Comfort, aesthetics and durability are key factors when we buy new furnishings, but a lot of us forget about (or don’t prioritize) sustainability.
Choosing products that are long-lasting and safe for your family is important. Did you know that furnishings can affect our indoor air quality, especially in winter?
Especially for upholstery, buy quality products that are going to last. Many retailers’ products have a five-year cycle. Furnishings are built from cardboard, particleboard, MDF and low-quality materials. They’ll wear and sag faster, even with moderate use. Once they wear out, they head to a landfill, you’ll buy a new piece, and the five-year cycle begins again.
Each time we bring new furniture into our homes, we’re also bringing in volatile organic compounds. VOCs are found in household products including adhesives, fabrics, cleaners, carpeting, varnish and paint. VOCs turn into gas and “off-gas” toxins, which can cause nose, throat and eye irritation, shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness, nausea, and skin problems. Look for paints and materials labeled low to zero VOC, and let furniture air out for a few hours outside or in a garage before bringing it indoors.
Good furniture should have solid hardwood frame construction, good support systems, and quality upholstery. Select classic and timeless styles and fabrics that you’ll love for years.