Good for the Earth and Oftentimes Your Budget

Decorating with eco-friendly materials is all the rage these days for the simple reason that it’s good for the earth and often looks better than the alternative. We thought we would give you an overview of some cool materials that are now available on the market.

Glass Tiles

Glass Tiles. Made out of recycled wine bottles and beer bottles, glass tiles can be used on walls in kitchens and floors, countertops, and even flooring. Proponents say this material won’t stain and is easy to maintain. The best part is that it comes in a ton of colors, patterns and finishes to suit a variety of tastes.

Salvaged wood and metal

Salvaged wood and metal. Perhaps you have visions of salvaging beautifully aged pieces of wood from an old barn that’s being demolished. Wherever you get it, salvaged wood and metal already comes with a built-in personality in the form of a hard-won patina that’s unmatched in any new materials. Salvaged wood and metal can be used in a variety of ways, including on walls, doors, countertops and other decorative accessories in a home. You could score an ultra-chic and modern home that pairs the softness of nature with industrial touches throughout.

Antique accent pieces. This kind of material could significantly bring down the cost of your project, depending on where you obtain the materials. Think old windows, doors and sinks whose looks and workmanship would serve modern homes well. Some of these materials are sometimes even listed for free on classified services such as Craigslist by home or property owners who don’t care for the aged look.

Bamboo and cork flooring. Cork for cork flooring is harvested from the bark of cork oak trees in a process that doesn’t harm the tree. The cork then grows back within a few years. Bamboo, which grows back faster than wood, is fast becoming another popular option because it looks a lot like hardwood and is durable. Unlike wood, it is resistant to moisture.

Bamboo and cork flooring

Polyester Berber, or P.E.T., is a carpet made of recycled plastic bottles, which makes it spill resistant, surprisingly durable and is available in many colors and patterns. It’s fairly inexpensive so it can feel slightly rough. Also, this kind of carpet can snag and unravel if the problem is not repaired in timely fashion.

Photo credit: uosɐɾ McArthurIABoomerFlickr, jseattle

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