What is Sustainable Interior Design?

 

If you’re interested in making your home more eco-friendly, you may be wondering what sustainable interior design is and how you can incorporate it into your own space. Sustainable interior design is all about creating a healthy and sustainable environment in your home.

This means using environmentally friendly materials sourced from sustainable sources, as well as furnishings and home textiles made to last. This blog post will take a closer look at some key components of sustainable interior design.

 

Why Does Sustainable Interior Design Matter?

 

There are many important issues that you can help to solve by buying sustainably made and sourced furniture and home textiles:

 

Health Risks

 

Many of the chemicals used in conventional furniture and home textiles are linked to serious health risks, including cancer. The toxic chemicals can off-gas into your home, causing respiratory problems and other health issues.

Some of these chemicals, called VOCs, can seriously affect the air quality in your home. The main culprits here are toxic glues found in particle board used in cheap furniture and certain flame retardants used in upholstered sofas and home textiles.

 

Exploited Workers and Child Labor

 

The supply chain is one of the most important things to consider when it comes to sustainable interior design. Many of the materials used in traditional interior design, such as wood, cotton, and leather, come from developing countries where workers are often exploited and paid very low wages.

When choosing materials for your home, look for those sourced from fair trade certified suppliers. This ensures that the workers involved in the production of your materials are paid a fair wage for their work.

 

Illegally and Unsustainably Forested Wood

 

Wood is one of the most popular materials used in interior design, but it’s important to make sure that the wood you’re using comes from a sustainable source.

Unfortunately, much of the wood used in traditional interior design comes from illegally and unsustainably forested woodlands. This means that the wood itself is unsustainable and the methods used to obtain it are often destructive to local ecosystems.

When choosing wood for your home, look for products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The FSC is an international organization that promotes responsible forestry practices around the world.

 

Furniture and Home Textile Waste

 

Another important aspect of sustainable interior design is furniture and home textile waste. Every year, millions of tons of waste from our homes end up in landfill sites around the world.

Much of this waste could be avoided if people only bought furniture and textiles that were made to last. When shopping for new home items, look for those made from high-quality materials that will stand the test of time.

 

sustainable interior design

 

What Are The Key Components of Sustainable Interior Design?

 

There are many things you can do to make your home more sustainable, here are some of the most important components of sustainable interior design:

 

Fair Trade

 

An excellent way to support sustainable interior design is to buy fair trade certified products. Fair Trade Certification guarantees that the workers involved in producing a product have been paid a fair wage for their work.

When you buy fair trade certified products, you can be sure that you’re not contributing to exploitation or child labor. Coyuchi offers a range of Fair Trade certified sheets and other bedding products made of organic cotton, while Avocado sells Fair Trade mattresses and bedroom furniture.

 

Second Hand

 

One of the best ways to practice sustainable interior design is to buy second-hand items whenever possible. By buying second-hand, you’re giving new life to an item that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

Plus, these items often cost a fraction of the price of their brand-new counterparts. If you want to furnish your home sustainably, shop for second-hand products on Facebook Marketplace, but you can also check Etsy, 1STDibs, and Chairish for vintage and antique furniture.

 

Recycled Materials

 

Another excellent way to practice sustainable interior design is to use recycled materials whenever possible. Recycled materials are those that have been used before but have been given new life through repurposing.

For example, recycled glass can be used to make beautiful countertops, while recycled plastic can be used to make chairs and dining tables. Novica offers home decor items made from recycled plastic and wood, and you can find recycled cotton rugs on Etsy.

 

FSC Certified Furniture

 

As we mentioned before, one way to ensure your wood furniture is sustainably sourced is to look for products certified by the FSC. The FSC sets hight standards for responsible forestry practices around the world.

When you buy FSC-certified furniture, you can rest assured that it has been sourced from a sustainable forest. Many US-based manufacturers offer sustainably sourced furniture, be sure to check Medley Home and Avocado.

 

what is fsc certified wood

 

Organic Textiles

 

Another way to make your home more eco-friendly is to buy organic textiles. Organic textiles are made from natural fibers such as cotton and linen grown without synthetic pesticides or herbicides.

This makes them better for both your health and the environment. When shopping for eco-friendly textiles for your home, look for certified organic products by reputable organizations such as GOTS or Oeko Tex.

These certifications guarantee that your products are truly eco-friendly and non-toxic. For ethical organic textiles, check Magnolia Organics, Coyuchi, and Magic Linen. Apart from organic textiles, it’s also important to choose the right mattress and sofa.

Most upholstered furniture and mattresses are made with synthetic materials that can off-gas harmful chemicals into your home. To avoid this, look for mattresses and sofas made filled with organic GOLS-certified latex. For a high-quality organic latex mattress, check PlushBeds. You can also find a selection of organic sofas filled with natural latex at Medley Home.

 

 

Low VOC Paints

 

If you’re planning on painting your home, be sure to use low-VOC paint. VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are chemicals that can off-gas from paint and other materials and lead to indoor air pollution. ECOS paints are a great option for low VOC paint, and they have a wide range of colors to choose from.

 

Non Toxic Furniture

 

Finally, when shopping for eco-friendly furniture for your home, look for products free of harmful chemicals and toxins. Many traditional furniture pieces off-gas harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde which can have negative effects on your health.

When shopping for eco-friendly furniture, always look for products that are labeled non-toxic (check Medley Home) or Greenguard Gold certified (Check Copeland). These labels indicate that a product has been independently tested and found to be low in harmful chemicals.

