Living With Style: Green Living at Home

By Sasha Witte
Gazette Columnist
Sep 8th, 2018 

Caring about our environment is an important topic these days. 

And while we think about it on a global scale, let’s also consider ways to explore it in our homes — the center of our life on this planet. Here are a few ideas to consider.

Add Color

 
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Living With Style: Low VOC Painting

Consider Low VOC paint to lessen the number of toxins in your home.

Looking to repaint this year?  Low VOC (volatile organic compound paints) are more widely available today than ever before.  Both Benjamin Moore & Dunn Edwards have excellent low VOC paints readily available in any of your favorite colors.

From my experience, the interior wall paints with the low VOC’s work terrific!  And clients with sensitivity have been very pleased at how they don’t impact their breathing in a negative way, even when the paint is still drying.

Insulate

Before repainting your interior, consider having insulation blown into your walls.  Small holes will be made in your walls, but these can be patched prior to painting.  Insulation will assist with lowering heating and cooling costs.

Work with the Sunshine

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Living With Style: Curtains, Energy

The right window treatments can assist you with the climate control of your home.

Window treatments can be a powerful assistant in retaining heated or cooled air inside your living spaces. 

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Living With Style: Warm Lighting

CFL and LED bulbs still look warm when seen thru a linen shade.

Of course, much can be achieved by putting in quality windows that assist with temperature control, but even the treatments we place over our windows can help make a difference.

South facing windows can collect a lot of warmth for the home in the winter months, but during the hot season can be covered with drapery or shades that also add beauty to the interior.

Lighting

As a general rule, I’m not a big fan of how fluorescent lights look or the light that they create.  However, when placed behind a colored or a linen shade, they create a warm glow that is quite pleasant and will save you greatly on those electric bills.

And, of course, the new LED light fixtures are wonderful and can be purchased to achieve warmer or cooler light – depending on your preference.  They also will save you tremendously on your electricity bill!

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Living With Style: Dimming Lights

Just as important as the right light fixture, dimming not only helps you set the scene, it saves you in energy costs.

Dimming

Just as important as lighting, in my opinion, is dimming.  This is the ultimate control of the mood you set in a space.  And dimming your lights regularly will also use a lot less power.

Tile & Counters

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Living With Style: Tile Slabs

Tile and slab manufacturers are embracing the use of recycled content, and it looks great.

Both these materials have come a long way in recent years towards having attractive well priced products that incorporate a lot of recycled content.  Many manufacturers know this wins them good "street cred" and are upfront about advertising their use of recycled content.

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Living With Style: Draperies, Upholstery

There is amazing bedding, drapery and upholstery fabrics now available in sustainable bamboo.

Fabric

There are some amazing drapery and upholstery fabrics being created these days made from bamboo – one of the most sustainable products on the planet.

Flooring

Two of the most wonderful green flooring options available these days are bamboo and cork. 

Area Rugs

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Living With Style: Area Rugs

Consider the beautiful area rugs now being made with hemp and organic dyes.

Looking for area rugs?  Consider one of the beautiful area rugs being made from hemp and died with organic dies.

Energy Star Appliances

I’ve known folks who cut their energy bill in half when they remodeled their kitchen and installed only Energy Star rated appliances.  It’s worth the small additional cost spent while making the purchase.

Re-Create What You Have

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Living With Style: re-upholstering

Give new life to quality pieces you have already invested in by re-upholstering them.

Instead of buying all new furniture, see where you can give new life to existing pieces by jazzing them up with new fabrics or finishes.  I’ve seen restained and re-upholstered pieces have such a complete new personality that their owners barely recognize them as the same piece!

Improve Your Air Quality

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Living With Style: Air Quality

Improve your air quality by adding living plants to your rooms.

Consider adding some indoor house plants to your rooms – plants are known to clean up the air we breathe.  Add a decorative pot and you create a room accent that can make a great finishing touch to the space.

Best wishes for a green and healthy life in your home environment!

Sasha Witte can be reached at  www.SashaWitteDesign.com or (562) 434-8824.

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