A common misconception about eco friendly design is that it is inherently neutral, lacking any sort of colour, flair and personality. However, the concept behind eco interiors has more to do with the composition, sustainability, renewability and authenticity of the source materials. Anything that is highly manufactured or produced in a way that is damaging to the environment is out. Image above House of Eight Gardens by Goko
It is easy to incorporate eco friendly solutions into home functions and interior design, using these ideas and concepts. We discuss a few after the jump:
Re-use, Recycle and Upcycle
This growing interior design trend is also environmentally conscious. There are TV programmes and blogs solely dedicated to creating vintage interiors through repurposing old furniture and furnishings. This involves redecorating and updating old furniture by sanding and staining, painting in bold colours or reupholstering. However. there are also plenty of other options, such as turning old windows into cabinets, repurposing pallets, using pipes and scaffolding boards to create a wardrobe, or salvaging old railway sleepers. There are a huge variety of upcycling projects that are eco friendly and also provide unique design statements. Image above MEKA House by Jason Halter & Christos Marcopoulous
Source Local Materials
Products, fabrics or materials that are created or sourced overseas need to be transported long distances to be delivered to high street stores. This means that these items carry a huge carbon footprint, as they are transported via road or air which uses a large amount of fuel. By purchasing furniture that uses materials that have been sourced and produced locally, the item is more environmentally friendly. Buying locally also contributes to the area’s businesses and economy.
Use Natural Materials, Fabrics and Fibres
Bringing mother nature inside is a huge concept here. Rather than synthetic or manmade substances, aim to choose materials that are sustainable and can be grown. This can include fabrics such as cotton or hemp, selecting wooden floors over carpets, and forgoing plastic for glass. Natural products also tend to be incredibly durable, such as granite. Opting for natural materials does not mean filling a home with white and beige. You can buy eco fabrics in a wide range of styles, patterns and colours, or learn to stencil. Image above Writer’s Shed by Weston Surman & Deane Architecture
Install Eco Power Sources
As well as interior design choices, incorporating green power sources is one of the best ways to make a home eco friendly. This can include switching regular light bulbs for their energy efficient counterparts, as well as insulating the loft and wall cavities. But there are also eco friendly and renewable energy sources to be utilised, such as solar power. Solar panels and heating systems harness the sun’s natural energy, providing homes with free electricity and hot water while reducing a home’s carbon footprint. Image above house by Portal Thomas Teissier Architecture
Upcycling, sourcing locally, using natural materials and installing natural energy sources can create a modern, stylish and vibrant eco friendly home.