Candid and sensible green living advice since 1999.
September 20th, 2012
Posted in: Green Remodeling

Decorate Your Home Locally

Photo credit Douglas Gisi Wine Barrel Furniture Co.

By guest blogger, Cameron Bruns

The best interior designers combine furnishings, art and textiles from a variety of sources or styles to create unique, personalized, eclectic looks. You can achieve a design vision that has an eclectic quality too—and one that is easier on the environment—if you are willing to seek out local artists and craftspeople who create truly one-of-a-kind pieces right in your ‘hood!

When buying direct from an artisan, you’ll have the opportunity to learn first hand information about the piece. For example, was it made with sustainable materials and methods. It also opens the door to the story behind the creation of the item you are purchasing. It’s so rewarding to know the background of the items in your home and to be able to share their stories with your guests.

There are lots of ways to find and support local artisans, e.g. via art/crafts fairs, galleries, local boutiques and their own studios. Use these online sources to find local producers:

For arts and crafts fairs:

http://www.eventbrite.com and http://www.festivalnet.com/

For locally owned businesses:

http://www.localfirst.com and http://www.delocator.net/index.php

Another way to find great locally-made pieces for your home is by browsing Etsy.com. Etsy is the “world’s handmade marketplace.” To find local craftspeople, scroll down the left bar of the website to “Shop Local” and enter your city name or zip code.  You can also attend live events hosted by Etsy, the information for which is under the “Community” tab.

Buying material goods locally is a great way to keep prosperity in your community, too. According to TIME magazine, supporting local shops and producers is vital to the economy because small businesses account for an enormous portion of the job market; and studies show that spending money at local independent businesses is the best way to keep your money in the community, so it goes to other local businesses.

It may be tempting to go to big chains like Ikea, Crate & Barrel, or Pier 1 for all of your decorating needs, but it’s both more fun and more satisfying to partake in the local scene—meeting interesting, creative people with a story behind their businesses and each unique piece they create.

Sourcing from local artisans is a chance to hone your own style, invest in your community, and lower your carbon footprint all at once!

———–

Cameron Bruns is the founder of Boston Green Blog and a frequent contributor to the blog Open Studio.

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