 

 

Energy Efficiency

 

One of the most important aspects of sustainable interior design is energy efficiency. This means using materials and products that require less energy to operate and produce and using methods that conserve energy to reduce your home’s environmental impact.

One way to make your home more energy efficient is to take advantage of natural light. Whenever possible, open up curtains and blinds to let in sunlight. This will not only brighten up your home, but it can also help reduce your energy bill.

Another way to conserve energy is to use energy-saving light bulbs. These bulbs last longer and use less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs. If you’re looking for an even more sustainable option, consider investing in LED lights. LED lights have low energy consumption and can last for years with proper care.

Finally, consider the appliances you use in your home. Energy-efficient appliances use less electricity and water, which helps conserve resources. When shopping for new appliances, look for the Energy Star label to find the most efficient models.

 

Natural Carpets and Rugs

 

Are you looking for an earth-friendly floor covering? If so, natural carpets and rugs made from sustainably sourced materials may be your ideal solution. These types of floor coverings are usually made from wool, cotton, jute, sisal or sea grass.

They are often hand-woven or hand-knotted, which creates a durable and long-lasting product. Natural carpets and rugs are also biodegradable, making them an environmentally friendly choice. While synthetic carpets can contain glues and other toxic materials, natural carpets and rugs are usually made without these harmful chemicals.

 

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Biodegradable Materials

 

Biodegradable materials can be broken down by microorganisms and other natural processes into harmless substances such as water and carbon dioxide.

Apart from solid wood with a natural oil finish, materials such as bamboo, cork, wool felt, and linen are also biodegradable. Avoid synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon, which are made from petroleum and take centuries to break down.

 

FAQs

 

Is sustainable interior design expensive?

 

No, sustainable interior design does not have to be expensive. There are many eco-friendly products on the market that are affordable and stylish. In fact, sustainable furnishings often last longer than their traditional counterparts, so you may even save money in the long run.

It’s because they are made without harsh chemicals, which weaken the fibers of materials, making them more prone to wear and tear. It’s also possible to find beautiful second-hand furniture pieces and give them a new life.

Apart from that, you can try to make your own eco-friendly bed frame or wardrobe using solid wood and natural oils, or make new curtains for your living room using organic cotton.

 

Are sustainable interiors minimalistic?

 

No, sustainable interiors can be either minimalist or maximalist. It all depends on your personal style and preferences. You can find sustainable furniture in a wide range of styles to suit any taste. For example, if you prefer a more traditional look, you can shop for solid wood furniture pieces certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

If you’re into mid-century modern style, there are many natural furniture brands that offer stylish and timeless pieces made from sustainable materials. And if you want a more eclectic look, you can always mix and match different eco-friendly furniture pieces to create your own unique style.

 

Is it enough to buy non toxic furniture to create a sustainable home?

 

No, non-toxic furniture is just one part of sustainable design. To create a truly sustainable home, you should also focus on using eco-friendly materials, low VOC paints, and energy-efficient appliances.

You can also try to reduce your reliance on synthetic materials by shopping for home items, such as towels and bedding, made from natural fibers such as organic cotton or linen. Using zero-waste cleaning products is another great way to make your home more sustainable.

 

What are some of the most popular sustainable materials used in interior design?

 

Some of the most popular sustainable materials used in interior design include solid wood, bamboo, wool felt, cork, and linen. These materials are all biodegradable and free of harmful chemicals. They are also durable and stylish, making them a great choice for sustainable furniture and home decor.

Other eco-friendly materials include glass, stone and metal. These materials can also be used to create beautiful and sustainable furniture pieces and home accessories that can be reused and recycled. If you opt for plastic, be sure to choose recycled plastic made from post-consumer waste.

 

What are the benefits of sustainable interior design?

 

There are many benefits of sustainable interior design, including reducing your carbon footprint, saving energy, and protecting the environment. Eco-friendly furnishings are often made from natural materials that are biodegradable and free of harmful chemicals.

They are also durable and stylish, making them a great choice for sustainable furniture and home decor. Other benefits of sustainable interior design include creating a healthy indoor environment, supporting local businesses, and reducing your reliance on synthetic materials.

 

How to Find Eco-Friendly Interior Designers?

 

If you want to find an eco-friendly interior designer, there are a few things you can do. First, you can ask your friends and family for recommendations. If you know someone who has recently renovated their home using sustainable materials, they may be able to recommend a good designer.

You can also search online for sustainable interior designers in your area. Finally, you can contact a local green building organization or the US Green Building Council to find designers who specialize in sustainable interior design.

 

Conclusion

 

As you can see, there are many different ways you can practice sustainable interior design in your own home. By considering things like exploited labor in the supply chain, furniture and home textile waste, and illegally and unsustainably forested wood, you can make sure that your furnishings are both eco-friendly and stylish.

For example, you might look for furniture made from recycled or reclaimed materials, or choose home textiles that are made from natural fibers. You can also support companies that have ethical policies in place, such as ensuring fair wages for workers and using sustainable forestry practices.

By making just a few small changes, you can help to make a big difference for the environment. And who knows? You might even end up saving money in the process.

About the Author Kamila Flieger

My name is Kamila, and I'm passionate about researching non-toxic, organic products for the home. I believe it's so important to create a safe and healthy environment for our families, and I enjoy helping others do the same.

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