It’s that time of year, lovelies and gentlemen, when thoughts predictably turn to home renovation.
However, the volume of interest seems to have been turned up this year. Thanks to pandemic fatigue, from sheltering in place to curtailed out-and-about activity, our magnified time in our nests is an experience akin to trying on bikinis in fluorescent lighting…. you see every flaw and you want “out.” (So, you opt for pants.)
If you are beyond ready to tackle the renovation beast and eco-friendly is also on your radar, this article is for you.
Energy efficient light bulbs and appliances are a must in your planning. The new environmentally friendly bulbs emit more light while using less wattage. They can reduce the amount of power used in your home, using one-third of that used by “normal”, incandescent bulbs. They may be a bit more expensive to purchase but the hope is for upfront costs to be recouped over time. (Plus, long life light bulbs do eliminate the nuisance of frequent replacement). Similar energy savings can apply to your energy efficient appliances
I hear you. They’re ugly. But depending on your property, if they can be tucked onto the back of the home (if that will work with your home’s positioning), these panels can cut your electricity consumption, cutting down your costs and carbon footprint. Because its renewable and sustainable energy, power outages become less of a worry too.
Up your Insulation
Today’s best examples in insulation provide key advantages in energy efficiency.
They improve your home’s heating and cooling by refining the overall performance in thermal resistance. This in turn reduces costs and preserves fuel sources. Additionally, the new insulations are naturally noncombustible and fire-resistant, requiring no additional chemical treatment to attain that state.
Reduce you Footprint
Where possible, donate cabinetry, appliances and even furniture that is being replaced. You will spare the landfill and help someone in need.
By all means, depending on your design style, if reclaimed wood beams, architectural salvage, and even reclaimed hardware and knobs is your design jam, go for it with gusto. The planet will thank you, and your pad will have a cool signature look not replicated everywhere on Pinterest.
Low VOC Paints & Eco Friendly Home Furnishings & Fabric
The quick skinny here: Low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints reduce off gassing issues, but there are complaints about their finishes and durability. Talk to your paint specialist here.
Eco-friendly furnishings and fabrics generally come at a higher cost and in a much smaller selection. There are design firms that specialize in these so if health issues, or, a super-planetary consciousness is the driving factor, a specialist should be on your team.
As an aside, during the last 10 years the home furnishings industry in total has moved to adopt practices that reduce waste and carbon footprint.
Last word here: Team is everything. Find a builder and designer who share your environmental priorities, with the capabilities to support your needs, and you’ll not be just golden…you’ll be green.
About Donna Hoffman: A multi-award-winning Bucks County based designer, Hoffman’s company, Interiors by Donna Hoffman, specializes in new construction, renovation, whole home and full room design, delivering livable luxury to discerning clients. Seen in Forbes, Real Simple, TV and radio, Donna is considered a design thought leader. Called the nation’s #1 design coach because she founded TheInteriorDesignAdvocate.com, Donna also loves providing on-line courses that empower DIY’ers across the country.