Being eco-friendly is an important consideration in all aspects of our lives and we are becoming more aware of the importance of environmentally responsible building and sustainable interior design. As a result, more clients seek to incorporate sustainability principles into their interiors.
When people typically think “green,” they don’t immediately focus on the items in their home. Instead, they consider installing solar panels, conserving water or reducing their use of electricity. Of course, these are all important aspects of a sustainable lifestyle, but other decor elements also play a significant role in creating a healthier planet too.
To make eco-friendly interior design a possibility, homeowners should know how this can be achieved in their spaces. We have put together a list of some simple ways that you can create beautiful, functional and sustainable design for your interiors.
Ways of Achieving Sustainable Interior Design in Your Home
To achieve this and reduce your environmental impact, you should look for furnishings, floor coverings and architectural design elements that use these renewable materials:
- Reclaimed Timber – Recycling wood materials adds a sense of history to our interiors as well as being eco-friendly
- Bamboo – This tropical, fast growing material is a lot like wood and grows withing four years of planting making it appealing from an ecological point of view
- Recycled Metal – Scrap metal reduces pollution, saves energy and can be recycled repeatedly. Recycled metal furniture creates an industrial design for your space.
- Bio-Glass – A biodegradable substance for a variety of applications from decor items to bathroom sinks, countertops and flooring.
- Cork – Is known for its high sustainability and recyclability and extracting cork by harvesting the bark does not harm the trees themselves. Some cork flooring is made entirely from recycled wine corks.
- Recycled Plastic – Reusing waste plastic reduces water pollution and the recycled plastic can be given a new life as indoor and outdoor rugs, furniture and it can even be made into yarn that can be woven into fabric for the clothing industry.
- Jute Fibres – An affordable natural fibre used to make burlap, gunny sack & hessian. The strong coarse material is derived from the jute plant, which grows quickly making it rapidly renewable.
- Select environmentally conscious finishes – The paint or varnish that adds a little shine to raw material also have a role in sustainability, too. Overall, you’ll want to find finishes that have reduced levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), an element in many paints. Many finishes also contain biocides, fungicides and pigments, which, like VOCs, can harm the environment.
- Evaluate sustainable lighting options – Apply green design to the light sources in your home and switch to energy-efficient LED light bulbs as they use at least 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs, and last 25 times longer.
- Let the sunshine in…through windows – you can easily use the sun as your lighting source and venetian blinds allow you to control the amount and direction of the light. Use the daylight hours to capitalise on the natural light and save on electricity.
- Use antiques – Recycle the past – Repurposing furniture whether inherited from family or purchased, using antique furnishings is a great way to go green in your house. Not only are you avoiding purchasing brand new furniture, using vintage pieces really adds character to your room design
Image: from the French Provincial Style House – Wing chairs and footstools have been re-covered. Interior paint – Dulux low VOC
Creating a sustainable home requires a knowledge of eco-friendly products, materials and practices, a willingness to explore alternate options to traditional solutions and a desire to reduce our environmental impact. Building your understanding of what it means to be “green’ is only the first step to reducing the ecological footprint of your house. This not only helps the planet, but incorporating these sustainable interior design principals can also save you money with lower energy costs and less repairs over the coming years.
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Article featured image: from the French Provincial Style House – Chaise lounge handed down from clients grandparents. Interior paint – Dulux low VOC