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How to create a sustainable home

August 23rd, 2022 | Written by Sarah Pierick | Follow Sarah on Instagram @sarah_andtwo

Sustainability is a choice throughout every aspect of your life. Creating a home takes time, and sometimes, you need to take an extra step to find something that makes your living space feel like home.

I’m Sarah, a mother of two kids, Head of Design and freelance Photographer. Together with Paper Paste Living, I want to talk you through my personal tips on creating a sustainable home. Together with my family, we live in a self-renovated house built in the 1960s. For us buying an old house already had a sustainable aspect, and we love the character old houses provide.

Be brave and up-cycle or recycle furniture. It can be easy and saves you a lot of money instead of buying cheap and fast-produced furniture pieces. I often receive questions about where to start from my social media community—especially about taking the first step and sourcing furniture pieces that can potentially be something new. I love mid-century items as they are mostly well made with true craftsmanship. But, of course, you should always keep an eye on the composition of the wood to ensure there are no significant damages. If the item has any minor imperfections, it can always be repaired.

Which brings me to another important point of creating a sustainable home. Think of repairing, reusing or reselling before throwing away furniture. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure! In times of shortage of raw materials, we need to rethink the interior industry. Managing the resources we already have on hand can not only be a budget solution; it also can open up creative options and new ways.

When we moved in after renovations, I already had bought a few new interior items. Now three years later, sadly, none of the pieces is still in our home. You always should take your time with decorating and choosing the right pieces. Due to the media, we tend to get everything done as quickly as possible and forget what’s really important. Every interesting interior takes time. You can not simply put on-trend pieces together in a room and create a home. The small and imperfect items with history make the interior look great and add character to its surroundings. Don’t be afraid of empty walls, missing carpets or mismatching decors. Research and finding your own style is important.

Regarding research, you should be sure about the items you buy. Sadly, many „green“ brands are not so green when you look closely. The first time I questioned this was a couple of years ago — back then, I bought a new pillow for our sofa. After it arrived, I realized that the pillow filling of the organic cotton pillow case which I had bought was made out of real feathers. And no, the feathers weren’t recycled.
Do your research and take your time. If you want to invest in a new piece of furniture or home decor, you should love it! We all need to stop saying — it may work out there, or it could fit if…
When buying something new, ensure it’s the right piece and have an exact place in mind where it should belong.

Sustainability doesn’t mean all natural. You can create a sustainable home with every style. If an item doesn’t come in the colour, texture or style you like — recreate it! Recently I saw an interior creator up-cycling an old jacket into an amazing pillowcase. Choose materials and pieces that have longevity or that are easy to reuse. Interior items with a long life cycle and environmental-friendly materials are the most sustainable solution. With these small steps, you can bring your character into your home and take action in creating your sustainable home.

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