A lick of paint can have a huge impact on your interior space and it’s easy to just pop down to the local DIY store to pick up a tin. Sometimes all you need is a quick room refresh, however it’s not often that we stop to think about the environmental impact of our decorating habits… not to mention the impact of toxins from paint on our own health! Toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are often found in household paint. From 2010 onwards, new EU directives have helped to reduce the amount of them in our paint pots, but some brands are better than others when it comes to their eco credentials.

Using water-based alternatives, that are low in VOCs or solvent free, are a great start to ensuring your walls are more environmentally friendly and better for your lungs. These paints are especially good if you are an expectant mother or have children. A lot of conventional paints give off harmful chemicals whilst you are painting with them and potentially for a long time afterwards too. This can be especially bad for people with allergies and conditions such as asthma.

Paint companies are realising the power of environmentally friendly paint and there are more eco friendly ranges available for you to choose from than ever before. Even big brands such as Crown, Dulux and Farrow & Ball have their own versions of more eco friendly colours. Here are some companies that you might not have heard of but are worth considering for your next DIY project.


Auro paint is sold by various stockists. The Organic & Independant Paint Co. being one of them.

For more than 30 years, AURO has been relying on organic and mineral raw materials. All products are compostable and can thus be re-integrated into the natural cycle of materials. AURO is the pioneering enterprise in the field of consistently ecological paints, wood care and cleaning products.. AURO’s paints, stains, oils, waxes, cleaning and care products show that products manufactured from natural raw materials are highly efficient and offer a unique combination of high quality and ecological orientation.”  Taken from the Auro website.

Here is a selection of their colours available for their natural emulsion classic eco interior wall paint – colour chart


“Earthborn was founded as a small, independent brand back in 2002, with the aim of providing a true environmentally friendly alternative to conventional paints. So it is safe to say that we have been supplying eco paints in the UK since before most people had heard of ‘eco’!  Since then we have worked hard to build a trusted reputation for performance with style.

Taking a holistic approach to environmental issues we consider not only what goes into the breathable paint but also, perhaps more importantly, what comes out. Therefore all ingredients are carefully considered before being chosen, ensuring that our paints remain free from acrylics, oils and vinyl.”  Taken from the Earthborn website.

Lakeland Paints

“In 1985, all paints were smelly paints, so Ian West and John Ashworth spent 6 years developing the world’s first Odourless, Organic, Eco VOC – Free paints & varnishes for healthy homes, nurseries, babies & the pregnant. Thirty years on we stay true to this promise, making the same super quality paints for everyone including those with Asthma, Allergies, CFS, MCS at our workshop in the Lune Valley.”  Taken from the Lakeland paint website.

Little Greene

“Little Greene is an independent, British paint manufacturer, committed to the socially and environmentally responsible production of high quality paints and wallpapers. With records dating back to the year 1773.

All our waterbased paints carry the industry’s lowest eco-rating, with VOC content now virtually zero. This means you don’t need to worry about solvent contributions to the atmosphere or any respiratory issues, or the smell; they are virtually odourless.

At Little Greene we have always been totally committed to the ongoing well-being and protection of the world environment and in 2004 we were one of the first UK paint manufacturers to achieve the European environmental standard BS EN ISO 14001.”Taken from the Little Greene website


I have always treated the colour blue with a little caution when using on interior walls. Not because I don’t like the colour, but because if used in the wrong tone in the wrong place, it can feel very cold and lifeless. A while ago I was visiting the new home of a friend. The hallway, which doesn’t get a lot of light, had been painted by previous owners in a pale blue. It felt very cold and unwelcoming; not what you want to see when you arrive and leave your home everyday! She has now painted the walls with a much warmer colour tone and it has changed the feel of the entrance completely.

However blue can be a brilliantly warm, inviting and relaxing colour! Dulux named Denim Drift as their colour of the year for 2017 and it is a versatile colour that works in so many different areas of the home.


Little Greene do some lovely paint colours and have lots of beautiful blue tones to choose from. I particularly like ‘Grey Stone’ ‘James’ and ‘Juniper Ash’. If you want to soften the look you could combine a darker blue with a blush pink, which is also on trend. This gives a good mix of both boldness and warmth.

If you want to introduce some colour into your home but are a little scared of anything too bright, a nice blue hue could be just the thing. Combining two blue tones can work really well, especially when using a darker, bolder tone on a ‘feature’ wall. It will show off an artwork, fireplace, desk space or headboard to great effect. For a clean and fresh look try combining blue with a crisp white, this classic combo never goes out of style. So go and have some fun with a colour chart!






A very easy way to freshen up your home is to invest in some plants. Nothing screams spring is here, quite like a few new green shoots brightening the place up! They don’t have to be expensive and it can be nice to add to, and grow your collection, over time (please excuse the pun).

1\  Succulents and cacti are a cheap and easy way to bring a little life into your home. There are so many different varieties, I am obsessed with them. They are great for anyone who feels that they always kill off plants, as they need very minimal watering!

You can easily find cool mini plant pots online, or in trendy homeware shops. Alternatively you can use something you might already have lying around the house, such as an old jar, a tin can or that favorite mug that is chipped, but you don’t want to throw it away. Read the tutorial from Home Edit to get recycling that tin of baked beans you had for breakfast!



2\  Terrariums are another option for displaying succulents, which can be made or bought pre-constructed. These are mini gardens constructed under glass. They are really cute and should be fairly easy to maintain. For those in the London area, you could attend a workshop by London Terrariums to construct your own masterpiece. They make great gifts too!

3\ Medium sized plants can be great to place anywhere in the home you want livening up. You could put a few together to create a feature. If you don’t have any free surface space plant stands can look really cool tucked into a corner, this will elevate a smaller pot plant off the floor, to give it some impact. Ikea sell a range of modern plant holders that look chic, trendy and are also inexpensive.

4\ Larger sized plants – you can invest in a larger pot plant from any good garden center or such like. Ikea often has a good range of indoor plants. You always want to make sure that what you are buying is suitable for the area of the house you have in mind. If you do shop in a smaller local independent shop, they should be able to give you advice depending on your requirements – such as will it be in a cooler or warmer room, and will it be exposed to sunlight or shade. Alternatively you might have space on a window sill, in which case you could opt for outdoor plants or herbs.


A larger plant could be used as the focal point for the room so make sure you pick something with the correct height (or one that will be OK in the space if it grows much larger). Some relatively easy-to-keep plant types to consider, shown below, click on each one to see the names.

4\ Planter options….. here you can go wild! Just ensure you have something in the base to collect excess water, if you go for something that is porous, such as a basket. Some good high street places to look for these options are: La Redoute, H&M Homeware, Ikea, Tiger (in store only), Zara Home 

5\ Kitchen herbs – not only will these look great, but you can also use them in your cooking! For a cheap, easy and fun way to store your herbs this tutorial shows how to use mason jars as planters. If you live in a flat with a small kitchen then a windowsill might be a better option. Alternatively you could opt for fragrant plants such lavender which look great and smell even better!

So now you can fill your home with some plant life, and don’t worry if you manage to kill a few off. The more plants you have the more likely you are to remember to water them. Before long you will be living in a jungle like me, with a fern in the bathroom, palm in the living room, basil in the kitchen and a cactus….. safely out of harms way on a bedroom shelf!