15 Sustainable Home Decor Ideas: Harmonizing Ethics and Aesthetics

Owning and using sustainable home decor is a small step in the journey to sustainable living. Sustainability is more than just buying, owning, and using eco-friendly home decor. It encompasses the economic, social, and environmental aspects of daily life. Similarly, sustainable living means living in an eco-friendly, healthy, and enjoyable way. Sally McGraw (2019) in her book ‘Living Simply – A Teen Guide To Minimalism’ defines sustainability as a twenty-first-century buzzword that encompasses everything from using alternative fuels to organic farming to protecting worker’s rights.

Here are Some Sustainable Home Decor Ideas to help you Live an Ethical Life

Home decor comprises decorating and adorning your house and/or room to make it more appealing and functional. Decorating your space with natural and eco-friendly materials is called sustainable home decor. Check out the list of sustainable home decor ideas given below:

From Plastic Containers to Planters

You can’t get a better sustainable home decor item than plastic planters. Plastics take decades to degrade, which makes them perfect storage items. Plastic bottles or containers used as planters are a popular DIY project in many households. They are easy to make, and all the materials you need are in your homes right now. Used plastic bottles of different sizes can become pots for plants of varying sizes.

Plastic bottle as planter

Have fun with the plastic planters by painting them with vibrant colours and designs to make them match the rest of the interior decorations.

Grass Cloth Wallpaper

These wallpapers are made from organic fibers and plants and are the most natural wallpaper available. The most common ingredients for grass cloth are arrowroot, abaca, hemp, grassroots, plant husks, sea grass, tatami, and jute. These natural materials emit an earthy, grassy scent that can relax you. These wallpapers are handmade, so they have visible seams, and the materials have visible colour variations. But these “imperfections” add to the natural beauty of the grasscloth wallpaper.

Grasscloth wallpaper for home interior

Things you should know about Grasscloth

  1. They are more expensive than regular wallpaper as they are labor-intensive.
  2. They should not be used in rooms with a lot of sunlight, as the natural colours will fade away.
  3. They should be installed by professionals experienced with this type of wallpaper.
  4. They should be installed out of the reach of cats and in places where they are less likely to suffer damage.
  5. They should be installed on perfectly even surfaces, as underlying imperfections get amplified.

We also have a buying guide for grasscloth wallpaper for you, check the link below:

House Plants

Plastic products generate a lot of waste, and plastic plants gather dust and deteriorate. Natural plants in your home refresh the energy with their freshness and greenery while also enhancing the beauty of the interiors. Plants also improve the air quality and keep the air clean and toxin-free.

House plants for eco-friendly home decor

Furthermore, plant these house plants in eco-friendly planters made from materials like cork, jute, rattan, and others. These planters blend amazingly with the interiors and give them a natural feel.

Sustainable Furniture Options

Eco-friendly and sustainable furniture prevents the emission of toxins indoors and puts less stress on the environment. Sustainable furniture is durable and long-lasting. They don’t leave a large carbon footprint. Materials like cane, rattan, wicker, jute, and bamboo add a unique look to a room, are durable, and last for a long time. They are a better alternative to furniture made of regular forest wood. This is because using forest wood for furniture promotes deforestation to some extent, whereas, furniture made from bamboo or cane is considered eco-friendly because bamboo can be grown easily and, in less time, compared to forest trees.  Moreover, forest trees are home to wild animals, and cutting them will disturb their habitat too.

Sustainable furniture for home interior

Second-hand Decor

These items are one of the best sustainable home decor ideas, as they reduce your impact on the environment. Don’t be afraid of using hand-me-down or second-hand interior decorations. They can go well with minimalist interior designs. You can buy these used goods from a friend or relative or an antique store. Using second-hand items in your home will reduce waste and reduce your carbon footprint. The bonus is that these goods can be more affordable and add a unique charm to the room. Just make sure that the goods are non-toxic and safe for you and your family.

Second-hand home decor for living room interior

Upcycled and Repurposed Glass Bottles

As per the book ‘No Place Like Home is,’ by Jo Peters (2021), Upcycling is the art of taking a pre-loved item and giving it a makeover. Now if you have old milk, alcohol, jam, or other glass bottles laying around your house, you can repurpose them as planters for small aquatic plants. You can also paint, decoupage, or glue on some twine to upcycle them into rustic home decor pieces.

