living room
Sustainable Living

How to Remodel Your Home Sustainably?- It Is Easy!

In this article, I will show you how to remodel your home sustainably. You will be surprised what you can do by yourself. It is absolutely not difficult, and designing your home will make sure that you get want you desire; a luxury, industrial look to a colonial look, or others. It is up to you what you like.

When I started to refurbish and renew our house, I had no idea what possibilities I have. I already sew clothing, but why not upholstering furniture? It doesn’t seem easy, but it is so easy when you know how to do it. In my young time, I always said that I can do what others do, always!  Because we can learn everything, and having two left hands is an excuse.

You know buying materials on the market is beautiful! I love to go and search for beautiful materials, spending much time drinking coffee and looking around. It is a lovely activity in the Netherlands because the markets are great. Buying materials ensures you that there is nobody else who has the same materials in their homes. Painting tables, cupboards are easily done, but upholstering chairs and sofas might be time-consuming.

How to remodel your home sustainably?
Photo by Ksenia Chernaya from Pexels

My husband possesses antique dining chairs that are outdated because they have been in the world for 200 years, and the material looks really old and used. Because I don’t want to spend much money on upholstering, I do it rather myself. And I love to do this. It is beautiful and rewarding.  Of course, they are antique, and my husband wants to have an upholsterer looking after his chairs which is familiar with antique furniture. But I don’t mind, because we can do it as well! 🙂

What is Sustainable Remodelling?

First of all, it is everything you do hand-made.  I would use high-quality materials. In the Netherlands, you can purchase these materials on the market for affordable prices. I don’t know your country, but you might be able to buy the materials very cheap on the markets too.

In Utrecht, we have a beautiful market for buying materials, and I love to go there. It is about forty-five minutes drive away from us, and we can combine it with visiting the ” Oude Gracht” located in the city center, a beautiful historical place where we find many shops and restaurants.

a living room
Photo by Ksenia Chernaya from Pexels

Also, I love to buy furniture in secondhand shops, renewing them with paint and materials. Visitors are always very impressed because they don’t see that my furniture and other decoration come from a secondhand shop. It is an artistic way of life! I can choose high-quality, sustainable paints and materials. In this way, I choose many healthy materials for the environment and us, creating a beautiful home.

At the moment, we are remodeling my husband’s office and our guest room. We have painted the walls and windows.  Luckily, we can buy paint on a water base better for the environment and our health.

We are quite busy redecorating our house, but we are also still looking to build a sustainable house, a small house, with a big garden is our dream.

However, I love to work with my hands artistically but also practically. As a nurse, I need to balance my life, and to create and design my home is giving me freedom, peace, and beauty.

Do you have any idea how much YOU can accomplish? Try it out, and let me know! I am certain you will love it!

What To Do Living On Budget?

I tell you right now; you could create a palace! Nobody would see that you are living on a budget! You don’t believe me? I will show you! 🙂 My husband loves to watch a British couple who has bought a castle in France on television. They have redecorated, refurbished, renovated this castle for five years, and you would be amazed what they have accomplished. The woman is a trained designer, and she really does great things. Amazing! I tell you, you can do the same! Believe in yourself!

english couple buys a castle in France
The Sun

I wouldn’t like to own a castle, but it doesn’t matter what you own; even a rental house is waiting to be wakened up from its sleep. And you don’t need much money! How does this sound?:) For me, it sounds great! 🙂

For a long time, we lived on a small budget because my husband has suffered bankruptcy. Can you imagine what this is? I have lined up in the supermarket to pay for my food, and I had no money left. Horrible feeling, all the people standing behind me, looking at me and knowing that I can’t pay the bill.

I tell you, only Jesus Christ, my Saviour, has helped me, again and again! Thank you, Lord Jesus!!! We have always been blessed!!  He always has helped me in such situations.

So, I know how it is living on a small budget!

However, because I love to be artistic, it is a pleasure for me to renew things in my house, creating a new style by painting furniture or sewing cushions and design my house using secondhand products. It looks gorgeous, and it is such fun living out my ideas. I love to play with colors.   You can buy such beautiful materials that nobody else will have the same furniture, colors, or clothing.

