I'm all about repurposing stuff. But just so you know, I'm not a Birkenstock wearing, tree-hugging, armpit hair growing, save the earth person. I am, however, bothered by waste. Wasting money, wasting food, wasting furniture, wasting plastic spoons, you name it. If it could be used as something else I'd rather find a way to use it (preferably as home decor -- except for the wasted food).
Going green is a pretty big movement as of late. People look for houses with Energy Star appliances and other ways to save on electricity, gas, etc. For some people those things are deal-makers or breakers. Today's guest post is someone I really really wish lived in Boise and would do a joint venture with my home staging business. Chris Coleman is also the community manager for Signature Furniture Rental, a San Diego rental furniture company that has been in business since 2002. Signature specializes in residential and office furniture for a broad range of clients in home staging and temporary housing. Chris is going to give us some tips on going green both in our lives and in our attempt to decorate our own house or stage a house we want to sell. Here's Chris.
One of the biggest reasons people take advantage of the benefits of rental furniture these days is for home staging purposes. We are often asked by home sellers for our tips on home staging and what they can do to entice buyers more than the usual furniture configurations and room decorations. There are several things to keep in mind when staging a home for sale like minimizing the clutter, making sure it is sparkling clean, and removing all personal objects; but what about those prospective home buyers that are looking for something more?
One of the major trends we're seeing these days is the desire for a "green" home that already demonstrates to future home owners how they could use their new house to save money and be eco-friendly. Follow these green home staging tips and check out our easy do-it-yourself projects to impress prospective buyers.
Green Home Staging Tips
Document All Environmentally Friendly Changes
If any green modifications have been made to the home, it is important that prospective buyers know of the savings and the long-term benefits they will reap. Conduct an energy audit pointing out the green changes and upgrades. Be sure to include changes like caulking, insulation, and lighting, and make a special note of any Energy Star appliances or HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning) system improvements that have been made to the home, like filtration systems.
Highlight The Home’s Green Features
Detail the home’s green aspects by displaying them on a drawn out floor plan. Include CFL’s (compact fluorescent lamps), solar panels, energy efficient appliances, water filtration systems, and flooring and other building materials made out of natural materials in your floor plan.
Make sure cleaning supplies in cupboards are non-toxic, recycling bins are visible, and plants outside the home don’t require excessive watering. Compost bins outside the home are also a great way to show the home is eco-friendly. Also make sure there are no chemical-riddled products, like Miracle Gro or harsh pesticides, visible in the garage or shed.
DIY Green Projects to Impress
Assorted Glass Centerpiece
Group together an assortment of glass bottles and jars on a tray and fill them with flowers and leaves for this simple table centerpiece. You can collect bottles from home including perfume bottles and jelly jars or buy some from the thrift store for super cheap. The more variation in size and shape, the better! You will be surprised at how easy and how elegant this is!
If you are considering reupholstering your dining room chairs, you may not need to look any further than the back of your closet. Simply cut an old sweater apart, trimming off the neck hole and sleeves, which will leave you with two large squares. (One sweater should cover 2 chairs.) Remove your seat cushions, which are usually unscrewed from the bottom, and cover the cushions with your sweater fabric. To secure the fabric, you can use small tacks or a staple gun. Voila! Brand new chairs on the cheap!
Don’t just toss those corks after opening a bottle of wine! Start holding on to your corks so you can create your very own cork trivets to protect your table tops from hot pots and pans. You will need to collect about 50 corks of the same size and arrange them into a circle. Use a metal hose clamp (8-10 inch clamps are best and you can find them in the plumbing section of a hardware store) to surround the corks and hold them together. Then tighten the clamp to bind them all together and trim the excess clamp with metal clippers. We promise you will enjoy the prep work for this project!
Plastic Bag Dryer
This one I am sure we are all guilty of: throwing away zip-lock and sandwich baggies after only one use. Did you know they can be washed and re-used several times? For the perfect plastic baggie recycler, you will need an old toothbrush holder and some chopsticks. Simply place the chopsticks in the holes of the toothbrush holder and then place washed plastic baggies upside-down on the chopsticks to air dry. Recycling at its finest!
Did you know that carpet accounts for about 1.75 million tons of waste per year in the U.S.? We’re not telling you not to install new carpet in your home, but if you do, save any leftover pieces to make some awesome fuzzy coasters! Simply cut out squares of carpet and trim away any fraying parts. And if you stain them? You can wash the coasters in the sink with soap and water. These coasters will protect your furniture from water damage and cut down on waste at the same time, which is pretty awesome!
Images and Tips: Al, ToolBarn, WholeLiving
(Kelli again) Thanks so much, Chris! I love the cork trivet and will be making on of those very soon. I have also been inspired to do better with recycling stuff that isn't used to decorate and I'm going to share this post with all of my home staging clients. I think that anyone selling a home could benefit from these tips.