Upcycled and repurposed glass bottles for interior design

Avoid VOC Paints

Volatile organic compounds or VOCs are found in traditional paints and can contribute to health problems and contaminate the environment. They also have a negative impact on indoor air quality and human health. Some of the most common VOCs are synthetic dyes, vinyl resins, petrochemicals derived from oil, formaldehyde, acrylics, and ammonia. Check the labels on the paint cans for the VOC content and pick the ones with the least or zero VOCs.

Harmful voc paints to be discarded


Have your old couches and cushions lost their vibrancy? Try changing the upholstery before discarding them and buying new ones. Sometimes, reupholstery or cleaning your upholstery can liven up your furniture and make them last longer.

Reupholstered sofa - a sustainable home decor idea

Reupholstering can extend the life of your furniture. You can also use organic materials for the project and change the colour and pattern in the meantime.

Green Wall

Change up your living room interior design by adding indoor plant wall art. Plant walls are growing in popularity and are low maintenance. They are made with plants that require almost no maintenance like watering, lighting, trimming, etc. You can buy these wall art from different brands, or you could make your own by following DIY guides online.

Green wall for eco-friendly home decor

Plant walls are a great alternative to plastic plants or regular planters as they don’t take up any floor space.

Root for Artisans

Local artisans are talented with the creative spirit of making art from locally sourced and eco-friendly materials. Appreciate their talent by adorning your house with their creations. This will encourage them to create more eco-friendly work and also provide them with a living. On the other hand, you get an amazing piece for your house that falls in the category of being sustainable and always stands out for its uniqueness.

Choose handicrafts for living room interior

Switch on the Sustainable Lighting Button

Replace energy-draining lighting options with energy-efficient ones. Sustainable lighting includes the use of lighting options that consume less power and last longer. LED is one such option. Apart from using LEDs, you can use natural light as the source of lighting in your house. Today, with the advancement in technology, we even have solar-powered LEDs, which are a great option. While purchasing lighting, always look for sustainable light bulbs. According to One Community in their article titled ‘Most Sustainable Lightbulbs and Light Bulb Companies: Research, Energy Savings, and More’, the ideal sustainable light bulb would not contain materials that are derived from the earth’s crust, no components that are persistent in nature, and a sustainable production process. For the most sustainable scenario, the electricity powering the lightbulb should also be derived from renewable energy sources.

Sustainable lighting for interior decoration

Flowers for Fragrance

When it comes to home decor, fragrance cannot be left out. Who doesn’t want their home to smell fresh and pleasant? So, people generally opt for long-lasting artificial room fresheners. These air fresheners contain toxic chemicals. Hence, opt for natural fragrances like flowers and essential oils. Put fresh flowers in a vase filled with water, and they will give off a mild flowery scent that is non-toxic and pleasant. You can also use eco-friendly fragrant candles to create a calm and relaxing ambience.

Real flowers are eco-friendly home decor

Rugs that are Real

Rugs made from lively or natural materials are referred to as “real rugs.” Today, there are so many rugs available in the market that are made from synthetic or semi-synthetic textiles. Avoid buying these rugs, and if you already have one, replace it with one made from natural materials like hemp, organic cotton, wool, bamboo, jute, etc. Sustainable living also includes ethically sourced natural materials and labour for rug making. Always know the background of the company or source you buy rugs from.

Rug made from natural material for home interior

The best thing about rugs made from natural materials is that they do not have any toxic chemicals in them and are also pleasing to touch.

Sustainable Furnishings

Furnishings contribute to the majority of the home decor. Hence, it would not be that easy to switch to sustainable furnishings all at once. But you can take baby steps here by slowly and gradually replacing non-environmentally friendly products with eco-friendly ones. Natural materials like bamboo, corn, and reclaimed hardwood can be used for flooring and roofing. Throws, blankets, cushions, and bedsheets can be made of pure cotton or linen fabric.

Sustainable furnishing for interior decoration


Sustainable home decor is an easy and affordable solution to living in harmony with nature. Although some items are expensive due to their manufacturing process, they are one-time investments that are safer alternatives to cheap and toxic non-sustainable products. Henceforth, we recommend you switch to sustainable home décor, and the above-listed ideas will be of great help.

For more articles projecting sustainability are here:

Add A Sustainable Touch: 12 Ways To Bring Bamboo In Home Décor
Are Sustainable Designs Expensive and Boring? Put an end to this Myth!

Image Courtesy: Image 3, Image 8

Author Bio

Andrea Noronha – Andrea Noronha is a content writer and editor with over 4 years of experience. Although she comes from a finance background, Andrea is passionate about blogging about interior design. Her other interests include travelling, baking, and digital marketing.

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