Eco-Friendly Design Ideas To Consider Without Remodeling
In an ideal world, every home would be built from sustainable materials and equipped with eco-friendly features such as solar panels, double-glazed windows, and energy efficient appliances. But even if you lack the ability or the budget to make big changes to your house or rental apartment, the good news is that it’s possible to make any space a little greener by making thoughtful, more conscious choices about interior design and décor.
What is Sustainable Interior Design? Eco-friendly or sustainable interior design consciously attempts to limit the impact of humanity on the natural environment. This can mean utilizing organic, non-toxic, and repurposed materials and finishes that improves air quality in the home. Check out these simple, accessible expert interior design tips for making your home a little gentler on the planet, no remodeling required.
Use Low or Zero VOC Paint
Microplastics found in traditional paints contaminate the ocean and can have negative effects on indoor air quality that can impact human health. Interior designer Rebecca Hay of Rebecca Hay Designs suggests using sustainable paint. “Always check for VOC content on paint labels,” she says. “The lower the number, the better. Ingredients like vinyl resins, synthetic dyes, petrochemicals derived from oil, acrylics, formaldehyde, and ammonia can all contribute to health issues.”
Rattan, Wicker, Bamboo
Artisans around the world have long been making furniture and décor from natural materials like rattan, wicker, and bamboo. But these materials have been on trend in recent years as designers and home decorators look for ways to reduce the use of plastics and manmade materials in the home. Whether it’s a vintage wicker chair, a rattan headboard, or a woven lampshade made of bamboo, furniture and accessories made in natural fabrics add texture and never go out of style.
Choose Linen Sheets
Made from zero waste flax fiber, a recyclable raw material, 100% pure linen is naturally thermoregulating to make it comfortable in all seasons. “A material like linen gets softer over time, is surprisingly durable, and is naturally hypoallergenic,” says pillow designer Lauren Meichtry of Elsie Home. “So not only does it look beautiful and effortless, it’s going to last you a long time. While the home decor industry can often be seen as wasteful, in terms of how quickly we move through trends and replace items in our home, using materials like linen is one way you can be more sustainable.”
Interior designer Jennifer Jones of San Francisco-based Niche Interiors is an Ambassador for the Sustainable Furnishings Council and a Founding Member of the Good Future Design Alliance, a group of designers and builders committed to reducing their collective waste by 50% over five years. Niche Interiors likes to avoid mass produced furniture upholstered with petroleum-based flame retardants and work with local artisans to build custom upholstered pieces made from natural latex foam wrapped in organic wool.
Jones of Niche Interiors also recommends using furniture constructed from solid wood like walnut, teak, oak, or maple. “Avoid furniture composed of MDF or particleboard, which is made from compressed shavings or sawdust held together by synthetic resins, binders and glues,” Jones writes on her website. “One of the ingredients often found in these adhesives is formaldehyde,” which the National Cancer Institute has flagged as being a health risk. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends using “exterior-grade” pressed wood to limit exposure.
Text by Kristin Hohenadel | Photo by thespruce.com | Read More Here