We are each members of the global community, and our actions have a cumulative effect on our planet. Many Californians strongly feel that they have a responsibility to conserve resources and protect the environment for future generations. I love this attitude and believe that conservation and abundance are not mutually exclusive. With the right choices, you can invite beauty and comfort into your home and your life in an environmentally friendly way. Many clients and close friends ask me for eco-conscious interior design tips.

Luckily, it’s easier than ever to be a good steward of the planet while also embracing luxury and beauty in your home. Here are the three most powerful tools I use when I design green: Use Sustainable Materials Certain building materials require a lot of energy to harvest, grow back slowly or not at all, and don’t break down well after use. Eco-conscious homeowners want to avoid these types of building materials and instead use materials in their homes that are easy to harvest, grow back quickly, and break down easily after use.

One of the most popular ways to use sustainable materials is for the flooring in your home. Wood is a popular sustainable choice, because new trees can always be planted to grow in place of the old. Additionally, the carbon that trees absorb as they grow stays in the wood when it is used as flooring. Wood can also easily be reused at the end of its lifecycle.

Two other very popular sustainable flooring choices are bamboo flooring and cork flooring. Bamboo grows extremely fast and is naturally water-resistant and durable. If you do choose bamboo flooring, make sure it uses natural base adhesives instead of formaldehyde. Cork is made by removing a layer of bark from the Cork Oak. This process does not kill the tree, allowing it to continue growing and producing more cork. Cork flooring is beautiful and warm, but it also absorbs water, so it might not be the best choice for a kitchen or bathroom.

Use Recycle/Reclaimed Materials: Another great way to protect the environment is to give the materials we already use a second life. More and more manufacturers are offering products made with recycled or reclaimed woods, plastics, and glas. For example, you can choose beautiful and artistically designed furniture made from recycled plastics. You can also put in recycled wood flooring in your home or tiles made with recycled clay. Reclaimed objects are also surging in popularity, from old shoes turned into flower pots, wood scraps made into a wall mosaic, wine corks transformed into a bath mat, old doors saved from the dumpster, and more!

Go Vintage And Buy Used: The vintage look never goes out of style, and it can also allow you to give furniture, decorations, and other fun objects a new home. I love wandering around antique shops, swap meets, and flea markets to find that “diamond in the rough” that will add character and beauty to a client’s home. Often, these objects can be purchased for a steal even though they look extremely valuable. Almost anything, from an old vase, to an antique desk, a Victorian sewing machine, or a beautiful lamp, can be found just waiting for a home to give it a new purpose. Sometimes the things I find at an antique shop end up being the centerpiece of a room! So, when it comes time to redesign your home, keep these three important tools in mind. If you are using a professional interior designer, make sure to tell him or her that you want your new design to be as eco-friendly as possible. You’ll be amazed at how gorgeous a sustainable home can look.