This year we have all had to spend a lot more time indoors which has meant that many people have had the time to contemplate their living spaces and make changes to the layout and style of their homes.
This is not even considering the unprecedented changes to our professional lives which have led to the majority of us having to work from home. It appears that this situation will continue for the foreseeable future and it is unlikely that our working lives will ever be the same again as both companies and employees have identified the benefits that remote working can bring.
As we are now witnessing the increase in the harsh effects of climate change and global warming, it is more important than ever to ensure that we are furnishing our homes as sustainably as possible. Often this can be done at a fraction of the price compared to opting for the standard flat-pack furniture and ensures that your home retains its unique style in line with your personal tastes.
Here’s a quick look at our 9 tips to furnish your home more sustainably on a budget –
- Charity shop furniture
- Use furniture with sustainable materials
- Get some second-hand furniture
- Go for furniture rentals (infographic)
- Find a local joiner
- Energy-saving curtains and blinds will help
- Learn some furniture DIY hacks
- Use natural paints
- Learn new skills to fix your stuff
Keep reading to find out some more tricks.
Spending some time browsing around your local charity shops can be an excellent way to find cost-effective, high-quality furniture. This could well be cheaper and more durable with better quality than opting for new low-cost furniture.
There are plenty of gems to be found if you invest a little time going around your local area. This furniture will often be more rustic and have plenty of character, but you can also spruce it up with a fresh coat of varnish or eco-friendly paint.
You can also spend some time completely transforming the piece into a whole new style. It’s important to remember that the detail and those extra little touches go a long way in making the piece interesting, or perhaps a little quirky.
This could include stencilling designs inside some drawers, or around the edge of a kitchen table. This will help ensure that your furniture item will be a centrepiece in any room while costing less than some new cheap and lower quality furniture.
You also have the extra bonus that when purchasing from your local charity shops your money is going to support some great local causes, so what’s not to like?
Buying new furniture made from sustainable materials is the best way to make sure that it’s eco-friendly and high quality. There are plenty of places online where you can buy 100% FSC certified furniture, meaning that it comes from fully-sustainable wood.
In this way, you can be certain that your new purchase isn’t contributing to unsustainable forestry or other non-sustainable practices elsewhere in the supply chain. Spend some time making sure that it is 100% FSC certified and not FSC Mix, which could also include non-certified wood, meaning that it would not be fully sustainable.
Of the 26 million tonnes of waste produced in the UK each year, 14 million tonnes end up being sent to landfill sites. One way to do your part and live more sustainably is to look for second-hand furniture to furnish your home. Whether you are looking for a chair, a new table or even a bed frame, you can find plenty of bargains online including via eBay, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace to name but a few.
As more and more young people are interested in renting rather than owning their own homes, often these people don’t have space for an item when they move and will look to raise some spare cash at the same time, meaning that there are always plenty of bargains to be had.
Again, if you want to add your own personal touch to the new piece of furniture, there are plenty of guides online to help hand in getting started in upcycling.
If you live in rented accommodation, then chances are you’ve lived in a few different homes already or expect to do so in the future. Moving from property to property is not only expensive with all the associated fees for acquiring the property but having to move your furniture each time places it under strain.
Unless you’ve invested in good quality furniture, it’s unlikely to withstand several moves and is going to get damaged. That’s before you’ve even thought about making sure that your furniture matches the décor of your new abode.
Furniture rental has been big in the USA for a while now, but it’s starting to gain popularity in the UK as more people become aware of it. When you’re renting furniture, you’re simply reusing high-quality furniture rather than having to splash out on new items. In this way, not only can you be assured that you’re doing your bit to live more sustainably, but you can also choose the perfect furniture to match your home.
Check out this well-thought infographic explaining why owning furniture is overrated for private renters –
Events over the last year mean that it is now more important than ever to help out local businesses. If you know that you’re going to be in your home for many years to come and are looking for furniture that will truly last while being perfectly in line with your style and tastes, then seeking out the services of a local joiner can be an ideal way to furnish your home with furniture that will last for decades to come.
Take your time when doing your research and try to find someone who only works with locally-sourced and sustainable wood. In this way, you can be certain that you will have high-quality, hardwood furniture that is sustainable both in terms of the materials that it is made from, and because it will last for decades.
Many rental properties do not provide efficient energy consumption; not only is this bad for global warming, but it also means that you end up paying higher energy bills.
If you are finding yourself in this position, then opting for energy saving curtains and blinds can mean that you are able to enjoy strong savings on your energy consumption and enjoy a more eco-friendly home. If you are in a rental property, there is not much you can do about it as you are at the mercy of your landlord/lady. They are also an ideal solution if you live in an old property, and the cost of replacing the windows is going to be high.
As they have grown in popularity, you can be sure to find the right style to blend in with your current home décor.
If you have a few DIY skills and are feeling adventurous, then there are plenty of DIY furniture hacks which means you can transform an existing piece of furniture, or even make your own if you’re feeling resourceful.
Not only is this helping you live that bit more sustainably but it’s also a lot of fun as well!
A simple lick of paint can be an ideal way to breathe a new lease of life into any home. Seeking out healthy, natural paint to decorate your home is important to ensure that you avoid toxic chemicals that are present in cheaper brands.
If possible, try to purchase paint that is made from natural ingredients like clay, chalk, earth and mineral pigments. Not only are natural paints sustainable but they also look fantastic and provide high-efficiency, meaning that you will enjoy great coverage and actually save money in the long-term compared to cheaper paint.
There is also the added benefit that it’s much healthier for you and the planet.
Doing your bit to help fight against the ever-increasing throw-away culture within society can go a long way, especially when friends and relatives get the bug as well! If you have the time, there are plenty of online guides that teach you how to fix and repair items, whether that happens to be furniture or electrical items.
A great place to start is learning how to reupholster items of furniture where the fabric has become damaged, worn, or frayed. This can transform the item and make it look as good as new, and you can ensure that it’s the perfect shade to match with the rest of the colours in your home.
For electrical items, learning how to fix something like a kettle can give you the confidence to move onto other items and ensure that you do not end up throwing items away quite so easily in the future.