In the last few years, as I’ve learnt more about sustainability and it’s importance, I’ve downgraded considerably and stopped purchasing anything made of plastic or polyester, focusing only on natural, recyclable or biodegradable items. I’ve also condensed everything into one single tub. Which means that if I purchase something new, an old item needs to go.
This allowed me to become super conscious of the things I buy, shop less, save money long term by investing in higher quality items that stand the test of time and avoid impulse buys.
With only a few but well curated items, I am able to quickly and effortlessly integrate them into my general home decor, saving lots of time and money in the process.
Therefore, I would like to share with you my 4 core decorating principles that have allowed me to make the whole process quick, efficient, streamlined and the finished look cohesive and inviting.
1. Use seasonal produce as your centerpiece
Seasonal fruits and veggies, as well as flowers and greenery, make for a beautiful and colorful display that is visually contrasting.
In my opinion, they are the easiest and the best decor items to choose from because they get eaten and thus we have the best kind of decoration: no-waste! They are also super easy to obtain and put together from your local farmer’s market or store.
Any time I see lots of fruits and veggies displayed I am reminded of the wonderful abundance of our Earth, its endless generosity, its life giving and life sustaining power – plus, it always makes me want to eat them which means that I get to snack on healthy stuff. Win-win!
2. Choose natural fibers and materials
Pure, natural materials look endlessly elegant, classy, and will elevate any decor, no matter how simple. They have this amazing ability of becoming better in time, with proper care. The cotton softens over time. The wool let’s your body breath and keeps you wonderfully warm. Silk is strong, yet flexible and feels incredibly luxurious.
As much as possible and if it is available to you, invest in organic cotton and sustainably sourced and manufactured items. If you can’t, shopping second hand is truly the most sustainable way to go.
Always check the label and choose pure, single origin materials for all your needs, whether it’s table covers, mats, table napkins or tea towels; the same goes for your blankets, bedding and pillow cases.
And take your time with them. I’ve been slowly, gradually, collecting pure wool blankets during my travels. They make for the most practical and lovely souvenirs, whilst supporting local businesses and artisans. Below, see some I’ve brought back with me from Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
In the last few years I’ve invested in linen and cotton bedding, wool and cashmere throws, cotton tea towels, wood and marble furniture items.
3. Select a neutral color palette as your base
With a neutral color palette, we establish a blank canvas on which various style elements and seasonal decor items can be combined and mixed cohesively.
All of my dinnerware is white, made of ceramic or porcelain and glass. Thus, they are extremely versatile and easy to use. All I need to do is change the flowers, the table cloth or table mats to instantly create a different look for each season. Simplicity and functionality at its best.
White is also the best canvas for a great splash of color, for ingenuity, and for displaying your home cooked creations.
4. Invest in multi-functional items
To simplify the decorating process each season, I highly encourage you to slowly and consciously invest in classic and sustainable furniture pieces. This takes time and that is okay.
Think of them serving the same purpose as your foundational wardrobe: classic, versatile, the best quality you can afford, and in neutral colors – to easily convert, transform and re-purpose them down the road. Therefore, think long term multi-functionality before purchasing any major furniture item.
In what other way can I use this over time, to keep up with life’s changes? how can I re-purpose it to extend its life?
A simple 3 cube organizer like this one, if used vertically, can be used as a bookshelf; if used horizontally, can be transformed into an entryway storage bench.
Baskets are simply amazing since can be used for storage, transportation, as decor elements and pretty much anything else you can think of. They can always be found at your local thrift store so start there before purchasing new ones.
Kitchen and tea towels work great as a super quick way to spruce up a kitchen and reflect the season/celebration/holiday, as well as a low waste and reusable gift wrapping
Glass water pitchers or carafes can also work as flower vases whilst the multi-functionality of jars is almost endless. And they are the easiest to clean, re-use and re-purpose.
I like to fill these ones up with filtered water and keep in the fridge until guests arrive.
Keep an eye out on Etsy for natural decor items and always shop your local artisans and small businesses. They embody the human creative spirit at its best and by supporting them, we directly impact local economies and entire communities. This is where our power lies: in supporting and investing in each other.
Let me know down below some of your sustainable decorating habits.
I’d love to hear!
Much love and I hope you have a wonderful November, filled with warmth and coziness,