By Sonya Pala
Given that we spend a third of our lives in bed, sleeping in a non-toxic environment can have wonderful health benefits. But let’s face it, eco, sustainable, fair trade and organic aren’t always synonymous with stylish.
Here are some tips to get a unique, stylish and affordable eco luxury look for your bedroom:
1. Invest wisely Start off with a budget. This will help in the decision-making process! Invest in a primary piece that will last you for years and then update the room over time using accessories, smaller furniture items and fabric. During our renovation, I invested most of our budget into an amazing eco-bed and re-covering an old occasional chair with eco-velvet fabric. Many of the smaller accessories and mother of pearl inlay chest of drawers were bought over the years.
2. Non-toxic bedding Given the rise of allergies over the last few decades, it’s really important to look at the toxicity in everyday items in our home. Conventional foam in mattresses, pillows and furniture, contains a plethora of chemicals which emit VOC gases for the life of the product. Many of these are known carcinogens and combined with conventional cotton bedding (cotton being the most heavily pesticide-sprayed crop in the world), can create a hazardous sleeping environment.The best mattress options are 100% latex or organic cotton mattresses and if you can’t afford a new mattress, consider getting an organic cotton or wool mattress topper. Top this with some lovely organic cotton or linen bedding which your skin will thank you for, especially since it’s our largest organ!
Our bedhead was manufactured locally using GECA approved foam and sustainable wood rather than MDF. The bed base is a steel frame structure with beech timber slats and a natural latex mattress. We’ve used a lovely organic bedding set, which can be updated with different duvet covers, decorative pillows or throws.
3. Accent pieces Find a fabric or pattern that you love and work around that. This can be used for your upholstery, accent pillows, bedding or window drapery. There are some amazing eco fabrics available and don’t forget you can reuse fabric you already have. A mix of great textured and patterned fabrics create depth and visual interest for very little outlay!
Here we used some gorgeous handmade African accent pillows on the bed and occasional chair.
Sonya Pala is director at EcoLuxe, an Australian distributer and online retailer of luxury organic homewares.
Jen is currently on honeymoon in Tokyo, Venice and the UK, and has opened up the blog to a series of fabulous guest posters to share their interiors-related expertise in her absence. She hopes you’ll enjoy them and look out for the odd honeymoon post from overseas! The new Mrs Francis (who will still be known as Bishop for work purposes) will be back at her desk on 11 November.