rest, while green in the home office enhances focus and concentration. Green can also inspire a sense of well-being, perhaps due to the abundance of green in nature. Red evokes a sense of energy, which can inspire conversation and the appetite (and yes, your favorite restaurant’s decorator knows this). But red’s energy and excitement can also increase blood pressure and the heart rate. Choose a color for each room that puts you in the best possible mindset based on the purpose of the room. You’ll reap the benefits of a happier attitude, sharing it through your interactions within the house and far beyond its walls. It may sound simple or silly, but your positive mindset creates a chain reaction, however small, affecting every interpersonal interaction. This is how we change our world.
5. Sun-Powered Style
Solar lighting has come a long way, baby. Even solar landscaping lights have undergone a decorative overhaul, such as these impressive cattail lights. Add a solar chandelier to your pergola or patio area for a little illuminated elegance after dark. Pretend there’s a party every day with these Chinese lantern-inspired solar string lights. Go portable with solar orbs that look just as great around the yard as they do floating in the pool or displayed on a table during an indoor after-dark soiree. How solar lights help the world: they don’t rely on the power grid. In other words, they’re the gift that keeps on giving (light).
6. Micro Majesty
Micro homes – typically 500 square feet or less – have reached epic levels on the “what’s trendy” scale, and for good reason. Not only do they cost a lot less to build and maintain than a standard home, but they encourage a simpler, less expensive way of life. They’re an homage to the “less is more” lifestyle. Every square inch of space is well thought out in advance, from the floor plan to the furniture, storage spaces and even the decor.
The average DIY micro home costs just $29,000 to build, compared to the typical standard house on the market at upwards of $169,000, according to Zillow’s 2014 statistics. Micro homes also require a lot less land than a typical house, so even a tiny plot can accommodate one or more homes, as long as local zoning laws allow it. Micro homes help reduce long-term debt, can be built quickly and provide home ownership options for those who may otherwise not be able to afford a house. If you think a micro home sounds right for you, consider renting a cabin or a tiny apartment for a while first. For some, it takes a major – but worthwhile – mindset change to switch to a simple, small, streamlined home.
7. A (re)Purposeful Life for Old Furnishings
Upcycling, aka repurposing, gives new life to all the (old) things: a solid wood door becomes a coffee table; a dining room buffet becomes an amazing bathroom vanity with built-in storage. Virtually any furnishing with good, solid structure can be turned into something else when it is no longer needed for its original purpose. Before you toss out that vintage suitcase or lunchbox collection, consider new ways to put it to use around the house. You just may amaze yourself. Every time you avoid throwing away a useful object – or when you salvage one from the curb or a thrift store – you’re doing some good for the environment. Everyone wins!
Here at Fracture, we believe that earth-friendly business practices are the only way to go. We make every effort to recycle and conserve here at our office and manufacturing headquarters. Every day is a new opportunity to leave a positive impact on our environment.