Before & After: A Nature Inspired Living Room
Before: Bland & Boring
Like lots of living spaces, this room was long, narrow, and devoid of character -- plus two door openings made arranging furniture tricky. The room was in desperate need of an update.
After: Bright & Beautiful
With lots of potential, the space was converted to a galley-type space using two small love seats across from one another to open up the space. A bright color palette awakened the dull room and gave it new life.
This eco-friendly living room played up the green experience by using a nature-influenced color scheme. Floral, fern, and bird motifs on the walls and accessories reinforce the room's natural attributes. Accent walls feature yellow wallpaper made from water-base inks and low-chemical paint.
Unfinished bookcases and drawers help create the look of a built-in home office area and offer plenty of storage. Materials from nature--raw wood, cork, wicker, hemp, and even potted grass--add great texture to open shelves. Add out-of-date maps as book covers for a fun and funky detail. Get creative with salvaged materials. Here, old suitcases are stacked to use for bonus storage.
Add personality with vintage finds. Here, a punchy green chenille bedspread is used to upholster the chair seat. Repurposing items--using something in a different way than it was originally intended for--is where your DIY ingenuity really comes into play and is a great green way of decorating, because it prevents items from filling up landfills.
Seated in Nature
The love seats are created from sustainable wood frames, upholstered in organic cotton, and filled with plant-based foam. Another green tip is to use reclaimed wood to furnish a living room, meaning using wood that has not been taken from a live-growth tree, but instead from an existing source such as old buildings, railroads or dead trees. These aged pieces are then milled into flooring, paneling, beams, and furniture such as the stacking tables in this living room.
Make your own artwork and accessories from vintage finds used in clever ways. Add mirrors to old windows and plate fronts for reflective art. Here, vintage pieces were painted white to create interesting wall art.
Green Window Treatments
To give the windows an eco-chic makeover use rods and finials made from renewable woods, which are woods made from quick growing and easy-to-replace plants. Also using vintage and natural fabrics such as cotton and wool for the window treatments adds a green touch to the project.
This rustic lamp was made from a square molding end cap and a table leg cut to size using a home center lamp kit. A fresh coat of paint, an updated shade, and a new finial complete the look. This eco-friendly project uses recycled materials, which includes using anything that has been created from an existing product--such as the table leg.
Personalize throw pillows by converting any image to fabric using image-transfer paper and an iron. Buy the paper online and use a computer to make the print. Place the image face down on the right side of the fabric and iron, following the package directions to set the image. Then, simply peel off the backing to reveal the image on the fabric--instant gratification.
Here, a butterfly print on a throw pillow is the product of a transfer print project, resulting in a beautiful, personal accessory. This room was furnished using eco and repurposed alternatives, including furniture and pillows made with organic cotton.
Want to transfer an image to fabric, similar to the butterfly pillow? Watch and see how easy an iron-on transfer project can be.