Once every month or so I will get an itch to move, to get a "better" home that feels more like me. Every year for about 4 years, 2 months before my husband's and my lease is up on our apartment, we consistently look around on every property finder website for a home that seems better and every year we have renewed our lease on our current place. Why?
- Seattle's real estate has only increased in cost every year
- We haven't found anything for relatively the same price that we love as much as we love our place
- Moving is a complete pain in the butt
The perpetual feelings of transience and transition have prevented me from making my home really feel like my home. With renting you don't want to put too much time and money into a place that you will eventually be handing back to the owner in addition to all of your rent payments. Even still, we are expecting to move next year, but the last four years have taught me something– I can't be sure of anything. We may or may not move next year and either way I need to live in the present. My friend and I were recently talking about how we both have put off painting our places because of the uncertainty of moving and wasting resources. After putting it off for so long, I realize now that helping make your rented home more personalized may in fact reduce that unsettling urge to move at all.
I think that the desire to move can sometimes just be a yearning for change, for self-expression and a fresh perspective. If we can make simple, low-cost personalizations to our home environment they may satisfy those cravings all together and give us a renewed sense of peace. I know that even when we re-arrange some furniture I fall back in love with our home and life. For me and my friend, the next step to making our homes feel more peaceful is painting them to fit our style.
Most paints contain lots of harmful chemicals and the damaging kind of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These fumes can cause asthma, increase allergy symptoms and even damage the nervous system over time. My goal here is to provide you with some of my eco-friendly favorites if you decide you need a change too! All of these are water-based so that you do not need a chemical solvent to clean up afterwards.
1. AirPure Paints | Spartanburg, South Carolina
This is actually the most eco-friendly interior wall paint that I can find as scientists have made this formula safe even for labs and hospitals. Not only is it non-toxic and made with zero VOCs technology, it actually improves the air quality by absorbing any harmful pollutants in your air and allowing you to breathe better. Personally, I am looking to paint my place white to contrast with the dark wood antiques like this home on Apartment Therapy.
2. Farrow & Ball | Dorset, England
Farrow & Ball has been making paint since 1946 and in 2010 they changed their formulas from oil-based to water-based with low VOCs and odors to take better care of the Earth. They are also mindful of their environmental impact in their entire business and production processes including energy, waste, and chemical use. This means a lot as some companies will simply make an eco-friendly product without looking at the impact of their whole business. I love this dark and dimensional room painted with their "Railings" color in the eggshell finish.
3. Mythic Paint | Hattiesburg, Mississippi
First of all, I think Mythic Paints wins best paint can design as their cans are simple, sleek and they have decided the cans don't need to be covered in "eco green" with neutrals and trees in order to take care of the Earth. Their cans reflect mid-century modern elements and are elegant and easy to read. Besides having beautiful packaging, the company has also created zero VOC, low odor and durable paints!
4. Konig Colors | Northhamptonshire, England
I'm in love with the "Tweety" paint color by Konig that was used on this bathtub and radiator. It adds such a happy accent to the sophisticated white walls in the background. Konig makes a beautiful range of water-based, non-hazardous and very low VOC colors that provide so many possibilities!
5. Colorhouse Paint | Portland, Oregon
Colorhouse Paint wins best website design for me as it is easy to navigate with stunning examples of how you can use their paint to make a beautiful space. They also clearly describe how their paints do not have any toxins, VOCs or chemical solvents. To get the crisp and clean look that L'Essenziale Home Designs has created in this kitchen, I would use Colorhouse's Bisque white.
I hope you are inspired as I am and have a bit more clarity on how to choose a paint that will be healthy for you and the planet!
Credits: Image #1 from Colorhouse Paints | Image #2 from Apartment Therapy | Image #3 by Farrow & Ball Interiors Photography | Image #4 from Lonny | Image #5 from Konig Colors | Image #6 from L'Essenziale Home designs | Info on VOCs from The Washington Post