A Beginner’s Guide to Zero Waste Living: Interior Styling By Moji Igun

More than ever, having a home that you love is essential. Over the course of the pandemic, you might have converted your kitchen counter into a makeshift home office. You shared space with other living beings whether they be friends, family, significant others, pets, or plants. And, possibly for the first time, you noticed just how loud your neighbors really are.

We’ve been spending exponentially more time at home which means we’ve been noticing those quirks that don’t make our spaces ideal. My partner and I are moving soon. We both will be working from home for the foreseeable future and are ready to upgrade to a slightly larger space to better suit our needs. Similar to developing your personal style, finding an interior design style takes both time and intention.

As I’m dreaming up this new space, I’m thinking about both function and aesthetics. I need to be intentional with the design I have so it can best serve my needs. The bedroom needs to serve as a peaceful retreat. The kitchen needs to have the capacity to support my re-emerging interest in cooking elaborate meals and I finally get to have an entire room to call my office. I am confident that I can create all of these things while maintaining a zero waste mindset and you can too!

Start by taking inventory of what you already have and getting some inspiration for the direction you’d like to go. As with personal style, Pinterest is a great place to explore. Take note of what colors and design styles you are most drawn to. Additionally, this book by Kennesha Buycks will teach you how to embrace your home and your story as you create mindful spaces that give life to you, your loved ones, and all who enter. If you want to outsource the creative tasks to someone else, you can seek out an interior stylist. They will help you create a home that you love while working with the pieces you already own. Kiko at CURA offers interior styling as a service.

Once you have a clear idea of what you’re working to create, search for secondhand items that can help you flesh out your vision. If you’re working within a small budget, you can find pieces at estate sales, garage sales, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Goodwill, and your local Buy Nothing Group. In my experience, I’ve found bedside tables, bookshelves, kitchenware, and a dining room set which might have cost me less than five hundred dollars combined. If you have extra wiggle room in your budget, you can search your local consignment shop or browse an online vintage marketplace like Chairish or 1st Dibs for pre-loved furniture, art and decor.

tonle zero waste beige pillow cases
tonle zero waste black and white pillow cases
tonle zero waste mustard woven pillow case

As always, CURA has a thoughtful selection of products for the home. For vintage and thrifted finds, follow @cc_found on Instagram. CURA also offers comfort and style in the form of upcycled pillow covers like this one from tonlé and this throw blanket from Bloom & Give. These resources will give you a strong foundation as you create the zero waste home of your dreams. Even as we begin exploring the world again, our homes will always be the sacred place we can retreat back to.