Interior designers are always searching for new sustainable techniques to help reduce their carbon footprint on the planet. The fastest growing section within the design industry is the use of eco-friendly and sustainable products. You don’t have to be an interior designer to make your home a more environmentally friendly space. Here are a few tips on how to approach a more sustainable and eco-friendly interior.
Sustainable Interior Design Essentials
Sustainability should be an essential part of each design process. Creating a more sustainable home is now more important than ever before. A vital part of any new design within your home starts with researching all of the eco-friendly elements. Check out these sustainable ideas to help you lower your environmental impact and make your home a greener space.
Sustainable Ideas to Brighten your Surroundings
Selecting lighter colours within your designs, including whites, creams and paler hues adds light to brighten the space. Sustainable paints are a perfect alternative to help the environment. This allows you to take advantage of the natural light bouncing off any reflective surfaces within your home. It also lowers the need of artificial lighting.
Rearranging furniture amps up the natural lighting within the room. It makes the space more open and welcoming to family and friends. Keeping tall items of furniture away from your windows also makes a big difference to your surrounding light. Also try and switch to using light coloured sheer curtains which will help bring in as much natural light as possible. If your buying new, try to shy away from dark, heavy furniture. You could always up-cycle old furniture with light toned eco-friendly paint to give you the desired effect.
Go wild with mirrors! Utilise them wherever possible and watch the light reflection bounce around your space. This will brightening up the darkest of corners. Open plan living isn’t an option for everyone but removing redundant walls throughout the home allows light to flood the utilised space. A cheaper option would be to install skylights and velux windows. They are cost effective and energy efficient.
Your floor area takes up a large part of your home. Choosing a lighter flooring option will immediately brighten your space and make the overall feel a fresher one. This gives a bright overall effect to help with a more sustainable interior design lifestyle.
Sustainable Eco-Friendly Furnishings
Responsible ethical and sustainable production practices are key to choosing home furnishings. Sourcing eco-friendly furniture could feel like a daunting task. Don’t get disheartened, there are an array of companies out there to choose from.
More and more companies are now using recycled plastics, FSC, sustainable, reclaimed or renewable wood. Core values of non polluting chemicals, forest preservation, restoration, workplace safety and fair wages provide the buyer with a responsible production guarantee. These finished products are non toxic and provide the public with green, sustainable, affordable,chic furniture. All of which will last a lifetime.
Other options for sourcing eco- friendly, sustainable furnishing include buying second hand, antique or vintage. This leaves little or no negative impact on the environment. It also provides you with the possibility of grabbing yourself a bargain, which we all love.
Sustainable Interior Design Wall Coverings
Thankfully today you can find a huge range of exceptionally crafted eco-friendly wall coverings. An array of fun, gorgeous and unique options are out there, so the choice seems endless.
Fired Earth and Little Greene paints are breathable, low VOC and odour free. The paints are manufactured in a mix of lime, plant or water based options. There are a number of shades to choose from and are sourced from ethical, sustainable manufactures.
By choosing VOC free paints your home will be free from acrylics and oils. There are no nasty smells or emissions and is a much safer option for little ones, asthma and allergy sufferers. This makes the eco-friendly, sustainable options an all round healthier choice for your family and the environment.
High performance, low carbon natural mineral lime plasters are sophisticated and add a timeless elegance within your home. Impermeable to rain water, this product is incredibly durable and can be utilised in bathrooms and kitchens.
Handcrafted Eco-friendly wallpaper is a fun ,colourful, striking option. Printed on sustainable forest paper using non-toxic ink. This products provides you with a greener option for your interior. The finish options are endless, with impressive collections ranging from complementary tones to metallic finishes.
Eco- friendly wooden wall panels are a good DIY option with easy installation. The panels are stylish, fun and original. Many companies out there are environmentally conscious and plant trees for each box purchased.
Sustainable, Reclaimed and Eco-Friendly Flooring
There are many beautiful and sustainable interior design flooring options to choose from. There are a few factors to consider before you decide which one is right for your home. How it feels underfoot, the finished look, lifetime of the product, cleaning time and company planet care.
Reclaimed wood is now on trend, is naturally beautiful and easily maintained. It is produced with cutting edge technology, making it a carbon neutral product and environmentally friendly. The stunning neutral shades adds warmth to any space and has the bonus of never going out of style.
Recycled and handmade tile companies use VOC free sustainable practices within the pigmentation process. While sustainable, recycled stone flooring is developed with the utmost care to the environment.
Cork flooring came into Vogue for its natural eco- friendly, green, sustainability. The bark of the cork tree is periodically harvested from living tree plantations. It feels soft underfoot and brings warmth within the home. It’s also biodegradable and completely breaks down into the earth at the end of its life.
Sustainable interior design flooring possibilities are endless and there are so many more options to discover. So why not start researching them, enjoy the process and care for the planet while making your home a beautiful place to relax and enjoy.
Sustainable, Organic and Natural Textiles
The use of sustainable, organic elements within your home can only have a positive and beneficial effect on your health. With dwindling earth resources, inspiration can be found in a range of sustainable interior design products.
Natural elements within textiles can be used in upholstery fabrics,rugs, cushions and bedspreads. Wool is a perfect example and is naturally fire retardant, while bringing warmth, texture and comfort.
Eco-friendly cotton and silk adds a luxurious touch and come in a variety of styles and colours. This ensures you will be able to incorporate your own style within the chosen design to your space. The addition of these natural textiles improves air quality, while promoting wellness and tranquillity.
The use of these products also promotes sustainability within this ever changing world. Creating a few changes within our lives and paying a little extra for organic products, means we can all do our bit in achieving a greener home interior.
Sustainable Ideas for Energy Efficient Lighting
The use of energy reducing lighting throughout the home will have a big impact on the environment and save you money in the long term There are many ways to make your space more eco-friendly and energy efficient These include switching to LED lighting, solar charges, solar panels and even installing wind turbines wherever possible.
Using energy saving bulbs, motion detectors and solar lighting helps provide a more sustainable interior design future. Check out solar lighting kits which are suitable for garden houses, garages and solar home systems. Rechargeable LED lamps also hold charge for 10 hours and can be used indoors or outdoors.
You can even push things further by choosing eco-friendly pendants which come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. A unique choice is the Mushlune cascade pendant, made from mushroom mycellium. The organic, biodegradable product provides you with a more eco- friendly, sustainable future.
Sustainable Interior Design Lifestyle
There’s so much more to sustainable living than sourcing the main products such as flooring and wall coverings. By changing the smaller things within your home, will make a huge difference to your surroundings and the planet.
Up-Cycling your way into an Eco-Friendly Lifestyle
Upcycling is the process of redesigning materials and products to enhance productivity and bring new life into your bespoke end product. Anything can be transformed into a new creation and you are only limited by your own imagination.
You can use a wide variety of materials to upgrade and transform any product you have lying around your home. There are endless possibilities ranging from furniture built solely out of pallets to vases up-cycled from old bottles and jars.
It looks like creative up-cycling will be around for a long time, which has no environmental cost compared to manufacturing something from new. It also saves money, reduces textile waste and brings originality to unique pieces within your home. Use your inspiration to upgrade and create high quality bespoke products. Get creative, push your boundaries, have fun and most of all enjoy your new found sustainable interior design passion.
Bring the Outdoors Inside
The inclusion of natural plants can only bring positive vibes within your space. They increase positive feelings and have proven to reduce stress levels, anxiety, anger and sadness. Indoor plants also come in a variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate any home, ranging from a city studio apartment to a country mansion.
Architecturally stunning foliage provides natural beauty with blooms of every colour to lift your spirit and brighten spaces. Apart from feeding and regular watering they require very little attention making them very low maintenance.
Air plants improve indoor air quality brightens spaces and lifts your mood. Orchids add elegance while providing beautiful aromas and colour to your space. The addition of house plants can add vibrancy to most environments including the kitchen, living room, bathroom and conservatory.
The greatest benefit from bringing the outdoors inside include the absorption of carbon dioxide and productivity improvement. They also filter harmful chemicals, are a natural air purifier,and provide oxygen which can only have a positive effect on your overall well being. So what are you waiting for….get out there and bring the outdoors inside!
Support your Local Stores
We all thrive in looking for a bargain but that doesn’t mean you can’t shop locally. Helping smaller local companies lowers transportation costs, lowers your carbon footprint and reduces pollution. This will in time ensure choice and diversity with multiple independent retailers and bring in more local wealth.
One great bonus to shopping locally is the wide range of one off artisan and bespoke pieces out there, which can bring individuality to your home. Many local artist are now utilising eco-friendly characteristics with the use of sustainable and environmentally benign products.
The more you purchase a variety of locally sourced materials, the stronger your community will become. Many artisan shops are like Aladdin’s cave and you never know what you may find.
Minimising and Avoiding VOC Products
VOC are a variety of chemicals released into the atmosphere which contain benzene, formaldehyde, toluene and flammable alcohols. These are present in many household products, including fabric conditioner, paint, air fresheners, candles, cosmetics and even magazines.
The volatile organic compounds are 10 times more harmful indoors which could cause short or long-term adverse health effects. But don’t panic, with a few changes to your lifestyle, this can be removed or at least reduced within the home.
There are a multitude of Green or VOC free products available on the market. Water- based furniture polish, acetone free nail varnish, Benzene free paint and glue are just a few. There are also green options of beeswax, soy based candles, eco natural air fresheners and organic essence oils to freshen your home.
Whatever natural products you choose always remember to open windows whenever possible to aid air circulation and increase ventilation. Switching to VOC free products can only benefit your families health and help make the planet more sustainable.
Sustainable Ways to Sleep like a King
On average you spend a third of your life in bed. So getting a good night sleep is vital to your emotional well-being, mood and physical health. It also reduces stress, improves memory, lowers blood pressure and keeps your heart healthy.
Handmade organic mattresses are a fantastic option. The bespoke mattresses consist of mohair, bamboo, unbleached cotton and natural latex. The cost will be slightly higher but the benefits are huge for the environment and your health.
The central ingredient comes from organic coir harvested from environmentally responsible coconut farms. The mattresses are extremely ventilating, a natural insulator and sumptuously soft.
The addition of hypoallergenic, pesticide free, natural fibre duvets and pillows brings an added luxury to your night rest. What better way to get a guilt free night sleep than to know your are also being eco-friendly and helping sustain the planet.
De-clutter to bring Peace and Serenity within your Home
We all strive for a sense of calm within our homes. Creating a peaceful ambience is key to lowering stress levels which in turn helps you react with a clear mind should a stressful situation occur. Being fully aware of your surroundings and living in each moment helps you to relax at home. Live sustainably, simply and naturally with a ‘less is more’ attitude.
Physical clutter within your home can have a detrimental effect on your well-being. De-clutter your space and simplify your life by removing any un-necessary and unwanted items. The addition of a zen fountain can also add a sense of calm to your surrounding. Add natural elements, embrace nature and make use of natural light wherever possible.
Keep any accent colours uplifting so you feel positive when entering the space. The addition of simple furniture and minimalist lines also brings a sense of calm and make your home a place of harmony. We all strive for a peaceful ambience within our homes and we can easily achieve this with careful use of our mother earths natural resources.
Sustainable Choices to Change your Life and the Planet
Each day we make choices that will inevitably have an impact on the climate and environment. Incorporating sustainable interior design and living as an integral part of our lives will make a big overall change. Before purchasing anything new, try to consider the full impact of the products manufacturing methods and materials. Always remember you have more power than you realise. By making small changes to our lifestyle, we can help preserve our planet for future generations to enjoy.