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How To Create A More Sustainable Home With Penny Goldstone

by Penny Goldstone

When we finally moved into our dream house in Surrey earlier this year - after an 18 month wait, thank you pandemic - I knew I wanted to do things differently. I’m sure everyone who, like us, had been or still is renting in London, knows there is virtually no point investing in forever homeware. Why bother when you’re not going to stay there for more than a couple years? Cue many a journey to your nearest IKEA store for meatballs, a chest of Malm drawers and Hemnes shoe storage, and an argument or two. Don’t get me wrong, that furniture has served us well, but this time round, I want to take the time to not only choose homeware that reflects my personality better, but that will stand the test of time: the ultimate sustainable goal. And if I can support small businesses along the way, even better.

For me, a good place to start was the little touches, while we save up to invest in the bigger items of furniture. Wolf & Badger is my go-to for discovering independent and ethical brands that sell home accessories with a twist. Whilst I’ve always been a fan of bold colours and statement pieces (our previous living room was Farrow & Ball Calke green), in this home I’ve instinctively veered towards earthy, organic tones and natural materials - perhaps another subconscious nod to sustainability.

In the lounge, I’ve chosen a concrete wall and wood panelling to reflect this, while restoring the original floorboards. In terms of furnishings, I didn’t want to change my sofa, and a good way to give it an upgrade was buying new cushions. These organic cotton ones add an Ibizean touch to my living room, making it feel cosy and pulled together. I’m a sucker for anything terrazzo, so I instantly fell in love with handmade trays, which look great on our side table and echo the industrial look of the wall. I’ll probably move them to a different room in a few months to mix things up a bit, maybe to display jewellery in my bedroom. That’s another great tip: instead of throwing something away when you’re bored of it, just rearrange it in a different room, it’ll give it a new lease of life.

For the dining room, I’ve chosen a dusty pink colour to add warmth as it doesn’t get a lot of natural light. The fun bit was accessorising it. I love entertaining, so pretty serveware is an absolute must for me. The striped cake stand and caramel milk jug by OYOY Living just happen to perfectly match the colour scheme, so it was just meant to be. And of course, who doesn’t love a shell bowl? Far too pretty to just dump loose change and keys in, so for now it’ll sit proudly on a shelf or the dining table. I love the fact that it’s concrete like the living room wall too.

Finally, whilst I’m terrible at keeping plants alive, I do think they’re perfect for creating a natural mood. Hopefully this one will survive long enough to enjoy its terracotta pot setting. I do hope you like my edit. I know creating a sustainable home environment can seem like a daunting task, but you need to remember that all you can do is start somewhere, take your time with it and more importantly, have a little fun with it along the way.

Penny Goldstone is the Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.