Green Living: Natural Décor Better For Earth And Your Wallet?

Written by Posted On Thursday, 07 February 2008 16:00

Sellers are looking for ways to get the most for their homes and buyers, of course, are looking for the best value. The a flowing floor plan, a spacious layout, a not-so-crowded street, great curb appeal, low HOA or planned community fees, etc. are certainly big influencers for buyers. But so, too, are some of the items in your home that you might not give much consideration.

A changing environment and more talk of all the trash that's filling up our landfills is causing more people to go green by using recycled goods or products that are renewable and easily break down instead of sitting around in our dumps.

Did you know that nylon fabric takes 30-40 years to degrade in a landfill? Cotton fabric takes only 1-5 months.

That's why businesses like the Kaaya Collection are taking off. Established in 2005, its founder, Vinitha Watson is not only selling an environmentally-friendly home décor but also hoping to educate consumers. The company aims to reduce the damaging environmental footprint as much as possible.

Watson says it's a very important mission for her to educate people about what types of materials they are being surrounded by in their homes. She equates it to the push for organic foods that is gaining in popularity.

"I really wanted to concentrate on natural fibers which do have the ability to break down faster," explains Watson.

She uses artisans from India, some who "do phenomenal work for European royalty," says Watson. "We use their craft and their art to embellish fabrics and then bring them here with a kind of Indo-Western flare and we sell it in the U.S.," adds Watson.

Most of her home décor products are items that people would typically pack up and take with them if they moved; however, Watson says there is a value to having natural products in your home when it comes time to sell it.

"In staging a home, if you decorate it in a very natural way, people will feel very cozy in that home," says Watson.

Home décor experts say the "in" products for items that are left behind when the home is sold are things such as wood shutters and woven wood shaded designs for window coverings. These items tend to hold their clean, simple, and up-to-date look regardless of how the styles change over the years.

And Watson adds this, "A lot of the time when sellers move, they leave curtains, so that would be something to highlight." She says especially so if they are made from natural fibers.

Using natural products isn't just about cashing in on what might appeal to buyers; Watson says it's really about creating a better environment and lessening potential health issues that can come from synthetic materials.

"They cause a lot of allergies. They can cause rashes … . They can be carcinogenic," says Watson

Getting started in the natural décor theme doesn't have to break the bank. "Buy something that is really good that is also 100 percent natural fiber," says Watson. She recommends starting with pillows and curtains. She adds, "They're great to make you feel good about your environment."

When you shop for products ask questions about dyes. "I educate people about the dyes that we use. We use Azo-free dyes which are non-metallic dyes and we also use vegetable dyes whenever possible," says Watson.

"Turn over the product label and look at it," says Watson. You might be surprised by what you find.

Developing an inquisitive approach to shopping for home décor will likely get you to understand how certain products are manufactured, where the materials come from, and even who is making them -- then you can decide if that's the kind of product you want to be surrounded by in your home environment.

"Do you think it's chemically treated to get that softness?" is another important question says Watson. "That's also something that people are not very educated about," she adds. Watson says there are often many chemical products used on fabrics to break down the fibers and give it that worn feeling or make it soft to the touch. But she cautions you could be getting a nice texture and an overly-treated product. For more information visit

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Phoebe Chongchua

Phoebe Chongchua is an award-winning journalist, an author, customer service trainer/speaker, and founder of Setting the Service Standard, a customer service training and consulting program offered by Live Fit Enterprises (LFE) based in San Diego, California. She is the publisher of Live Fit Magazine, an online publication that features information on real estate/finance, physical fitness, travel, and philanthropy. Her company, LFE, specializes in media services including marketing, PR, writing, commercials, corporate videos, customer service training, and keynotes & seminars. Visit her magazine website:

Phoebe's articles, feature stories, and columns appear in various publications including The Coast News, Del Mar Village Voice, Rancho Santa Fe Review, and Today's Local News in San Diego, as well as numerous Internet sites. She holds a California real estate license. Phoebe worked for KGTV/10News in San Diego as a Newscaster, Reporter and Community Affairs Specialist for more than a decade. Phoebe's writing is also featured in Donald Trump's book: The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buying Foreclosures. She is the author of If the Trash Stinks, TAKE IT OUT! 14 Worriless Principles for Your Success.

Contact Phoebe at (858) 259-3646 or Visit for more information.

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