Whether the trends have changed or you’re tired of seeing the same old design in your room, it may be time for a change. However, redesigning your kitchen units (and maybe the whole kitchen) can be costly, especially if you purchase too many supplies or need to stick to a budget. Even so, you can change whatever you like through sustainable practices that will allow you to buy affordable things. A penny saved is a penny earned, so let’s get into it.
1. Try sustainable paint
The easiest and less pricey option for redesigning your kitchen units is to paint them. Green products are accessible, but first, you need to consider a few things. To keep the paint on for a longer time, you must be careful how you strip off the old paint. For example, you might want to get a lead-based paint remover that will safely alter it. Removing and cleaning the waste won’t be a hassle anymore, and you’ll be able to dispose of it properly.
Secondly, when looking for sustainable paint, the best options are products with low or no VOC (volatile organic compounds). For durability, check if the paint is oil-based or water-based with 100% acrylic resin. You may also add a clear sealer top on the paint for more protection. Finally, regarding the sealer, you’ll find polyurethane products that will care for your cabinets against fingertips and other strains.
Know that sustainable paint is not only good for the environment but your health too. If you don’t choose protective equipment, your lungs may be affected by the fumes and chemicals, and in the worst cases, those paints can even contribute to respiratory diseases and cancer. So, besides choosing sustainable paint, make sure you properly ventilate the room and wear a mask to minimise the risks.
Look for sustainable materials
When choosing sustainable materials for your cabinets, you’ll have two options: either purchase high-end products that will last forever or look for recycled countertops. The expensive materials will surely last for a longer time, but depending on how much you want to invest in your house, they might not be the best solution if you’re not already settled in your own household.
Then, if you choose recycled products, they might not look that good so they may need another repaint, but the prices are more accessible, like:
- FSC-certified and bamboo plywood;
- FSC-certified wood
- Wood Veneer
- Renewable wood like lyptus (made from two species of eucalyptus)
Still, if your budget allows it, look for these high-end materials:
- Red birch
The less expensive products are not less durable, they’re only not that fancy-looking, but you can still change their appearance. Salvaged wood and reused wood pallets are better than having furniture containing certain toxins that can affect your health. For example, some semi-volatile organic compounds found in such materials have been found to contribute to asthma and wheezing.
3. Shop from local manufacturers
One great way of being a sustainable customer is to support your local businesses and purchase their products. By doing this, you’ll offer them the opportunity of creating new and better products and also provide qualitative furniture to their clients. What’s best about local manufacturers is that they can make custom kitchen units that will suit your tastes better. They may cost you a little bit more, but the investment is worth it.
However, if there are no local businesses in your area and you have no choice but to buy from regular suppliers, you can at least check their ethical and eco policies to ensure they respect the environment and don’t waste resources. Be aware of greenwashing and check if there are rumours around the company’s practices because, most times, if other people sense there’s something wrong with a business, it might be true.
Greenwashing happens when companies invest more in advertising and promoting their intentions and practices. Still, in reality, they don’t implement sustainability into their culture to minimise their impact on the environment. So, if one of your suppliers seems to insist too much on green products and such, make sure you research them thoroughly before purchasing their products.
4. Buy second-hand
Second-hand shops are not only great for reusing clothes but also for furniture. Some showrooms will work by displaying used units, cabinets and such at a discount price. The only disadvantage is that you may find cracked or broken things, so they will need reparations, repainting and much more. Still, the advantage of such showrooms is that you’ll find plenty of unique products, from vintage units to some of the latest designs that you may not find on the internet anymore. Plus, some of these products are made with high-end materials, which is why some of them are very heavy.
Regarding the design, if you’re lucky to find a furniture auction near you or selling online, you might be able to get your hands on:
- Mid-century modern furniture with organic and geometric shapes, minimal ornamentation and neutral and bold colours;
- Modern furnishings, with smooth surfaces, straight lines and warm neutral colours;
- Art deco furniture, with angular lines, bold patterns and prints and animal themes;
- Chippendale furniture that has wooden lattice-shaped curves and elaborated ornamentation;
- Rocco furniture brings the 18th century into your kitchen with lighter woods and pastel colours;
- Victorian furniture is represented by heavy fabrics, ornate carvings and inlays;
- The mission-style furniture features include straight lines, squared legs and durability;
- The Queen Anne design involves curving shaped-furniture, delicate fan or shell patterns made from maple or mahogany woods;
What do you think about these ideas? We believe anyone can redesign their kitchen units and furniture by making a small effort to look for something more than you’d typically find at the regular supplier. Painting furniture is also a sustainable method of caring for and changing your cabinets. Make sure you choose the proper paint and product and equip yourself with masks. So, what’s your next plan for transforming your kitchen units?