Interior decoration is not only about the beauty of an apartment or a house, it is also about the health of the homeowners. That is why the use of natural materials in sustainable interior decoration is the key to one’s well-being. Luckily, we have access to a wide range of environmentally friendly materials and products, so selecting green alternatives is not an issue anymore. If you are looking to achieve an eco-friendly interior, here are some useful tips to help you with this task.
Sustainable Interior Decoration Tips:
1. Give preference to natural materials
By ‘natural’, we do not mean leather or fur, because of the ethical issues surrounding the production of these materials. Instead, it is recommended that you use sustainably sourced natural materials and those created from recycled waste and fabrications that help the environment, since they last longer and stay clean. You should also avoid plastic and particleboard if you want to achieve an eco-friendly interior. Although natural materials are generally more expensive, their usage can add to the well-being of the people in your house.
2. Select your wood carefully
The production of wooden furniture is associated with cutting down living trees, making this option non-sustainable. On the other hand, reclaimed wood is made of recycled materials, so you can freely use it if you are looking for eco-friendly interior options. This material will impress you with its flexibility, since not only can you build with it, but you can also make furniture with it. In addition to these benefits, the use of reclaimed wood can help you achieve a relaxed feel for your place. The quality of reclaimed wood is comparable with that of normal wood, since its physical and state properties are not changed.
3. Select the right candles
Many common household products, including candles, contain volatile organic compounds (VOC), which easily evaporate, releasing a variety of chemicals that can have adverse health effects. That is why it is important to minimize the VOC content in the enclosed spaces of your house to avoid health issues. Cheap candles contain harmful VOC, the same you can find in standard paints. They can also contain metal to keep the wick burning upright. Hence, you should always get beeswax candles, which are made from natural materials and scented with essential oils. They provide a cleaner environment for you and your loved ones and don’t have added colorings or fragrances.
4. Use bio-glass
Bio-glass is a great eco-friendly material, because it is endlessly recyclable. This material is made of post-consumer recycled glass, from which solid-surfacing slabs are created. Bio-glass has a wide range of applications in interior design, starting from plates in your kitchen to shower doors in your bathroom. Of course, you might not want to use bio-glass everywhere, but it is still an exceptional eco-friendly alternative for almost every décor item.
5. Light fixtures
Did you know that your conventional light bulbs burn tons of energy yearly, making them highly unsustainable? Luckily, you can easily switch to more energy-efficient fixtures that use light-emitting diodes (LED). With this small change, the lighting in your house will instantly become green and stylish. In addition to replacing old bulbs with LED or compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs, you can also use fixtures made of recycled or environmentally friendly materials, such as iron, jute, or bamboo. There are also fixtures made from recycled wine bottles or soda cans. Installing LED or CFL bulbs into your lamps and pendant lights will give warm, attractive lighting at only a fraction of the energy cost of your stray incandescent bulbs.
6. Avoid carpets
Although carpets play the role of thermal and sound insulators, their use has little in common with sustainability. We would strongly recommend you to avoid carpets as long as you want to remain environmentally friendly in your interior decoration solutions. The point is that, more often than not, carpets are full of pollutants and chemicals and their VOC content is high. Therefore, carpets not only harm the environment when they are manufactured, but also release all kinds of toxins that can damage your health. Moreover, even the most durable carpet only lasts around 10 years before you will need to replace it.
7. Add houseplants as decorations
No matter how hard we try to keep our home as environmentally friendly and healthy as possible, the truth is that there will always be products and materials that cause air pollution. The good news is that we have an easy solution to this problem. Houseplants are the ultimate in sustainable interior decoration, not only purify the air by filtering harmful chemicals from it, but also convert carbon dioxide to oxygen. Plus, plants offer natural beauty, freshness, and ambience, making your place cozier and bringing a little nature into it. By adding a plant or two to your bedroom and living room, you can easily contribute to your environmental sustainability credentials, making your interior more stylish and attractive.
8. Use sunlight
Unlike other materials and solutions in this list, the use of sunlight won’t require any money from you. Well, technically, sunlight is not a ‘material’, but its impact on your interior design is almost immeasurable! Sunlight can make your rooms feel more elegant, welcoming, warmer, or even more modern. Furthermore, you can use daylight in lieu of artificial lighting, which can be of great advantage, because you can bring down your costs of energy use and significantly reduce the emission of pollutants inside your place, making it more environmentally friendly and healthier for your family and yourself.
Having an environmentally friendly interior is something you can easily achieve with easy sustainable interior decoration switches. With the widespread availability and affordability of natural materials and furniture made of recycled wood and glass, opting for this option has become a reality. Using the solutions from this list will not only benefit the health and well-being of your loved ones and yourself, but also contribute to the sustainability of Mother Earth. Beyond these perhaps obvious recommendations, there are so many other solutions that can help you achieve an interior that is green.
Words by Laura Butler. Laura is a writer with a passion for business, travel, and living sustainably. She writes mostly about starting businesses, social media and becoming the best version of yourself that you can be. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking, creative projects and playing the piano. Photography by Taryn Elliott.