Redecorating a home–particularly when you don’t have a lot of money to spend–is difficult. Even when you try to keep costs low, it seems like there are always at least a few unexpected expenses. This is why, if you want to redo your house or apartment, it is important to look for ways to scrimp and save so that your decorating budget can be as large as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to look for ways to reduce your power consumption and your utility bills.
Often people look at redecorating one’s home and reducing one’s spending on utilities as two separate projects. First you find ways to save on your utilities and then you go on to redo your home. But what if they didn’t have to be mutually exclusive projects? What if, as part of your redecorating, you designed your home to be as utility efficient as possible? After all, finding the most reasonably priced energy providers is just the beginning of energy and money savings. Here is some more information on price shopping for utilities.
And here are some of the best ways to work utility savings into the decor and design of your home.
Using the Right Paint
Painting is way better for you and your home than trying to put up wallpaper. When you repaint your home, make sure that you choose low VOC paint. Low VOC paint is better for the air quality of your home and reduces the strain on your air filters.
Houseplants aren’t just beautiful and decorative. They are natural air scrubbers. Houseplants take in almost all of the toxins and carbon that exist in the air in your apartment and expel pure oxygen. This improves air quality and, like with low VOC paint, reduces the strain on your HVAC system. Here is a list of the best air scrubbing plants you can have in your home.
Another great way to reduce utility costs is to grow your own herbs and spices. Growing your own herbs and spices reduces waste. This can reduce your garbage costs, especially if you live in an area where people are charged by the bag instead of a weekly or monthly trash pickup fee.
Trade out your shower head and faucets for low flow models. Even if you don’t do much else to the space, putting in new faucets and a new shower head can completely change the look and feel of a bathroom and a kitchen. Better still, low flow showerheads and faucets come in a variety of really beautiful designs and are easy to install yourself.
Did you know that CFLs aren’t the best or most energy efficient bulbs you can buy? That title is reserved for LEDs which last longer and use less energy than incandescents, fluorescents, and CFLs. Even better, LEDs don’t need to “warm up” the way that CFLs do. They are bright right away, which is great for your new lighting scheme, whatever it might be.
It’s also worth noting that LEDs are available in almost all lighting forms, so make sure that you’re switching out your decorative lighting for LED varieties as well as the lights you use in your side tables, floor lamps, etc.
There are two types of flooring that are environmentally sustainable: bamboo and cork. Bamboo, which is technically a grass and not a wood, is widely available and renewable. Cork, however, is better for your utility costs. Cork flooring, because of its porous nature, helps regulate a home’s internal temperature, which helps reduce your heating and cooling costs.
Inside your home, curtains can be extremely helpful in the colder months. When drawn, curtains keep the heat inside of your home by blocking your windows and keeping the heat from leeching through the window panes. Decorative window film is another great way to prevent leeching during both the summer and the winter.
Outside of your home, particularly during the summer, you’re going to want to keep the sun from making direct contact with your windows. This blockage will keep the inside of your home relatively cool, even without running your air conditioning. The easiest way to block the sun is to close your shutters (if you have them) or to hang blinds on the outside of your home. For example, bamboo mats can double as window treatments and are easy to roll up and keep out of the way when you want to let the sunlight in.
These are just some of the ways you can use “going green” to both redecorate your home and reduce your energy costs. What are some of the methods you’ve used to achieve these goals simultaneously.