The modern homeowner doesn’t put up with wastefulness in their household. No, nowadays the residential realm is all about sustainability and aiding the preservation of the environment—not just for the sake of Mother Earth, but for the sake of their family budget as well.
Through smart, green design and decor, you can easily cut your energy and water expenditure, minimize your carbon footprint, and create a healthier living environment the entire family will love. Here are some of the most effective ways to go truly sustainable interior design efforts.
Start with a Neutral Foundation
Through artificial lighting, your home consumes vast amounts of energy. The less you use it, of course, the lower the energy bills. However, this is not something you can easily achieve if the interior doesn’t enjoy a bright neutral hue and a grand window scheme that allows plenty of natural light permeate the setting throughout the day.
That said, if you simply opted for a pure white or off-white colour as you main colour for the walls, you can easily brighten up every room in your home without having to leave the lights on to compensate. You can complement this with another nifty solution—adding reflective surfaces in strategic places to let natural light travel even further inside. As a finishing touch, you can eliminate doors when you don’t need them, or opt for French-glass doors that will allow light to flow freely.
Choose Sustainable Furniture
You might have your eye on that brand-new vanity or armoire proudly displayed in a popular furniture studio downtown, but before you make a purchase, stop to consider just how eco-friendly and sustainable the manufacturer is. Some brands put emphasis on recycled materials and ethical production practices, while others only want to make a profit without much regard for the environment.
Next, consider the fact that thrift stores, flea markets, and furniture dumps are chock-full of amazing pieces that are still in excellent condition—pieces you can obtain for a fraction of the price. Perhaps the new piece will need a bit of sprucing up, but in the end it will still cost you less than new furniture, and you will have made a valuable contribution to the preservation of the environment.
Master the Art of Rug-Layering
Many homeowners fail to recognize the aesthetic and functional value of rugs in interior design, and without thinking about it too much, they simply leave their floors uncovered. Sure, bare floors have their aesthetic appeal, but there is little that can beat a beautiful fluffy Moroccan rug in its aesthetics and its overall feeling of comfort and warmth.
Speaking of warmth, this is their main functional quality. Layering rugs will add another level of insulation to your home, and if you choose sustainable models such as earth-friendly jute rugs you can easily combine comfort and purpose to create a warm and inviting setting without having to tinker with the thermostat. Rugs are very valuable, especially for energy conservation, so be sure to master the art of rug layering in every room.
Complement with Sustainable Fabrics and Materials
Speaking of eco-friendly materials, they should find their way in every corner of your home, from the living room to the kitchen. Choose sustainable upholstery for your furniture, something that was easy to produce without wasting water and other precious resources, like synthetics. While the word might not seem all that appealing, synthetics are actually an excellent choice.
The production process is simple and straightforward, and plus these materials are durable, easy to clean, and you can go months without needing to put them in the washing machine. Choose these types of sustainable materials for the furniture and pillow cases. For counters and table tops, you can source greener materials that are easy to clean and more durable than traditional materials. For example, teak is an excellent substitute for wood.
Another great choice for heightening sustainability would be reclaimed wood materials. There are many specialty suppliers offering this material.
Create an Eco-Friendly Bathroom
Last but not least, the bathroom is one of the places in your home where you can make numerous changes to create an oasis of health and sustainability. From choosing eco-friendly materials and using only natural materials, all the way to installing a low-flow toilet and shower head, the possibilities here are endless.
Be sure to install faucet aerators to cut water consumption, and optimize your water heater for maximum savings. If you’re feeling extra productive, you can also insulate your pipe network to stop the heat from dissipating into the unknown.
Sustainable home design has become very popular among homeowners, as it gives you the opportunity to reduce your household’s carbon footprint, make long-term financial savings, and create a healthier living environment for you family. You can use these solutions to bring an aesthetic, thriving 21st-century home to life.
If one thing is true about Lillian Connors, her mind is utterly curious. That’s why she can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of green living/home improvement projects and spread the word about them. She cherishes the notion that sustainable housing and gardening will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on. You can check her out on Twitter and LinkedIn.