From organic diets to cruelty-free beauty products, people are striving to live more eco-consciously. This means paying attention to the materials you use, the products you buy, and the waste you create. When you keep your environmental impact in mind, you can make smarter, more responsible decisions throughout many aspects of your life. These principles even apply to how you decorate your home. No matter what your preferred style is, there’s an eco-friendly way to achieve your dream designs. In fact, you might find that your home looks even better, knowing that you created it with the health of the planet in mind. When it comes time to build, remodel, or decorate, keep these eco-friendly interior design considerations for your home in mind.
If you want to help the natural world, you can start by inviting it into your home. There are many benefits to incorporating flowers and greenery into your designs. Plants bring a touch of natural beauty to your home. Depending on the style of the room and what you grow, they can add a fresh pop of color to a sleek, modern aesthetic or complement the natural designs of a cozy, traditional look. Plants can also help keep a room fresh by providing oxygen and improving air quality. You might even add an appealing natural fragrance to the room by growing mint, eucalyptus, or your favorite flowers. Your options are endless, which means you can keep plants alongside any design. From a small herb garden in the windowsill to a living green wall, the only limit is your creativity and imagination.
Let the Sunshine In
Have you ever felt a rush of happiness when throwing open the curtains to reveal the glorious sunshine outside? Natural light can do a lot for your home. Try to incorporate as much as you can in your main living areas. Large windows, skylights, and thin, light-colored curtains help maximize the amount of sunlight that reaches a room. This is a great way to boost your mood and keep any plants in the room healthy. It can also help with electricity bills as you turn the lights off in favor of some sunshine throughout the day. Opening a room to the sunshine can also keep it warm during the winter. Just make sure you have effective window treatments that keep the unwanted heat out during the summer.
Buy Furniture Responsibly
Every decision you make has an impact. Therefore, your responsibility to the environment should be at the front of your mind throughout the entire design process, including when you purchase furniture. If you need new pieces to fill your home, make sure you’re obtaining them in a way that’s responsible and sustainable. Look for brands that make their furniture out of natural, easily renewable resources. Trade in plastic, vinyl, and particleboard for stone or wood. Make sure the company you’re buying from sources their materials responsibly. Even better, you can search secondhand or antique stores for your furniture. Not only will you likely save money at these locations, but you can also find hidden treasures that bring plenty of character and history to your home.
Repurposing Is Your Friend
Repurposing is the more creative cousin to recycling, and both are important parts of an eco-friendly lifestyle. Make repurposing a habit in your home. Before throwing anything out, ask yourself if there’s a way to give it new life. Empty paint cans can become lanterns or centerpieces. You can take elements of broken furniture and salvage them to create something new. Repurposing and upcycling are great ways to stretch your creative muscles. While repurposing furniture, decorations, and materials might require you to invest some time and money, your DIY skills will flourish with every project you take on. Plus, the more you learn, the easier it’ll be to turn these eco-friendly skills toward other parts of your home and life.
Pay Attention to Materials
Make sure you’re using natural, healthy materials throughout your home. Avoid synthetic products and materials that contain a high level of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Materials that contain a high VOC content can be harmful to your health. When looking for furniture, carpets, bedding, paints, and more, keep an eye out for these compounds so you can keep your home natural and safe. Additionally, switch synthetic bedding and upholstery out for wool, cotton, or other natural alternatives.
Get Smart With Your Flooring
When making a list of eco-friendly interior design considerations for your home, you can’t forget about what’s beneath your feet. Make sure your flooring also comes from environmentally responsible sources. As mentioned above, wood is an excellent natural, sustainable material for your home. Engineered hardwood flooring, in particular, offers a sustainable and responsible flooring option. Each board consists of raw materials from managed and approved forests, as well as recycled natural materials. Engineered hardwood flooring combines the durability of hardwood with the more responsible management of natural resources. This option also provides the same versatility and aesthetic as traditional hardwood. From the cool, light colors of white oak to the dark, elegant tones of natural walnut, engineered hardwood flooring can match any style you dream of in your home.
Keep Durability in Mind
As you design your home, make sure you consider what you will want and need down the road. Everything you use in your interior design should last you for years to come. Purchase durable furniture and lasting appliances. Make sure you choose colors and decorations that you’ll continue to enjoy. Before deciding on a piece of furniture or decoration, ask yourself a few questions: Will it last you a while? Will you want it for that long? If you no longer want this piece in your home, will you be able to replace it easily and without unnecessary waste? When you do get rid of objects, try to reuse, repair, or donate them, rather than simply throwing them out.
Energy Efficiency Is Worth the Investment
As you look at appliances, lighting, windows, and other options, keep energy efficiency in mind. While energy-efficient options often cost more upfront, they will prove to be worth your money down the road. When your appliances, heating and cooling systems, and light fixtures use less power, you spend less on your utility bills. Design your windows to help with temperature control and allow sunlight in. Switch to LED light bulbs or other eco-friendly options. The planet—and your energy bill—will thank you.