Eco-Friendly Design Tips
When it comes to designing and decorating your home, don't be afraid to think outside the box! Home builder Dan Phillips shares environmentally friendly, creative ways to update your home with eco-friendly materials and techniques.
Dan Phillips
Going green in your home doesn't take as much money as you might thinkā€”it just takes a little creativity. "It does not have to be costly," Phillips says. "The resources are as varied and infinite as your imagination. You can make due with almost anything and create designs. Anybody can do this."

Branch countertops
If your countertops need updating, instead of installing materials like Corian or Formica, look out the window for inspiration! Get some interesting branches out of your backyard, slice them up into little medallions and glue them onto the countertop. Finish the countertop by grouting it and applying urethane over the top. "It makes for a wildly interesting [countertop design]," he says.

Wine cork flooring
Phillips loves cork flooring, but manufactured cork flooring can get pricey. He recommends asking family, friends and people in the community for wine corks to create your own distinctive cork floor. "The word gets out, and pretty soon you have enough for an entire floor," he says. "So you have a wine cork floor, which is vastly more interesting than any floor I've seen, plus, it gets everybody involved."

Wall tile mosaic
Instead of replacing worn-out carpeting, consider recycled tiles, Phillips says. "Tile is going to the landfill by the metric ton," he says. "All we have to do it gather it up, glue it down to the floor and grout it," he says. "Then you have a tile floor, and not just any tile floor, it's a mosaic of your own choosing." This method of tile design can also serve a more decorative purpose on the wall, as seen above.

Frame samples on ceiling
Frame samples from framing shops make excellent accent pieces for your walls. "When they rotate their inventory, they just throw [frame samples] away," Phillips says. "That's a lot of legitimate gold and silver leaf [detailing] and wonderful colors and designs." Dan uses the frame samples as decorations for the walls of the homes and as ceiling coverings.

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