Actually, it is the same with doing groceries. We can save so much money, going to a local farmer, the market, or growing our own vegetables. We can pluck berries, nuts, or fruit from fruit trees in our surroundings. It is allowed; they grow wild. It is a pity that people don’t see them growing anymore, missing the opportunity of harvesting healthy food. If you want to learn how to recognize herbs, eatable wild plants, and fruits, you could easily follow a course or read a book. These fruits and plants are full of nutrients that help you to recover.:)

Maybe it is strange for you, but I still repair the holes in our socks because I don’t want to cover the Earth with so much rubbish throwing them away. The best would be to knit real woolen socks, but I don’t have the patience for this. But socks made from high-quality wool will last longer than industrial-made socks you buy in the shops.

Much of my clothing I have bought for little money in secondhand shops. I love to go around and look for beautiful clothing, curtains, and shoes, as well as other things. It is a great feeling when I have purchased something of high quality for little money, and believe me; I always find something. 🙂

You Can Do Nearly Everything Yourself!

You will be amazed at what you can accomplish when you start doing more things yourself. We have learned to improvise many situations because, in my youth, you didn’t have so much to use. My motto has always been: “I can do everything that others can do!” Of course, nearly everything! 😉

In Germany, we had shops where I could buy rest posts of materials like carpets to purchase for little money carpet. I loved it! Laying out the carpet in my room, I created a beautiful design.

Nowadays we don’t change the design of our house very much, because many materials are polluted. If you buy new furniture, carpets, or laminate, you pollute your indoor atmosphere due to the evaporation of the toxic chemical they have used in these products. Believe me; you don’t want to inhale the toxins.

My body is very good at reacting to pollution. It starts to detox, and I suffer all kinds of symptoms, showing me something wrong with the materials. I suffer from headaches, skin reactions, flu-like symptoms, coldness, tiredness, and dyspnoea( I can’t breathe in), my nose tissues swell.

Maybe I experience the reactions because I detox daily, eating healthy, organic foods most of the time. I love to live a healthy lifestyle.

Creating and making your own things is fascinating. We started to upholster our chairs, and this is not difficult. I looked up YouTube and watched several videos where they showed how to upholster different furniture, so I decided to buy beautiful materials and do it myself.

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You will be amazed when you see how easy it is and how affordable. The only point you need to watch is buying a good, high-quality material for your chairs; otherwise, you might end up doing the same within 6 months because the materials are torn. High-quality is a must, especially if you don’t want to get intoxicated.

Painting lamps and tables are quite easy. We have received a secondhand kitchen as a gift, and we painted the cupboards and changed the handles. We only needed to buy some electrical devices that we wanted to include. The kitchen looks new, and like we have paid a lot of money for it. There are great possibilities to be creative and saving money.

kitchen
Photo by Dmitry Zvolskiy from Pexels

How to Remodel Your Home Sustainably?

There are so many ways of creating a beautiful interior and remodeling your home sustainably. You don’t even need a lot of money to spend on that project. If you purchase everything new or get it done by an architect, it will cost you so much more. Ok, if you want to spend it, and you have enough savings, then, of course, leaving the work to a professional might give you peace and time to spend for yourself.

However, it pains me to throw out much money that I can save by redesigning my home myself. Taking care of the electricity is not what I can do and certainly wouldn’t do, as well everything digital. It is difficult for me to understand, and I always call professionals to get the job done. Safety first!

I would never connect my stove to electricity because I am afraid of working with electricity.

However, refurbishing your home is not difficult. Redesigning your garden furniture is also very easily done, and combining it with beautiful solar lamps and accessories creates a lovely atmosphere.

The only thing you need to have is creativity and ideas. But you grow into this, like everything you start to do. It is about investigation, reading, studying, and practicing. I ask for everything I don’t know in the hardware store. They know, and because there are so many tools you can use for support, it is actually not difficult. I can even rent the tools I need, so I don’t have an overcrowded home, a condition I don’t like.

Our bathroom was really looking awful when we rented the house, so we decided to change everything, and now it looks so luxurious and comfortable that we love to shower and spend time in our bathroom. Believe me, when you practice, everything is not difficult.

bathroom in white
Photo by Jean van der Meulen from Pexels

The only real project we still have to face is painting the stairs. At the moment, the stairs are still painted in an ugly blue that doesn’t fit our colors. But we are going to change it to white, and cover the stairs with pieces of carpet. It will look warmer and less noisy when one of us has to go down at night.

