As we become more aware of the impact our daily lives are having on the environment, we need to ask ourselves – how do we bring that ideology into the interior design of our homes?
At Gillian Victoria Interiors we design with longevity in mind. We aim to design long lasting schemes that, not only our clients will love, but will also withstand the test of time.
Today, a large proportion of shops and restaurants are designed with sustainability in mind. This is evident through their rustic theme including reclaimed and upcycled furniture, we have even seen London based designer Nir Meiri create a series of table lamps made from real mushrooms as an alternative to synthetic materials.
So how can you obtain this in your home with an emphasis on luxury? High street retailers such as IKEA have created a kitchen made from only recycled bottle ‘The Kungsbacka’, which is shown below- you wouldn’t even be able to tell!
Increasingly, more and more furniture companies are now prioritising sustainability. The more the consumers ask the more they are likely to listen.
Graham & Green and Atkin and Thyme are offering a range of handcrafted furniture made from camel bone or mother of pearl from oyster shells. Whilst this sounds slightly questionable, each piece is unique, made in India by local craftsmen with all materials ethically sourced even the wood for the furniture.
The wood is sustainably harvested and auctioned in line with the protective policies in place to support India’s reforestation programme. Mango and Sheesham wood are replanted and have the ability to regrow quickly. The region has benefited from the international interest in this artform and training academies have grown in the area in order to support this.
Atkin and Thyme: bone inlay table
Another company, Collectiviste have a range of lights made from shells which are also a by-product of waste. All their products are made with natural and sustainable materials using traditional production processes. The materials used, ranging from wood to palm fibres to seashells, have been responsibly sourced and certified. They use fast growing raw materials such as rattan, bamboo and reeds, which are extremely sustainable.
West Elm, who have put forest conservation in mind, also have an eco-friendly and fair-trade range of furniture This range is made with wood certified to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards from responsibly managed forests.
Alternatively, buying second hand is always an option. Vinterior is an online antiques market, where you can buy unique chandeliers, statement mid-century chairs or even rare antiques, It’s definitely worth a visit.
In addition to sustainable furniture, it is worth considering eco-friendly materials to include in the design of you home
The air indoors is three times more polluted than that of the outdoors. According to the EPA it is considered one of the top five hazards to human health, with paints and finishes being amongst the leading causes. Lakeland, Eartheasy and Earth Born Paints are some of the companies that produce pollutant free paint with Earth Born Paints offering a range of environmentally friendly paints for nursey and children’s rooms.
Whilst LED lights are initially more expensive to buy, they are an investment which are not only better for the environment, as they use less electricity, but will also save you money in the long run. There is also the option to install them via a hub system which allows you to control them remotely from your phone contributing to energy saving and even the extra security of your home.
Wood takes approximately 15-20 years to reach maturity, whereas the non-harmful harvesting of bamboo takes a mere 3 to 5 years. Bamboo flooring offers a fantastic alternative to hardwood flooring because of its strength, durability, and its sustainability at a cost-effective price. The Bamboo flooring company offers an excellent range of products and colours
Eco Bathroom taps
By installing sensor or low flow taps into your home, you could save up to 60% on water consumption. By making this simple change in your home you are helping the environment and saving money at the same time.
When purchasing bed linen for your hone, it is worthwhile considering organic bed linen. Organic cotton is grown using materials and methods that have less impact on the environment. The crops are not treated with pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and Genetically Modified Organisms which are harmful for farmers or workers and the eco system.
Whilst this article has only touched on a few ways to make your home more eco-friendly, there are plenty more ideas out there for you to consider before you begin to decorate.
Image credits: Nir Meiri, Earth Born Paints and Ecco Innovera,