Decorating with Eco-Friendly and Vintage Furnishings

Since being green and environmentally friendly is all the rage, knowing how to find and incorporate eco-friendly and vintage, recycled decor is a way to take sustainability one step further. In fact, there are countless ways to decorate your home, making it funky and eclectic while also being conscious of Mother Earth. There recent revival of vintage furnishings has been in part because repurposing used furniture is better for the environment than simply heading to Ikea every time you need a new end table. If it’s quirky yet sustainable decor that you’re looking for, then here’s how you identify and decorate with furniture that’s eco-friendly and vintage.

Organic Furniture

Did you know that there’s organic furniture? It’s true. Furniture is designated organic based on the materials from which it’s made such as the fabric used in upholstery, material used for stuffing, even how the wood was sourced. You can usually identify organic furniture because it’s usually labeled as such, either in the title of the item or with some sort of sticker or label.

When it comes to upholstered or stuffed furniture that’s organic, there are some key things to look for. The most eco-friendly fabrics used to upholster furniture are organically grown fibers like cotton and wool, but being organic also refers to how the textile is manipulated including the dyes used to change the color. Organic furniture is most often stuffed with natural latex foam, which is also used in organic mattresses as well. Another way to identify an organic mattress is by the price tag; eco-friendly mattresses are usually more expensive than standard mattresses in the same size. It can be tricky to identify organic pieces by looking at the fabric or feeling the stuffing material used, which is why most companies will make sure you’re aware the piece is organic because eco-friendliness is a major selling point.

Many companies now offer furniture made with organic and eco-friendly materials. The sofas in the living pictured here are made by EKLA HOME, makers of organic and custom furniture for almost a decade, using eco-friendly materials that include reclaimed wood, organic textiles, natural latex, and even non-toxic, organic adhesives. Other environmentally conscious items include the coffee table made from a fish tank and hemp rug on the floor.

Eco-Friendly Wood Furniture

There’s a key identifier of furniture that’s been made with eco-friendly wood. The Forest Stewardship Council, or FSC, is not-for-profit international board that encourages sustainable forestry by offering certification to companies that comply with their standards for harvesting wood. When furnishings are made using wood that’s in accordance with FSC requirements, they’re marked with the FSC label.

When you buy a furnishing that’s made with FSC-certified wood, you could actually trace the origins of the wood used back to where it was sourced. And although it’s technically a grass, bamboo furniture is another eco-friendly option since it looks a lot like wood, grows fast, is almost always free of pesticides, and is very sustainable.

The family room pictured here features an unpainted woven, wicker-live lounge chair, a woven basket, and a stump that’s being used as an end table. Not only are these furnishing very eco-friendly, but they give the room’s look a more natural focus.

Vintage

Repurposing and reusing furniture is perhaps one of the most eco-friendly ways you can furnish your home and make it an expression of your personality. Vintage and recycled furniture often tells a story and can be a great way to add character, charm, and uniqueness to your home. When you source your furniture from places like garage sales, auctions, and estate sales, you’re recycling these found items that were built to weather multiple lifetimes.

Woven and wicker furniture, antiques, found and repurposed items, and even pieces that show age and wear can be mixed and matched to give your home an eclectic look that’s stylish while also being eco-friendly.

In this cozy family room, mismatched second hand chairs and sofa were clearly sourced from a variety of locations such as garage and yard sales, creating a very homey, comfortable and shabby chic look. Recycling furnishings also provides a lot of visual interest to the room. Even if items don’t appear to match in a conventional sense, mixing together some of your favorite pieces is a great way to make your decor convey your personality.

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