Sustainability in interior design

After being in lock down on and off for the last couple of years it has become apparent how important it is to be comfortable in our home spaces, and people are investing more money and time to gain this comfort. Whilst striving for these comfortable surroundings sustainability is becoming an important factor to consider. Here are 4 ways in which sustainability can be included in your home decor:


Materials


Many designers are looking at ways of using materials which are more sustainable.


One material which is highly sustainable is bamboo, it is a really strong and flexible material and is 'green' because it grows so fast that it is seen as a renewable source of material.


Another source of sustainable material is cork, and as a result there has been a rise in furniture and art work made of cork. Cork is made by scraping the outer surface of the oak tree, a tree can be 'harvested' every 9 years and creating cork does not harm the tree.


Finding out information about the material of furniture that you plan to purchase and if that material is sustainably sourced is a good step towards making greener choices in interior design.


Upcyling & Repurposing

Rather than discarding furniture, a lot of furniture is being upcycled or reporposed to give it another use. This can be as simple as repainting or varnishing an item, or it can be more drastic. The use of an item can be totally changed for example using teacups as plant pots. This and the rise of purchasing second hand pieces goes a long way to increasing the lifespan of furniture and sustainability in interior design.


Designing with energy efficiency in mind


Architects and interior designers have a lot of control over the design of a buildings heating and lighting which are huge contributors of a buildings carbon footprint. By taking this into consideration designers can make choices which consider sustainability.

Over the last few years blinds and shutters have taken over with window dressings and there has been a decline in the use of curtains. However, curtains are most effective for keeping the heat in and the cold out. With huge rises in energy bills predicted, people are starting to experiment with curtain designs again.


Carpet is making a comeback in colder countries, they are an excellent choice as carpets can retain up to 10% of a room's heat.


Decorating a room with brighter colours will mean less enregy needs to be spent on making the room brigher than if the room is decorated with dark colours.


Longevity


Until recently consumers had taken on a throw away culture, this is fading away and people are truning to furniture and pieces that are good quality and are going to last, therefore pieces need to be timeless rather than in fashion for a minute.


Longevity should also be considered when designing a room, consider the life span of a room, how will it be used now and in a few years? Can the design incorporate the whole life span rather than just how the room is used now?






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