EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
House Beautiful

FIVE EASY WAYS TO DECORATE MORE RESPONSIBLY

1. Repurpose. Period.

“One thing we always ask ourselves is, ‘Does this piece need to be made new?’” says Hodges. For this family room, vintage accessories were styled into built-in bookshelves.

2. Buy local.

It cuts down on energy used in shipping and it helps support small businesses. Here, the basket, throw, and side table came from Hodges’s locally sourced shop, Domain.

3. Donate what you can

Hodges urges renovators to look for local organizations, like Habitat ReStores, that accept cabinets, rugs, furniture, or building materials: “People think Goodwill is just for clothes, but it will take in more than that.”

4. Know the company ethics.

Look for retailers that take responsibility for the whole process behind their goods—and the people who make them. “Keep an eye out for things labeled as fair trade,” Hodges advises. And if it’s something made nearby, visit the studio or factory.

5. Learn your labels.

When selecting wooden pieces, like for the custom bed in this small-scale bedroom, Hodges looks for an FSC-certified purveyor or wood from a “rapidly renewable forest,” which will grow back sooner.

PHOTOGRAPHS: JENNIFER HUGHES, HELEN NORMAN(2)