Best Practices for Eco-Friendly Interior Design
Our homes are our havens. We turn to them to comfort us, to feed us, and to deepen and sustain our relationships—we rely on them for a lot. That said, if we’re striving for sustainable living in our other lifestyle choices, then shouldn’t that mean we strive for the same in our havens? The way we design our home’s interior makes an impact on how sustainably we’re actually living.
If you want to make an honest-to-goodness difference on your carbon footprint, make your home a haven regarding both comfort and the planet’s health. To help you out on your path to a sustainable home, here are some of the best practices for eco-friendly interior design. These tips range from the choices you make in the small decorations to the way you let the light into the home—check them out!
If you want an eco-friendly interior design scheme but you’re unsure of what that really means, think minimalism. Minimalist design emphasizes living on less and reducing clutter in the home. Though clutter doesn’t necessarily coincide with a lack of eco-friendliness, it does reduce your chances of being truly sustainable. When you think minimalist, it offers you a perspective shift from consumerism to simplicity—which is the mindset you should strive for when it comes to sustainable design.
This may seem obvious, but there are some little things about this that you may glaze over. A no-harsh chemicals policy means no harmful chemicals in the paint, no additives in the upholstery and textiles, no synthetic fabrics in the blankets and rugs, and no chemical-filled cleaning supplies. For example, glues and stains on a lot of modern furniture can emit harmful irritants into the air (when created and even just by sitting in your home). The same goes for the fabrics you choose to have around your home; many upholstery fabrics include formaldehyde, polyurethane, and more.
Combatting this may mean taking more time to research products and companies, but it will help ensure that you’re choosing sustainability when you pick organic materials over chemically made products. Choose organic whenever you can, so that the materials will biodegrade if they ever end up in the landfill.
One of the best eco-friendly interior design practices you can choose for your home is to ensure energy efficiency. This means a few different things—your appliances should be Energy Star appliances. Therefore, your refrigerator, air conditioner, water heater, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer, and even your microwave should aim to save energy, not waste it.
There’s more to energy efficiency than just the big appliances. Energy efficiency also comes from the little things. Are you using LED lights? Do you have a smart thermostat to ensure that you’re not wasting heat when you’re not at the house? Are you letting leaky faucets and dripping pipes run rampant? All of these things impact your home’s energy efficiency as well.
If you’re revamping the walls or fixing the mess that the previous owner left, then painting is your friend. It’s only your haven’s friend, though, if you make sure to choose non-toxic1 and eco-friendly paints. Most traditional paints are full of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and if you’re not careful and picky with your paint choices, then you submit your home to chemicals on the walls and in the air you breathe.
It’s always the smartest choice to choose non-toxic paint—and ECOS Paints is full of options for you. We offer health-focused, eco-friendly paints that are formulated without harmful VOCs. Choose our paints for your walls, your floors, your wood stains, and so much more.
Like we mentioned briefly above, natural lighting is a key component of eco-friendly interior design. Natural lighting also plays a role in energy efficiency—when you choose energy-efficient doors and windows, you keep the heat in during the winter and cool air in during the summer. Better yet, the more windows you have, the more sunlight you’ll be able to take in during the winter, and the more fresh air you can bring in when the warmer months come around. Natural lighting is also an essential player in making a home feel warm and welcoming—if you can put in more windows, do.
This may seem quite obvious, but an eco-friendly haven won’t occur if you don’t have sustainability in mind for every aspect of the design. That means following through on the items listed above but also ensuring that you pay attention even to the little things. Below are some ways to keep sustainability in mind.
If you’re aiming for eco-friendly, then you need to start embracing the power of greenery. Build a plant wall in the living room, and put plants in the bathroom to make it seem more like a spa. You’ll have to learn to care for them so they don’t turn brown, but the more plants you have, the better your air quality will be.
As previously mentioned, you don’t want to choose furniture or upholstery that’s full of chemicals. In that same vein, you want to choose all eco-friendly materials and sustainable home furnishings. Your kitchen table should be made of reclaimed wood, and your carpet should be organic—you should strive for eco-friendliness in anything you buy. You’ll also want to ensure that you’re purchasing long-lasting furniture, which may mean more cost out-of-pocket but a larger ROI.
If your interior design skills are hopeless, then you may think about hiring an interior designer. Going that route is a direction a lot of people choose, but you can ensure an eco-friendly haven by hiring a sustainable designer. There are designers out there who will know the best eco-friendly materials for you and can help you figure out the right color paint for your space. If you’re serious about eco-friendly interior design, consider reaching out to a sustainable interior designer.
As we mentioned, your go-to for sustainable paint is ECOS Paints. One of the biggest parts of eco-friendly home design comes down to the paint you put on the walls. If you don’t pick the right color for your floors, walls, and ceilings then the entire design of your haven can get off-base. Turn to ECOS Paints for ideas of paint colors, color matching, and more. We have non-toxic concrete paint for your basement, Lullaby paints for your nursery, and much more. Shop now, and we’ll deliver the paint of your dreams right to your door!
(1) Non-toxic - Conforms to ASTM-D4236, specifically concerning oral toxicity, skin irritation and respiratory effects.