This is a post I’m very excited to share with you. Not only because I finally have my own place after being a homeless nomad for almost a year, but also because I’ve decorated it in the most sustainable and ethical way I could…at a really low budget! Please do have in mind that there are some eco-friendly home items that are either extremely difficult to find, or mind-blowingly expensive. Hence, on those cases, I chose products from companies that have very transparent and philanthropic values. (Don't forget that it’s all about the balance and baby steps!) With that being said, let’s jump straight into the topic because this post might be a long one!
As you may already know, I am a full-time conscious lifestyle and travel blogger, which means that I travel almost every month to review different hotels and brands for my blog. For that reason, and because I’ve finally discovered the powerful value of simplicity, I chose to turn a studio into my new home. And, in this 630sf space, I managed to create different environments: a boho living room, a wanderluster bedroom, a relaxing reading station, a yogi corner, a mandala breakfast area, a welcoming hallway, a balcony with a tiny orchard, and my bathroom and closet.
This area is one of the most important ones in your home. This is where you’ll get to rest and recharge and dream about all the things you want to achieve in life, so make sure you design it in a way that collides with your personality. Since I love to travel, I glued an entire worldmap on my wall (8.3ft wide x 12ft tall) and used pins to mark the places I’ve visited since I started WaterThruSkin 3 years ago. After doing some research and lots of brand comparisons, I chose to purchase the map from Gilt because it came with eco-friendly and non-toxic glue while the other brands didn’t. The map came with 8 different pieces and it took me about 5 hours to measure, glue, and cover the entire wall with the map. It’s not an easy task but very much worth it.
WTS tips: I first laid the map on the floor to make sure I was placing the countries correctly (you can never be too sure!). I then pinned them to the wall, got the glue ready, and added glue to the borders of the map only. Be careful with the bubbles. They were really hard for me to avoid! I also used Onyx & Green’s natural stick glue for some tricky places.
Lastly, I placed LED lights around the map. They are energy efficient and can light up an entire room, thus, I chose to use LED instead of a night lamp. Plus, it looks cooler too! You can get them on Amazon for $9-$12. They come in strips with a tape on the back, and are super easy to stick to the wall. I used two strips/rolls. Don't forget to buy the power source too. ($9)
Bed pillows and bedsheets: can you say BAMBOO? Yes! I have bamboo bedsheets, a bamboo comforter, and pillows made of bamboo and other natural materials! They are not only beautiful, sustainable and hypoallergenic, but also incredibly comfortable! The brands I recommend are these:
-Mattress: Here's a really good article I found about he best sustainable mattresses. It all depends on your budget and vision.
Instead of using a bed base, I decided to make one myself with recycled wood crates I purchased at a wine store. Besides being planet-friendly, they were half the price of the ones people normally get at Arts & Crafts stores. I purchased eight crates for $4.99 each at Total Wine & More, placed them next to my mattress in a line that surrounded the bed, and filled them with books, succulents, crystals and more. (Note: you will have to go to the store to purchase the crates. I don't think they sell them online)
I’ve dreamed about having a hanging chair at home for years but never found one that was affordable and ethical enough to purchase, until this one came along! I bought it from Jet after going over their company’s values on Jet's website. They revolve around transparency, ethics, and giving back. They’ve even set up a charity to provide the living essentials to families in need, and match every dollar we donate to this cause. The chair (with the stand, cushion and shipping cost) was $289. I added two handmade bohemian pillows I purchased at Anthropology to give color to the chair. In case you don’t know, Anthropology is part of URBN, and they take global community initiatives and sustainability very seriously. They also support arts and education programs through different non-profits, focus on handmade products and carry vegan leather options! These pillows were on sale. Approx $35 each (with insert).
Next to the chair, I hanged a Dieffenbachia (oxygen cleaning plant) using a beautiful macramé planter that was handmade with recycled cotton by Yerbamala Design.
This is my spiritual corner. I designed it with items I’ve collected throughout these years. Some of them were gifts, others I made myself, and some I purchased. I won’t go into specific detail, but here are some WTS tips:
1) This is the corner that reminds you about your essence. Your spirit. The religion or philosophy of life you connect to the most. Your temple.
I chose to go crazy with colors here! No boundaries, no design pattern.
