Spring has finally sprung! Hopefully you’re enjoying the first warm days of the season and sight of flowers and trees bursting into bloom. Many of us are deep into spring cleaning mode, but as you open the windows and clean out all the dusty corners, take a minute and see how you can incorporate some eco-friendly choices into your home and daily routine.
You don’t have to be completely green to make a difference for the environment and your home health. Eco-friendly ideas can work with any style and save you some money at the same time. You know I love everything farmhouse, so here are a few tips for spring!
Natural Wood Furniture
Reclaimed wood, refinished pieces and distressed furniture (natural or man-made), fit in beautifully with a farmhouse design. Quality pieces made from reclaimed wood or secondhand are in the spirit of reduce, recycle, reuse and capture the rustic style. While you can find tons of options in stores that are made with a distressed feel, looking for secondhand and consignment wood pieces can often also be a more cost-effective route. Going for restored and secondhand pieces are usually more unique than mass-produced pieces and have a smaller ecological footprint. Shop around antique stores and markets and online to see if you can snag a deal on a one-of-a-kind piece to fit your design.
There are some types of furniture that no matter what your style you probably don’t want to buy secondhand, but want to make sure are green and healthy for your home. Particularly furnished pieces and places where you spend a lot of time, or that can affect your health you’ll want to buy new. Along with soft seating, large pieces like mattresses are best purchased new to provide adequate support and are available in non-toxic and low VOC materials. For a variety of reasons like allergens, pests and wear and tear, that would be expensive and time-consuming to repair, sometimes new is the better option.
Another way to embrace a healthy and green home is with natural cleaners which can be gentler on the farmhouse sinks, hardwood floors and stainless steel surfaces that make a farmhouse style shine. Not only is there a growing selection of brands that offer a variety of cleaning supplies with natural ingredients, but there’s always the tried and true homemade combinations that won’t ruin your decor.
While you should never put anything on your furniture or appliances before doing your research, countless options for everything from DIY bathroom cleaners to windows can be made from household ingredients like vinegar, salt, water and even essential oils. Using less harsh chemicals can mean less fumes and cleaner indoor air and surfaces safe for children and pets.
Natural Fibers & Greenery
Part of the charm of farmhouse style is embracing the spirit of being in wide open spaces. Bring as much green as you can indoors, from potted plants that can clean the air to a fresh herb garden to grace your kitchen windows. Galvanized metal pieces and vintage milk bottles cut down on plastic and are easy to clean and make perfect additions to hold fresh or artificial flowers. Chalkboards and vintage signs provide great backgrounds to join plants on shelves and wall displays.
Look for sturdy fabrics like linen, canvas and burlap that mirror the working textiles in the country that make chic coverings for accent pillows and curtains. Much like the fabrics, look for natural colors as well like weathered greys, soft whites, yellows and beige. Even for city-dwellers, surrounding yourself with nature and rustic fabrics will create a cozy farmhouse feel in no time!