top of page

5 Fab Eco Home Design Upgrades For Less Than $500

Natural bedroom. Arched window. Wooden beams on ceiling. Rust throw. Fiddle leaf plant.
Image Source: @ahousebythetrees via House and Home Magazine

The new energy that comes with every spring brings with it the need for change and a fresher take on your space. Eco home design upgrades are the perfect outlet for expressing yourself throughout your home, and are a sure way to carve out a cosy place that feels right to you - but they don’t have to come at a high cost. I’ve gathered a few style tips for consciously sprucing up your abode to match with the brighter, bolder details that are blossoming all over Australia as the season kicks in.

Let up-cycling be a source for your eco home design ideas

upcycled sideboard in dusty pink with brass hardware. Midcentury walnut legs. Styled with cacti, art, books and pots.
Image Source: Elizabeth Dot Design

Scour up-cycling sites that hold items from tear-down houses (think things like steel windows, flower lights, and other delightful pieces) and unique elements that perfectly fit you and your space. You might like to enlist the help of local artisans or handy experts on sites like Airtasker to help you restore the pieces, and even tweak the colour of your piece with some low VOC paint (Porter’s Paint is a great choice) to freshen it up and make it all yours.

Buy from sites that are all about eco living

Conscious consumption doesn’t have to come at a high cost. In fact, it can be a less expensive alternative to regular design pieces, as recycled materials are often at the heart of each item.

I love MadeTrade’s delightful collection of home goods for these reasons, and a few more. Their collection is a brilliant stop for alternative, greener pieces than the well established Anthropologie, and offers consciously stylish home accessories that are friendly to home and environment.

Here in Australia, companies like Armadillo & Co and Eadie Lifestyle go above and beyond to make sure their products are ethically and sustainably crafted and the end results are a testament to what a difference going green can make (more on these fabulous eco-friendly homewares to come in later blogs.) So, even if you're not planning to buy up-cycled, these places are both great options for all price points.

Unleash your unabridged creativity through offcuts

Green velvet sofa. Steel windows in loft apartment. Eco-friendly. Many house plants.
Image Source: Homes to Love

If you’re looking for a sustainable way to realise an idea that’s been stewing in your mind for some time, sourcing offcuts is the perfect way to turn them into tangible items. Most manufacturers have pieces of timber, wood, or other materials that you might be looking for at very low prices, or even free at times - and many are glad to sell them to creatives or give them away instead of contributing to larger carbon emissions.

Even more accessible is the scrap yard. It's a fantastic place to find amazing treasures. Anyone who has ever done any research on steel windows and doors, which of course are all the rage, knows that they cost an absolute bomb. Scrap yards get to buildings and homes before they're demolished and grab all of the coolest stuff, including steel windows, which you can grab for well, a steal.

If your idea is something that you don’t have the skills or equipment to bring to fruition, the experts on Airtasker, Gumtree or craftspeople in your local community can step in and make your special piece come to life with well-executed care.

Cut down on lighting with antique mirrors

Ali Cayne's West Village townhouse. Home office. Vintage Beni Ourain Rug. Antique brass mirror above fireplace. Book shelves with brass library sconces above. Serge Mouille chandelier,
Image Source: Domino Magazine

Lighting is one of the biggest and most beautiful parts of a home. Getting enough of it to filter through into your space is a crucial detail in making your home look great, and elevating the atmosphere of your abode. If your space isn't quite bright enough for you, adding a vintage or antique mirror to it is a strategically stylish addition that can amplify the brightness of your space, and cut down on the need for extra lamps.

Make sure to position the mirror opposite a window or bright light when the sun goes down to make the most of this clever trick. You’ll not only be making your abode feel more inviting and spacious, but also be cutting down on the use of extra electricity and lighting, long term, bonus points if you swap out your regular lamps for L.E.D lights in a hue that suits your space.

Think whether soft, warm diffused colours are the right fit for your interiors, or a starker white to bring out the true unfiltered colours of your surroundings. For an extra points on aesthetic and creativity, consider diffusing exposed lamps with recycled paper in colour options that complement the rest of your decor where fitting.

Small eco home tweaks add up

Vintage furniture in an eclectic living room. Midcentury modern and cozy. Fireplace with art and books. Woven accessories. Feather wall art. Eco-friendly home.
Image Source: Rafael Soldi via Curbed

A successful space is built upon many layered elements that add up to a big impact. The small details like cushions and door handles may seem trivial to the untrained mind, but when greeting the eyes, speak more than words can express.

Swapping out your cushions, fastenings, and handles is great way to spruce up the place, and go with new trends and styles that have arrived with the springtime vibes. When choosing fabrics, go for natural materials that can be easily recycled or transformed into something new when you decide to change up your space again.

For the hardware side of things, seek out secondhand stores or recycled parts that perfectly fit the theme you’re going for. These elements are far from standard, and can often add dynamic styling to your home, and even a stimulating dose of eclectic charm, if you’re feeling bold enough to mix and match.

Eco home design upgrades are simple swaps that boost your abode. Try my fab tips to transform your space, and make a conscientiously stylish difference at a low cost.

Are you ready to make your home more eco-friendly? I'd love to help! We focus on sustainability at every level of the design process. We even donate a portion of all our profits to re-foresting the earth with the Eden Reforestation Projects. We've planted over 10,000 trees and counting!



bottom of page