1) SUP paddleboard: I purchased this baby about 5 years ago. It was designed by my brother and, instead of storing it, I decided to transform it into boho home décor. I wrapped LED lights around it to add eye-catching spiciness to it.
2) Pink chair: It’s ethically made, in the US, with car seat belts by Harveys.
3) Yellow Owl Planter and White Vase: They are handmade and hand-painted by women in Colombia. Fair-trade and packaged/shipped using the cutest eco-friendly boxes by HabibiLiving. You get to choose the plants on their website. Prices range between $16-$85.
4) White-Silver boxes: I bought these in Bali.
6) Yoga mats and wheel: All three are eco-friendly but made with different materials. The beige ones, and the wheel, are made with renewable cork and recycled tire rubber by Yoloha and ILoveGurus. The pink one is made from natural tree rubber by Jade, and they plant a tree for each mat sold.
7) Rug: Fair-trade and handmade, empowering artisans in India by Guadalupe Design.
8) TV-stand: made from recycled wood by my handyman. Cheaper, faster and more sustainable than buying a TV-stand at a store. $150 with installation.
9) Sofa and floor Pillows: WestElm. Another favorite store of mine. Their products are not only fair-trade, but they also support local artisans, artists and charities. The prices of these ranged between $28-$45 (with inserts).
10) Plants: Midtown Garden Center in Miami is my place to go for plants. Nature, vegan food trucks, recycled wood furniture, and little lights everywhere
MANDALA BREAKFAST AREA:
I purchased the table and the stools at IKEA. One of the reasons why I love visiting and supporting IKEA is because they take sustainability and ethics to the next label by sourcing their wood sustainably, switching to energy-efficient LED lighting, and even installing solar-panels in their stores. Approx $290 for the table and three stools.
I then painted mandalas with eco water-based chalk markers on the stools, and coated them with clear paint.
Aromatherapy Diffuser: This product changed my life! All you need to do is fill it with water and your favorite aromatherapy oils.
-Use laundry (wood) clips rather than plastic clips
-Use mason jars as glasses, and also to store your superfoods
-Get a water filtering pitcher. I use SOMA. Their filters are made with 60% recycled and plantbased materials, and their handles with sustainable oak. Plus, their designs are flawless!
-Use recycled wine crates as décor
-Use recycled glass water bottles, paper coffee cups, coffee mugs as planters.
-Plant your favorite herbs, spices, veggies, and fruits. I have basil, mint, lavender, rosemary, mint, cilantro, tomatoes, lettuce, pineapple, and succulents everywhere.
-Recycle your wine and glass water bottles, paint them and transform them into decorative pieces. For eco-friendly and non-toxic paint brands, scroll up to LIVING ROOM.
-Add some plants (The elephant planter is from HabibiLiving as well. Fair-trade and handmade)
-Get soy candles. Mrs Meyers is a great option. The scents I like are Lavender and Basil.
-Paint a mason jar and use it to store your toothbrush and toothpaste.
-Use fairtrade and handmade bath rugs. Mine is by Guadalupe Design and empowers artisans in India.
-Use your cotton shopping bags as décor. I insterted some dried lavender in mine and hung it on the wall.
-Add a vase with water and crystals next to entrance to your apartment/home. This will absorb people’s negative energy when they enter your home. Once they leave, pour the water down the drain, clean your crystals, fill with fresh water, and repeat as needed.
-Use newspaper to give a twist to your mirror. I glued mine with Onyx+Green natural glue.
-Hang toquilla hats around the mirror.
This is for everyone who is on their phone and computer 24/7. Get a radiation protective case from SafeSleeve. I have both the laptop and iPhone ones and use them every single day. Radiations are extremely harmful to our health and have been proven to cause cancer. Safesleeve’s cases protect you against 99% of all three types of harmful EMF radiation. They have vegan leather cases available too! :)
And lastly, for all dog-lovers, GoFullCircle is a great option for when that painful moment comes and we have to say goodbye. GoFullCircle gives you the option of giving life to a tree from your dog's ashes. You will receive a beautiful container made from bamboo with fertilizer, soil and wood chips inside. All you have to do is combine your baby's ashes with the fertilizer, soil and wood chips. GoFullCircle also gives you the option of choosing which tree you want. It's a wonderful way to honor your dog and create life from life. Once you plant the tree, you can recycle and use the bamboo container to store things or memories. Use code WTSFIVE for discount.