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Five tips to sustainably redecorate your home

7 May 2020

A sustainable home has a clear connection with nature, uses natural and honest materials and is filled with crafted objects that are built to stand the test of time.

Whether it’s all the seasonal spring cleaning or just spending more time at home staring at the same walls, the urge to redecorate areas of our homes is becoming increasingly tempting. But decorating shouldn’t have to mean out with the old and in with the new. There are plenty of ways to switch up your space and embrace sustainable living without it costing the earth. We’ve put together five tips to help you update your home with sustainability in mind.

We opted to use 'Livid' Grey Green Eco Paint by Little Greene for our Modum Lighting Range photo shoot.

Swap to eco-friendly paint

Creating a sustainable home starts with the basics; the very walls in which you live. Conventional paints contain chemicals, solvents and formaldehydes (ever had to keep the windows open for hours after you've painted just to get rid of the headache inducing smell?) all of which, needless to say, are bad for the environment and our health. Indeed, some studies shockingly claim that producing just 1 tin of conventional paint produces 30 litres of by product and toxic waste. 

It should come as no surprise then that eco plant-based, water-based and water-borne paints contain lower levels of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and pose far less risk to our health and planet.

Luckily, just like conventional paints, eco paints come in a wide-range of finishes. As well as emulsions, interior and exterior solutions, masonry paints and primers, you can also find hard-wearing, wipeable natural paints on the market (not to mention a great selection of colours and shades).

Some of our favourite eco paint brands, that we've used in many of our photo shoots, include Farrow and Ball, Earthborn and Little Greene

Our handcrafted lighting and furniture pieces are created with the same care and attention as a fine piece of artwork. (Left - right) Crib Bench, No.1 Pendant Giant in Walnut, No.1 Pendant in Oak.

Choose Investment pieces

Investing in high-quality pieces of lighting and furniture for your home will ensure that they stand the test of time and serve you well for many years to come. Seeking out durable, long-lasting items that may be a little more expensive than your usual budget will actually save you money in the long term as the necessity to replace them becomes null (which also means they are the best option for the planet too).

This is especially important for furniture that will be used everyday and subjected to heavy use, such as sofas, chairs and tables

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The flowing curves of our Arbor Armchair can be maintained using natural cleaning products that include essential oils and organic ingredients such as beeswax.
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In the event of the wood on our furniture pieces being stained by severe spillages, the surface can be lightly re-sanded and re-oiled - please contact us or a professional furniture restorer before doing so.

Use natural cleaning products

Once you've freshly painted your walls and invested in some long-lasting furniture pieces, you'll want to keep your fresh new home clean and tidy. Opting to use natural cleaning products with less chemicals, artificial fragrances and additives is a safer option for family and pets - as well as being better for the environment.

Using gentle, toxic-free cleaning products will reduce your exposure to VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and in turn, lower the risk of a wide range of health conditions from nausea, fatigue and headaches to asthma and skin irritations. Some of our favourite eco-cleaners include Bio D and Tincture, who offer a variety of multi-surface cleaners which are compatible with our furniture and lighting ranges.

Likewise, making your own cleaning products from essential oils and herbal antiseptic ingredients can be another sustainable option to consider when keeping your home clean. Why not purchase some reusable glass bottles and keep them topped up with homemade solutions? You'll save on both plastic and have peace of mind over what you're spraying on your furniture and surfaces as well as the atmosphere. Discover some of our favourite homemade cleaning products here.

Our Hanter Wall Lights make for the perfect bedside light and utilise Tala LED Elva Bulbs. Likewise, our Drift Pendant in Walnut produces an ambient glow when paired with Gaia Bulbs.

Make the switch to LED

Here at Tom Raffield we only recommend and retail LED Light Bulbs with our pendant, wall, floor and table designs. The reason? Put simply, LED's are a lot better for the environment.

LED light bulbs use 90% less energy than a traditional tungsten bulb, produce the same quality of light and, over time, will save you a lot of money on electricity bills. They require less maintenance than their halogen, CFL and Tungsten counterparts as they will last longer than the outdated versions producing around 50,000 hours of light as opposed to halogen’s 2,500 to 4,000 hours. Did we mention they also look great...

Our furniture pieces are covered using only 100% natural upholstered fabrics. We work alongside one of the last upright wool mill companies in the UK, Abraham Moon & Sons. The British company exclusively manufacture sustainable, recyclable fabrics - mainly high-quality wool derived from free range, pasture fed, and ethically reared sheep – and help to support independent farms who showcase the best farming practices.


Making the most of existing furnishings, fabrics and materials you have at home by re-upholstering and up-cycling them can update your space just as much as purchasing new pieces - plus it gives a personal, sentimental edge to your space. 

Why not commission an upholstered furniture piece with your own bespoke fabric and make your Tom Raffield piece truly unique? From our Beeble Pouffe and Arbor Furniture Range to our Upholstered Crib Bench, there's a steam bent design to transform every room. 

If you're interested in commissioning a bespoke upholstered piece please email our sales team to find out the required fabric dimensions and properties. Likewise, read more about the sustainable properties of our three standard fabric colourways here

Our Merryn Floor Standing Planters look eye-catching planted with indoor trees and statement houseplants.

Grow your own

The ability to have a self-sustainable lifestyle and grow enough fresh produce to live off is fast becoming a modern-day dream. With recent events highlighting the importance of a sustainable, easily accessible food chain there's never been a better time to take up indoor gardening as a hobby.

When redecorating or designing your home why not prioritise spaces for nurturing plants to purify the air, planting vegetables and growing fresh herbs? Plants can be grown in a variety of conditions and containers, making them an easy and sustainable hobby to enjoy.

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Our Morvah Wall Hanging Planter is the perfect place to grow indoor herbs from seed which in turn will reduce your plastic consumption in the long run.
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Inviting greenery into your space has a multitude of health benefits. As well as inviting a fresh and laid-back appeal, houseplants have many benefits including providing clean air, boosting our mood, promoting concentration and even improving memory.

Our Green Range planters summon the outdoors in and offer a great place to elevate your favourite houseplants. Choose our Morvah Hanging Planter (available in both a small and standard size) for trailing succulents, planting kitchen herbs or displaying air plants or, fashion our Merryn Floor Standing Planters with a fruit tree or indoor palm of your choice and reap the benefits of quality design, aesthetic and satisfying home-grown produce. 

Posted: 07.05.20
Updated: 29.04.21

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