Final Thought

To remodel your home sustainably is not difficult!. It is easy to do if you are determined to do it yourself and will investigate and learn how to do it. Believe me, my husband and I have much experience in renovating houses. Renewing furniture, painting, and upholstering is not a problem if you can watch how you have to do it. YouTube is perfect in this; you will find many ways to redesign your own home.

Here is another video about how to reupholster a couch! Have fun!:)

If you have any advice, I would love to hear it! I am a learner, like you. But maybe you are a professional; please, feel free to tell us how it works. 🙂

To Your Best,

Sylvie

6 Comments

  • Christine

    Hi Sylvia,

    Since I’m still building my home I was very interested in reading this article. It hadn’t occurred to me that new furniture could have toxic materials, so do you recommend buying older furniture and then redo it? When did the manufacturing process of furniture begin to include toxins?
    I know the feeling of standing in line in a grocery store and then not having enough money to pay. I went through such a time as well a few years ago and I am glad that is over! I can absolutely relate and I am happy that that time for you is also in the past.
    I was impressed with the couple that bought the castle in France. That must be a lot of work, but the end result has to be stunning. Thanks to your article I now have several ideas for my house and I hope to put them into practice as soon as I can.

    • Sylvie

      Hi Christine, Thank you very much for your comment!
      Answering your question, it is always better to purchase organically made furniture, but they are quite expensive. We can’t afford them. So, I mostly try to buy secondhand things I can renovate.
      We have been renovating the last week and purchased a new wardrobe. A big mistake! Since it stands in our sleeping room, I have pain in my throat, inflammation, can’t swallow, and swollen lymph nodes. Yesterday night, I couldn’t breathe at all. My body reacts directly; even I had my window opened. I will return to the shop and tell them.
      These toxins are the reason that I try to purchase used items, even older cars. We have an antique style, and the furniture is really old. 😉
      People are very different, and some are more sensitive to all the toxins than others, but be sure we all will suffer after a time because the chemicals used are toxic for our bodies.
      I wish you much fun building your house. We are also thinking about building a house! 🙂

  • Deepshikha Bhagat

    I loved your article. I feel Sustainable Living is the best way of living.

    You have mentioned that you like doing things on your own. I feel creating things on your own gives joy and satisfaction.

    At our place, we too have good options to purchase affordable and sustainable materials. Water-based paint is what we too prefer. It is great to know that you try to strike a balance between beauty and functionality while designing and decorating at home. It would be great if you could share a picture of one of the furniture pieces that you have remodelled. It will be inspiring.

    • Sylvie

      Thank you very much for your beautiful comment, Deepshikha! Yes, I believe saving the Earth is about decreasing our consumption. We need to force the industry to stop producing so much and creating waste. The chemicals they are using are very toxic. It is always better to purchase used things if we don’t have the money to buy organically produced products. I don’t have the money, but I want to stay healthy, so I love to go around in secondhand shops and find great items.
      It is great advice to take photos of my refurbished furniture and place them on my website. I will do that! Thank you very much!:)

  • Matt Lin

    Hi Sylvie,

    I love this article. Not because I want to save more money for remodeling my place, but the creative ideas you show here. I didn’t know that we could actually redecorate a vintage chair and a sofa, so it sounds fun to me. I know almost every new piece of furniture has some toxins, but I didn’t know that you would have severe symptoms.

    I also wonder, how could people take down their kitchen and send them to your place? Do you do all the processes, including disassembling and the delivery?

    Matt

    • Sylvie

      Hi Matt, Thank you for your comment!
      I don’t do this for others, only in my own house. But I want to share the possibilities of how we can remodel a house. Because we are renting the house, and the rent is already quite expensive, we decided to use a used kitchen from colleagues to place in our house. It is just so much fun! You dismantle the kitchen, cupboards, doors, drawers and set them together in your own kitchen. We only bought the countertop, Extraction system, the basin, and the faucet. The oven and stove were in the used kitchen included and still as good as new. I painted the kitchen and bought new handles. It looked stunning, as new.
      We can do many things if we are investigating the hardware store and asking many questions. I use YouTube videos for this as well. You save money, but you also decrease the amount of air pollution in your house. There is nearly nothing that people can’t do themselves. People buy too many new products and help the industry to pollute the planet. That is not a good development! I try to decrease my waste, but I still buy new products, but I look for high-quality products I can keep for years. Like my parents’ generation did. Perfect are antique items, but I realize that many people don’t like the old stuff! 🙂

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