Studio Wodehouse, Designer Shonali Mahajan, Local arts and crafts, Design tips and tricks, Sustainable home decor, Green decor ideas, Adaptive Reuse

Ethically crafted home décor for the modern home

Shonali Mahajan, founder, Studio Wodehouse, offers tips on curating green décor for the home

Often, sustainable décor in a home has been considered challenging and not very appealing to the eye, given the unavailability of pieces that speak to one's personal aesthetic while still being 'green’. However, eco-friendly living is all about trying one's best and gradually implementing changes that add up to a more sustainable lifestyle. By using a few simple tips outlined below, one can easily add more character, tranquillity and beauty to a living space.

Sustainable home décor is found in products made of cane, bamboo, clay or stone. An example of this can be seen in an antique Naga Panel that we sourced for a home, which creates a striking design for a wall. We also used antique wooden statue heads, which were modernised by putting them on pedestals. Especially now, a focus on locally-sourced materials and products is the best way to remain eco-friendly. Products made using local, traditional techniques and incorporating local materials are best suited to our climate as well – which is important when considering the long-term durability of items. By supporting local economies, you will be making far more sustainable decisions than importing your furniture from another city or country.

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For a quick and easy way to redesign your space, consider recycling and reusing furniture and décor rather than buying new ones. It's pretty easy to find a new avatar for your favourite items by placing them in different parts of the house or adding one simple element that will change their look and feel. For example, we used a cast glass table with a glass vase and antique statue all sourced locally from local craftspersons.

A great tip to keep in mind when trying to design sustainably is to decorate with only what you need - choose a few spaces in your home that would benefit greatly from accent pieces. Invest in just a few statement pieces like art or antiques – spending money thoughtfully on a few items that will have life-long value, versus on a lot of little things, will definitely help create a more sustainable space. The adage 'less is more' is definitely important here. By buying and using only what you need, and by reducing the distance it has to travel, you reduce the overall carbon footprint. A good example of this is the wooden heads we used - instead of buying a lot of newly produced products, factory-made goods, or importing items like Murano vases etc, we went to our local antique store and found affordable items that still looked great. Similarly, you can visit a local flea market and buy old antique door handles or keys, or make an installation out of old, used products to make a feature wall. 

There are many ways to remain 'green' as you go about decorating your home. Just use a bit of creativity and look around you to see what's already abundantly available, there are so many eco-friendly options that would really liven up your living spaces.

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