At Impressive Interior Design, we hear more and more from people who ask about the environmental impact of various design decisions. Will a wool carpet on the living room floor last for many years and how will it be disposed of at the end of its useful life?
Like most organizations, we don’t pretend to have all the answers. However, because of our interest in protecting the planet and the interest of our readers, we are also much better informed about this topic.
Let’s look at some of the problems and what can be done through general home design and interiors to address such concerns.
Environmentally friendly design
While there are many different terms about how people deal with the topic, essentially environmentally conscious design is about not harming the environment and at the same time creating attractive living spaces. As simple as that!
Of course, it is not easy to do, and there are many different levels of environmental concerns and the desire to use only certain materials and avoid using others. There are levels that depend on how strictly a homeowner wants to treat this topic and what is actually possible at the moment.
Energy efficient houses
Energy efficient houses go hand in hand with environmental design. This is because people with homes that are about to be redesigned often want to add eco-friendly items or at the same time want to use eco-friendly fabrics or manufacturing methods.
Obviously, dealing with energy consumption in your home is a hot topic of conversation. Of course there are ways to reduce the energy sink. In the phase of living design, it can happen that a thoroughly environmentally conscious house is created. However, if the building already exists, this is another challenge. The implementation of energy saving strategies to reduce energy consumption is crucial here. Some ideas for this are:
- Replacing home appliances with devices with one Energy Star certification
- Use the dishwasher less if you have a minimal number of plates or bowls to clean
- Enable sleep modes on computers
- Turn off electronic devices that don’t need to be turned on all the time
- Use of Composting in the garden for nutritious soil for an improved viability of the plants
- Attachment of non-airtight door and window seals
- Replacing older windows with double glazing
Recycled materials and furnishings as standard
It is a reality that most interior design projects throw away perfectly good furniture or other materials that were still very usable but no longer aesthetically pleasing. These usually end up in landfills unless the designer or homeowner is conscientious about releasing, selling, or donating the furniture to a non-profit organization that can find a good home.
For a truly environmentally conscious interior design, if possible, only recycled materials and furniture have to be used. For homeowners willing to take a look at different types of furniture – sofas, bookcases, cabinets, tables, etc. – that have a history but are not necessarily antiques, they can avoid buying a newly made piece of furniture. Recycled raw materials such as waste wood for new floors or recycled plastic can give a home a new feel without harming the environment.
Materials from renewable sources
There are also materials from renewable sources. Typically, this is based on a renewable resource, such as an environmentally conscious forest area, in which a 30-year-old tree that is felled to form a table (among other things) sees one or more new trees that are planted to replace it .
Sustainable forestry is an important part of the planet’s ecosystem. Trees purify the air to solve the ongoing manufacturing problem that causes air pollution. They are an integral part of life as we know it. Therefore, wood products should use wood from environmentally friendly forests or old wood in one form or another.
Renewable energy through solar roof
Returning to the energy angle and providing electricity from sustainable sources is important for homeowners who focus on creating a home that is not harmful to the earth.
As utilities become greener and produce a larger percentage of their energy in an environmentally friendly way, it is difficult to verify their claims. Some homeowners prefer to set up a system that generates their own power supply to accompany what is already provided by the local utility company. For this purpose, solar energy is usually used because it is more predictable and offers a better return in living situations than wind power.
Rooftop solar panels are the best plan for most homes. Usually the roof is big enough to install a row or two of panels. It is true that solar is gaining interest in Westminster, being close to the water, and benefiting from enough sunshine to provide a great return on investment over time.
The best solar company in Westminster is at sempersolaris.com. They have experienced values in business because the founder and a number of employees have brought these unwavering, reliable values into their work. They have been installing solar on roofs for many years and use the latest solar technology to get the best results.
Natural light against environmentally friendly lighting
The more environmentally friendly option for lighting at home is to filter more natural light in the house during the day. Not only does this use less electricity, it also makes the most sense. There are sometimes problems with additional heat, so the interior can be used to protect rooms from the strong sun rays while letting the light in.
The next best option is environmentally friendly lighting. Eco light bulbs are initially more expensive, but have a much longer lifespan than fluorescent lamps. They’re also brighter for lighter rooms while using less energy. Here you really get more for less. Sometimes a large lampshade is required to cover the elongated shape of most environmentally friendly light bulbs. However, replacing lighting fixtures is usually part of the interior design to achieve a completely new look.
Add plants as alternative embellishments
While it is tempting to buy frills and other decorations to fill empty spaces in rooms, there is another way to go. Instead of buying items that were most likely mass-produced in a factory, consider adding some plants that will be presented in decorative plant boxes or pots.
Plants naturally offer a subtle scent that is the most pleasant. They also help clean the air quality in any room without the need for an air filter system (some of the better plants for air quality are bamboo palms and lilies). Plants also feel earthy, natural, and just right for a homeowner who is environmentally conscious.
For some people, it is surprising that the environment has such a big impact on home and interior design. The sad reality is that not all building materials or practices are environmentally friendly. It will certainly get better in this area, but there is still a long way to go. And especially for existing homeowners, they need to look at the home they have and take steps to create an environmentally friendly interior (and sometimes exterior). Essentially, work with what you have until all homes are environmentally conscious by default.