Sustainable Design Tips from HGTV’s Nicole Facciuto

Nicole Facciuto’s passion for design and spirited on-camera presence has helped her transform rooms into eco-friendly environments on Red Hot and Green, Top 25 Decorating Mistakes (HGTV), Resturant : Impossible (Food Network), Fix This Kitchen (A&E) and other interior design related programs. In addition to making television appearances, she operates Nicole Facciuto Design in various major cites throughout the country, which specializes in environmentally sustainable interiors. Nicole’s design philosophy can be summed up by her statement, “I absolutely thrive when challenged to turn an ordinary home into something beautiful while being sensitive to the Earth and to my client’s wallet.” The following design solutions showcase Nicole's ability to transform environmentally friendly concepts into beautifully decorated homes.

Be Creative with Recycled Items

Use common items to create art or textural elements in a room. Used books were varnished to create a beautiful work of art in a custom designed master bedroom. 

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Recycled leather makes great wall tiles, as well as hand stitched tops for night stands. Find green alternatives to solve simple design solutions. 

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Save Money while Going Green

No VOC paints are one of the most cost effective ways to transform a room and be green. Using No VOC paints and finishes help improve air quality in the home. No VOC paints have a very low odor, they don’t have toxins and are eco-friendly.

Visit hotel clearance shops for inexpensive, but sometimes luxurious items. Drapery may be purchased at these shops for $25 per panel. These were custom made and would have cost over $1000 per window.

Not a lot of people know you can acquire the tools and tricks of the trade. All brands of paint make professional paint decks showcasing every color they make. These run about $10-$15. Having your very own deck of colors is the easiest and most stress free route to take. You will be able to make a decision without having to take a trip to the hardware store. Hold it up to your daughter’s comforter to pick out the perfect shade of violet or compare colors you like in the deck with the ready-made curtains you’ve just found on sale! The possibilities are endless.

Use Fabric to Add Low Cost Luxury

Fabric is your friend. This is an example of a simple project to create a warm and luxurious feel in your bedroom. You’ll need a sheet of FSC certified plywood, an electric staple gun, organic batting and fabric.

Cut plywood to desired size. Wrap and staple batting to plywood. For extra cushion you can always mount foam to plywood and then cover with batting. Staple the fabric working from the middle outwards. Make sure to pull wrinkles out of the fabric as you go. I recommend purchasing a duvet cover for the fabric because you only use one half. That way, if you ever need to replace the instillation (or you make a mistake!), you have the other half of the cover available.

Use cleat to mount to wall. Another option is to cover the entire wall or outer side of a bed with fabric. Secure a 1x4 along the top of wall. Staple and pleat the fabric across the room. Hot glue the coordinating trim to cover staples. If fabric is not too heavy, you can also staple directly to your walls. Ready-made curtains are a cost effective alternative to unfinished fabric.

Create a Brand New Kitchen for a Fraction of the Cost

Sometimes you don’t have to do a total remodel, instead look into what you can keep. Keep or restore your kitchen cabinets. Replace only tile, countertops and floor to give fresh look. By not removing the cabinets you keep more waste out of the landfill, as well as save yourself money. Using cork flooring; it’s a soft alternative to wood or tile and is antimicrobial. Bamboo now has many uses. Here I used it for countertop material perfect for prepping and serving food. Bamboo is a grass so it’s a fast renewable resource.

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