An All-Inclusive Guide to Eco-Friendly Interior Design: 5 Ways to Do It Best

by Eleanor Murphy on May 3, 2023

Over 100 countries have enforced policies on sustainable consumption and production according to the 2018 UN Sustainable Development Goals Report. Although the sustainability buzz has been prevalent for just under 30 years, the need for sustainability in a person’s everyday life is more recent.

Interior design is one area where sustainability is becoming particularly important. The place where you spend most of your downtime should look beautiful, feel comfortable, and help save the Earth.

But how? Keep reading for all the details.

Why Is Sustainability Important for Your Home?

If you want to create ripples that impact the whole world and leave an indelible mark on the future, start by putting some effort into your interior design. Investing in eco-friendly design will make your home less expensive to operate and reduce your carbon footprint, making it impervious to future climate change.

By using naturally-sourced materials and reducing your use of plastic and synthetic fibers, you will ultimately create a healthier living environment.

Aside from this, water conservation, energy efficiency, site strategies, material resource preservation, and indoor environmental quality will provide great impacts for both architects and homeowners.

How Do You Tell If Something Is Sustainable?

Determining whether something is sustainable for your interior design means considering its impact on the environment as a whole, your health, and your wallet. Some key factors include:

  • Looking for natural, organic, and renewable materials, such as bamboo and cork.
  • Choose energy-efficient appliances and light fixtures to reduce your energy bills.
  • Opt for durable and long-lasting materials to reduce the need for replacements and repairs.
  • Consider materials with end-of-life options that reduce waste and minimize environmental impact.

Although this isn’t the full extent of the topic, by keeping these factors in mind, you can make more informed choices about the materials and products you use in your home. But if you’re ever unsure, don’t hesitate to ask the experts!

How To Include Sustainability In Your Interior Design?

To help you kickstart your journey to sustainability in interior design, we’ve compiled the 5 most important points to make it happen:

Opt for Energy-Efficient Design

If you have a say in the construction of your home, utilize architecture and design that will minimize your energy consumption and reduce unnecessary lighting, heating, and cooling. This can be anything from choosing sturdy and energy-efficient doors and windows to wood flooring made from renewable materials.

But if you’re renting or buying a pre-built home, purchase appliances with the Energy Star label that indicates that it meets strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Sometimes, the journey to sustainability can begin with simply opting for an LED bulb instead of a traditional incandescent one, so don’t overcomplicate the process.

Use Recycled or Reused Materials

Incorporating recycled or reused materials into your interior design is one of the best ways to reduce waste and give new life to old (but perfectly good) materials. For example, get your hands on some reclaimed wood and have beautiful flooring, furniture, and accent walls created in the blink of an eye.

The most popular low-impact materials are renewable, natural, and non-toxic, while also including responsibly sourced wood, compressed earth, bamboo, cork, recycled cotton, wool, or linen. On the other hand, look out for (and steer clear from) the following ingredients:

  • Plastics
  • Nylon
  • Polyester
  • Styrofoam

Utilize Energy-Wise Lighting

Lighting accounts for a significant portion of your home’s energy use. Although it’s not the only thing skyrocketing your bills, focus on reducing your energy consumption as much as possible (without sacrificing your quality of life, of course).

To do so, look into energy-efficient lighting options like LED or compact fluorescent bulbs that are safer for handling, keep energy costs low, and are more resistant to breakage.

If you have the opportunity, squeeze every ounce of natural light that touches your home by strategically placing windows and skylights. As a result, you won’t need artificial lighting at all during the day.

Choose Eco-Friendly Decor

If you like to deck your space with personality, there are a myriad of eco-friendly decorative items available. For example, live plants will improve the indoor air quality of the room (and will need care and attention), while artificial greenery made from sustainable materials will bring the beauty of nature inside with little to no maintenance.

But we’ll address the elephant in the room - sustainable decor can be more expensive. However, it will last much longer than other cheaper options and create less waste and financial burdens. Essentially, you’re not just paying for the item, you’re paying for the timelessness and durability, and that is invaluable.

Maximize Your Space

Maximizing the space you have available without longing to expand the room isn’t just about reducing clutter and promoting organization - it’s an innovative way to use the space you already have and revamp the entire room. For example, install floor-to-ceiling shelving and create a library or display area for your favorite collections.

Alternatively, you can repurpose an unused closet into a home office or meditation room or use the available wall space for hanging storage or artificial vertical gardens that add to the beauty of the room.

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