Healthy, Green Design: Repurpose Existing Niches in Your Home


| 1/18/2011 10:07:25 AM


Stephanie Nickolson headshotStephanie Nickolson has designed residential, commercial and eco-conscious environments for more than 24 years. Her firm, Stephanie Nickolson Design, promotes the use of sustainable, non-toxic, recyclable and environmentally-friendly products and services. The firm works largely with clients who have allergies, chemical sensitivies or who have children with special needs. 

I believe it’s indicative of the times, and with winter upon us, that many homeowners are opting to stay home, settle in, or nest, having a new project or renovation in mind. This trend can also be known as staycationing, for those who choose to trade a trip somewhere to staying home, to "enjoy all that one’s home has to offer."  Personally, I like to refer to my own home as my retreat or safe haven.

built-in wood benches 
Need a winter project? Create a built-in bench with storage for your home. Photo By sierravalleygirl/Courtesy Flickr. 

After a realtor convinced my husband and I to do away with the idea of building an addition onto our kitchen, we took her valuable advice and pulled up the existing flooring (which included carpet and inexpensive builder-grade laminate) and installed hardwood floors throughout the entire first floor. By doing this, we learned that it could increase the value of our home up to 10 percent. This benefit, and adding to the eco-friendliness of our home, was quite pleasing.

Ideas to repurpose existing areas in your home abound, but first I’ll offer the idea of building a storage bed in a nook of a bedroom, as a childhood friend of mine had in her room. I have fond memories of this concept. I think of how innovative and purposeful her parents were to think of this. She had a bed built in inside a windowed-alcove with storage-enhanced drawers to store clothing. The bed was then topped with a mattress.



Another idea is to build a bench or built-in upholstered seating area. This idea is conducive to a bay window or alcove as it envelopes the people seated there. It creates a coziness and warmth, almost restaurant-like and comforting. Chairs can be used around the other sides of the table.



Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds