What is Sustainable Interior Design and Why is it Important?
Sustainable interior design is a method driven to reduce the negative or increase the positive environmental impact. It is a connected ecosystem that begins with each individual’s health, happiness, and comfort within their space, connecting to the planet and then rippling to the manufacturers that produce the items we use. By using a holistic approach, it encourages us to think more broadly about what we bring into our space and how it can affect our environment. Many people want to be eco-responsible but are unsure of what being sustainable truly entails. All in all, sustainable interior design is the practice of:
- Minimizing the use of non-renewable sources, like energy
- Using eco-friendly products and methods
- Maximizing a building’s potential through passive design, which works with the local climate to maintain a comfortable temperature in the home
- Conserving water and eliminating waste
- Improving the indoor quality of life
Five Tips for Creating a Sustainable Interior Design
1. Include Energy-Efficient Design & Architecture
An eco-friendly home starts at the most basic level – construction. If you have the option, choose a builder or contractor that focuses on minimizing energy consumption and an interior designer that incorporates items that have the lowest impact on the environment.
2. Source Locally
By purchasing items from local makers and businesses, you reduce the need for long-distance transportation, which not only helps your local economy but also reduces the carbon footprint. Plus, local products are often unique and customizable, bringing charm to an interior.
3. Reclaim or Recycle Furnishings
Eco-friendly interior design is made easy when you reclaim, recycle, or reuse. As an example, you can reupholster outdated pieces of furniture and refinish/paint existing cabinets or tables. Another great way to reduce waste is by using vintage or antique decor, and it’s even better when it’s from a local business!
4. Choose Non-Toxic and Eco-Friendly Materials
Low-impact products are made from natural, renewable, and non-toxic materials. When selecting these types of products, look for responsibly sourced wood; recycled metals; organic or recycled cotton, linen, wool, and hemp; and low or no VOC paint.
5. Install Energy-Wise Lighting & Plumbing Fixtures
Lighting makes such a huge difference in an interior space. Luckily, lighting design is one of the most affordable areas in which you can incorporate eco-friendly options. Make the most of natural light by installing larger windows, skylights, and smart glass. When it comes to artificial lighting, LEDs are the best because they last longer and offer lower energy consumption.
By installing water-efficient shower heads and faucets, the average family can save 700 gallons of water per year according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. This small and inexpensive change can certainly make a huge impact.
Sustainable design is all about creating healthy spaces that are both aesthetically and ethically pleasing. In other words, environments that are good for us and good for the planet. Whatever your budget, it is possible to create a beautiful space that aligns with your taste and values. Are you ready to create an eco-friendly environment? Give us a call today to schedule a consultation.