Create a Sustainable and Beautiful Dining Room with These 7 Tips

When it comes to decorating any room in your home, there are multiple important factors to consider. For many, these will help you curb spending, stay on track financially, and manage the budget for your decorating project. You’ll also have to factor in the size of the space, incorporate aesthetic preferences between multiple homeowners, and balance the practicalities of your everyday lifestyle.

In addition, many modern homeowners, shocked by their individual environmental impact in other areas of life, are now attempting to incorporate sustainability into their interior design projects.

Sustainability and environmentally sound practices are on-trend right now. It makes sense. Embracing greener, more eco-friendly habits when it comes to crafting a beautiful living space not only minimizes the potential of your furniture off-gassing, but it can also save you money. It also allows you to craft a space that’s uniquely yours while empowering you to live guilt-free in the knowledge that you did as much as possible to minimize your home’s carbon footprint.

If the time has come to revamp your dining room, and you’d like to make the process as green as possible, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’re sharing some tips and pointers to help you create a gorgeous dining area that incorporates the fundamentals of sustainability.

1. Donate and Sell the Items You No Longer Need

First, if you need to rid yourself of current pieces of furniture and knickknacks, donate or sell them instead of simply throwing them in the garbage. For one, you’ll make some extra cash to go toward your redecoration project.

Second, fast furniture is a huge environmental problem. In the United States alone, over 12 million tonnes of furniture are thrown away yearly — a horrifying increase of 450% since the 1960s.

2. Seek Out Reclaimed Furniture

Dining Room


Consider reclaimed furniture if your mini revamp involves investing in a new dining table, sideboard, or dining chairs. Simply speaking, reclaimed furniture is made with recycled wood, like lumber from old barns, factories, or railways. This reuse means no trees were felled in creating your piece, and the recycled wood was saved from landfills.

Reclaimed furniture comes in various styles — think shabby chic, industrial, or vintage modern — guaranteeing everyone in the home can have their aesthetic preferences met. You can check out Woodcraft for prime examples of reclaimed dining tables that hit the ball out of the park when it comes to straddling aesthetics, quality, longevity, and sustainability.

Investing in core pieces of quality furniture that draw the eye and ground your dining room is a wise choice. They add an elevated air of luxury, meaning you can look for cost-effective decorative solutions elsewhere.

3. Look at Vintage Stores and Online Marketplaces for Décor

When you’re looking for wall décor and other curiosities, visit your local thrift and vintage stores and check out online marketplaces. By shopping secondhand, you’re minimizing the raw production and transportation of virgin materials — namely, plastic and packaging — and you’re saving items from potentially ending up in landfill.

As a bonus, you’ll inevitably save money when you shop secondhand, all while creating a dining room that’s unique and true to you.

4. Choose Natural Textiles


When it comes to textiles and soft furnishings in the space, like curtains, table runners and placemats, look for products that are made using natural materials. To be deemed natural and sustainable, materials should be grown and processed without compromising raw materials, without damaging farmland and with no animal products.

The materials should also be treated and dyed with the environment in mind, using earth and water-safe practices. Organic, hemp, cotton and linen are all great options.

5. Add Plants

Buy second-hand pots online and see if friends, neighbors, or family members are propagating any of their houseplants. This cuts costs for you and reduces the need to buy imported, non-native greenery from garden centers and supermarkets.

Plants are a great nod to sustainability in space. They reconnect us to the natural environment, and some varieties can also help to improve and clean the indoor air quality in our homes.

6. Seek Out Paint with Low VOCs


It’s hard to find paint that is entirely environmentally sound. Paint fabrication comes with some environmental strain, and it’s hard to be green during the clean-up following your painting project. You either dispose of your brush and roller without cleaning them, making these items single-use. Or you wash paint down the drain — and neither of these scenarios is ideal.

While painting is never going to be sustainably perfect, a great place to begin is to look for paints that have zero or low volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a low biocide count (biocides are used to prevent mold and mildew from forming), and a low level of chemical pigments.

You can find recycled paint that’s manufactured using paints from the end of the production line in major factories and earth-friendly paints that are made using natural products.

Unfortunately, recycled and naturally made paints are both somewhat hard to come by. For this reason, looking for interior paints with low-to-zero VOCs and low biocides that are tinted using natural pigments is a safe and acceptable compromise.

7. Consider Your Lighting

While natural light is always preferable in a space embracing sustainability, you’ll understandably want to switch on a light or two when night falls.

Look for plastic-free lighting solutions if you’re replacing ceiling and hardwired lighting. Rattan, glass, linen, or metal pendant lights from sustainable manufacturers are all great options.

Lamps not only add a layer of depth and warmth to a room — a necessity when you’re hosting cozy dinner parties with friends and family — but they also mean that you don’t need to have the main lights turned on, unnecessarily using up energy.

Whatever your lighting preference, opt for LED bulbs. While LEDs provide the same level of luminosity as an incandescent bulb, they emit 80% less greenhouse gases.


The Takeaway on Creating a Beautiful and Sustainable Dining Room

Sustainability doesn’t mean that beauty or quality needs to be compromised. By investing in core pieces of eco-friendly furniture, seeking naturally grown and processed textiles, and knowing when to shop secondhand for decorative flair, you can create an attractive and practical dining area.