Looking to style your home in a more eco-friendly way? Get inspiration from these stunning sustainably stylish homes.
When it comes to decorating your home with the planet in mind, it can be difficult to know where to start, or where to look for inspiration. Luckily, there are some seasoned decorators out there, from across the UK and beyond, who have nailed the art of combining style with eco considerations, on a realistic budget.
Whether you’re revamping your living room, sprucing up your bedroom, or looking to renovate your kitchen sustainably, consider this your go-to source for creating a stylish, planet-friendly abode.
12 Sustainably Stylish Homes
Whether you rent or own your home or have a big or tiny budget here are heaps of eco-friendly ideas on how to style your home. These are all taken from real-life homes – many of them rented – so that you can easily incorporate their sustainable design ideas into your own home:
1. Nicolette’s Rented Home In Brisbane
I had to kick off with this charming 1920s home, which is rented and decorated by Brisbane resident Nicolette Johnson. It’s been the main sustainable design inspiration for my own home, as it looks like such a cosy, inviting, and relaxing space.
What makes Nicolette’s space so sustainable, is that the majority of the furniture, artwork and accessories were sourced from eBay and Gumtree. Other pieces have been sourced from antique stores and charity shops. Barely anything new was purchased – giving the home a very minimal impact on the environment.
As a renter, Nicolette hasn’t been able to do much to the bare bones of her flat. However, her beautiful secondhand furniture and artwork really shine in this light and bright space. The lesson here is to keep it simple.
2. An Upcycled Home In Hertfordshire
The owners of this beautiful Victorian terraced house in Hertfordshire have cleverly repurposed old materials and furniture to a really stunning and unique effect.
The unique kitchen was made by repurposing old floorboards and fruit crates to make the doors. Reclaimed shelving was also crafted to maximise their storage.
As seasoned upcyclers, the theme continues into the living room. The owners couldn’t find a large sofa that they liked anywhere. Instead, of plumping for one off the shelf, they made the sofa’s wooden base from salvaged fruit crates. For comfort, they then added their own cushions.
Meanwhile, the mirror frame was made from a door frame found in a salvage yard – giving a unique yet stylish sustainable look.
3. Cat’s Rented London Flat
Cat Greenwood is a lawyer and lover of all things vintage and secondhand. A regular attendee of flea markets and vintage shops, Cat has found some lovely sustainably stylish preloved pieces for her rented London flat.
Cat seems to have enormous luck finding such great vintage pieces. But as well as that, Cat is also pretty darned crafty, upcycling a lot of furniture to fit her home. It’s a great way to turn something that doesn’t quite fit, into the perfect sustainable piece of furniture.
4. A Vintage-Inspired Home In Bristol
Bristol-based blogger Lou Archell’s cosy Victorian terraced house is packed full of secondhand and vintage finds and just oozes sustainable style.
Even the bathroom has the secondhand treatment with this beautiful old mirror, customised by Lou.
5. Artemis’s Vintage Filled Home
Artemis Russell, an Isle of Wight-based jeweller, has furnished her beautiful home mostly with secondhand car-boot, flea-market, and charity shop finds. This has created a stunning, yet simple look, that’s warm, inviting, and easy on the environment.
I love all of her vintage and antique finds that together make this home so unique and so homely. It clearly looks like a labour of love.
As you would imagine from a jewellery designer, Artemis is also super crafty. She has made a lot of items for her home, including this beautiful whale and fish mobile for her daughter.
6. Gigi’s Colourful Vintage London Home
Gigi Eligoloff has a unique and beautiful vintage home full of secondhand finds and vintage treasures. Even her kitchen and cooker are secondhand from Gumtree!
Gigi had been saving for her dream kitchen, but sadly the money was stolen. Instead, Gigi bought a secondhand kitchen and cooker from Gumtree and created this truly beautiful kitchen. I can’t imagine getting the same effect from a new kitchen – it’s such a unique and beautiful space that’s so full of character.
7. Caroline’s Sustainably Stylish London Home
Caroline Rowland, editor of 91 Magazine, has put together such a sustainably stylish home in London.
Like most of the other homes featured, Caroline’s house has largely been furnished with secondhand finds. Be it from eBay, car boot sales, Gumtree, charity shops, and antique shops – with the odd new item thrown in for good mix. It really is proof that secondhand doesn’t mean that you have to compromise your style when it comes to furnishing your home.
If you’re swooning over Caroline’s home as much as I am, then you can see more photos of her beautiful home on Apartment Therapy.
8. A Dreamy Australian Rented Bungalow
This absolutely stunning coastal cottage on Australia’s Victoria coast is packed full of lovely recycled, reclaimed, restored and vintage finds. It’s one of my all-time favourites.
Everything has been sourced sustainably. The lounge chairs were even rescued from the side of the road and then restored by the occupants – proof that one man’s trash really is another man’s treasure.
9. Rachelle’s Rented Yorkshire Farmhouse
Rachelle Blondel lives in a rented farmhouse in North Yorkshire that was built in 1729. It’s such a lived-in family home, in the best possible way, that’s filled with handmade beauties and rescued treasures.
Most are finds from Freecycle and have been given a new lease of life thanks to Rachelle’s skill for making, sewing, and crafting.
10. Lesley’s Charity Shop Style
Lesley Greening Lassoff has furnished her beautiful home mainly with charity shop, eBay and car boot finds.
This decision was partly borne out of necessity as Lesley says “When I was furnishing the house I didn’t have much money, but it was an enjoyable challenge“. However, it’s clear that it was also partly as a stand against consumerism as she adds “I don’t like buying new, and I enjoy having a rummage or a forage in charity shops“.
Lesley’s home has come together beautifully, and I love the relaxed and cosy feel of her house.
11. Hannah & Dave’s Rented London Flat
Hannah and Dave Bullivant practically furnished their entire rented flat with secondhand pieces, sourced from the markets and charity shops of London.
Upcycling is also key. Hannah and Dave have upcycled apple crates for shelving and book storage and repurposed a wooden cable drum reel into a coffee table.
12. Dai & Rosie’s Cornish Home
Finally, Dai and Rosie have focused heavily on secondhand furniture: from family heirlooms to eBay, car boot, charity shop and vintage shop finds to furnish their home with stunning effect.
And their kitchen even features units made from old tea chests. I love the contrast between the units and the retro Formica table.
How To Get The Look For Yourself
If you’re looking to make your home sustainably stylish then it’s really easy to do.
First off, don’t underestimate the power of repurposing. Using what you already have is the greenest way to style your home. Moving a piece from one room to another can make you see an item of furniture in a new light. And if it still isn’t working, a lick of paint or upcycling it could be just the thing to transform a piece of furniture you hate into one that you love.
If you need to add some pieces of furniture, then turn to secondhand first. Antique shops and charity shops are great places to look for unique vintage and upcycled pieces. Not only will you give new life to old furniture, but you’ll also add character and history to your space.
If you’d rather shop online, then check out my guide on where to buy secondhand furniture online for my top suggestions. I’ve also outlined some of the pitfalls to be wary of (woodworm, scams, etc).
If you prefer new furniture, many modern brands are committed to sustainability. Look for companies that use recycled materials, practice ethical manufacturing, and design pieces with longevity in mind. To help you out, do check out my guide to sustainable furniture. This details all the brands you need to know and some top shopping tips.