Thinking about redecorating? Are you self confident with your taste and resources or need some professional assistance? The situation is a bit different for those seeking earth-friendly interiors. Not all interior designers or sales clerks are hip to environmental choices, so a bit of study may be required. Here are some tips on how to proceed with your decorating selections.
First study, interior finishes. More businesses than you think are supporting non-toxic and fume-free paint research. Early American Colonists and Shakers painted their furniture and interiors with milk paint using a formula that dated back to ancient Egypt. Up until the middle 1800's paint was not sold commercially, people made their own. The most common recipe contained milk protein, quicklime and earth pigments. Because of the unique durability of milk paint, many fine examples still exist that are hundreds of years old and whose finish is just as true as the day the paint was applied. Non-toxic and environmentally safe. No petrochemicals, lead, solvents or harmful additives. Find limited colors, but beautiful paints and stains made from earth's mineral pigments with precious natural binders
Second study, materials. Be sure the hemp or sisal carpet your falling in love with doesn't have a toxic backing for sensitive souls. Think pure, natural floor coverings. Discover camel-hair padding with a wide array of wool carpets, coir, sisal, seagrass, cork, true linoleum and sustainable hardwoods. For window covering and upholstery fabrics, look into luxurious silks, hemp, flax, and wool. Many retailers offer sample kits or videos to purchase for a minimal fee. Check out Inc. Magazine where a 500 fastest growing list of privately held companies more frequently includes environmental manufacturers. Not a bad idea for ecological decor investors.
Third study, furniture, accessories and art objects. More wood-working artisans are providing custom furniture made from antique and reclaimed woods. See bamboo, a natural abundant resource, popping up everywhere. Look for upholstery made from natural and/or hypo-allergenic materials. Enjoy craft shows and keep your eyes open for creative recycles. Find art sculptures made from recycled metals or comforters, footstools and pillows made with scrap materials. The look may be refined or whimsical.
Proving the public demand, the Sheraton Rittenhouse Square in downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania converted 193 rooms for guests with sensitivities and allergies in Spring of 1999. The hotel furnished organic cotton sheets, bedspreads and curtains as well as mattresses and chairs stuffed and covered with organic cotton. The project was spearheaded by Ecosmart Healthy Properties in New York City.
It's fun to note that former Secretary of Labor, Robert B. Reich, author of "Locked in the Cabinet" wrote that his office walls were covered with finely textured beige hemp. That's in the White House folks. My, how politically correct environmental decor can be!
In conclusion, there are many sources to choose from and the eco-decorating trend is rapidly growing. Whether you study or hire a professional, our planet will show thanks for your efforts while you beautify your home.
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