With the new season often comes the desire to make a few changes to the home, especially when the temperature drops and we start to feel the chill of autumn and winter.
Not only do we spend more time inside but we also want to feel warmer, cosier and more comfortable at this time of year, often prompting change or a few additions.
These days, however, many of us are keen to move away from simply throwing away our single-use furnishings only to replace them with something new.
We want to find more environmentally friendly solutions, changes to the home that don’t cost the earth, both literally and metaphorically.
In 2021, the global sustainable home decor market was valued at over £270 billion – and by 2031 it is estimated to reach almost £460 billion.
More of us are choosing ready-made items made from natural materials, such as bamboo and stone, or recyclable materials, such as glass, ceramics, and metal.
But opting for off-the-shelf sustainable solutions for unfurnished rental homes this autumn is just one option, there are many other steps you can take.
Here are just a few:
Scour local second-hand and charity shops, as well as car boot sales and you will probably come across some real finds for furnishing your room or rental property. Local online marketplaces, auctions and antiques’ markets can also yield great and inexpensive pieces for the home.
We have all become used to ordering online and expecting fast home delivery. Don’t forget that by doing this your product is racking up road miles here in the UK and air miles if it is coming from abroad.
*Exchange or giveaway
It is no good working hard to use eco items for your room or home while throwing away your existing pieces of furniture or accessories. Recycle items by giving them to friends and family members or taking them to charity shops. List them as free if collected on internet sites or see if secondhand shops might be interested in an exchange.
Reusing is really the very best eco solution. Take your existing items and give them a facelift this autumn by painting, decorating or recovering them. Find clothing or fabrics in gorgeous autumnal shades in charity shops and then repurpose them as new cushion covers. Curtains and throws can be dyed using environmentally friendly products. Landlords, consider repainting walls or creating feature walls using natural, organic and non-toxic paints.
*Salvage and make
Another option is to make your own items using materials you have salvaged. Reclaimed or repurposed wood can be used to create coffee tables and other useful and interesting pieces of furniture or accessories. See what you can do with materials that friends and neighbours are throwing away or that have come from properties that are being renovated. Old doors, for example, can be used to make cupboards.
*Use natural materials
Wherever possible, opt for natural materials. These will add that cosy, warm feeling you are seeking for your space this season and unlike synthetic materials, they are also biodegradable.
If you are looking for warmer, cosier lighting this autumn, make sure you switch to energy-efficient solutions. Ensure any new lighting uses LED or CFL bulbs. These are not only good for the planet but will also reduce your bills.