The One When Interior Design Meets Sustainability
Hello and welcome to Sustayz!
Today’s topic is interior design. We wish we could have found a funny joke about interior designers to break the ice, but it looks like all the best jokes are about lawyers so let’s cut the small talks and go straight into today’s topic.
the big idea
What are we talking about when we are talking about sustainable interior design?
As with many other topics nowadays, it is easy to add the “sustainable” label to make it interesting and marketable, and a clear definition is not exactly there. However, there are a handful of principles that seem to be reoccurring in this space, and, if we had to summarise, it comes down to the longevity of materials in connection to people, planet, and profit.
But let’s dig deeper.
Interior design can have an impact on the sustainability of a place and it is possible to create a space that is functional, beautiful, and environmentally friendly. Econyl has put together a pretty comprehensive list of principles, to sum them up:
The first principle is to make sure you design for energy efficiency. Energy consumption is one of the major contributors to climate change and designers can have an impact by reducing the amount of energy needed for heating, lighting, running appliances, and so on.
Lighting and heating are two elements where we can find some relatively quick wins. For example, installing high-quality windows that provide good insulation to avoid heating escaping the room. Curtain, drapes, window coverings, and shades can help to control the temperature of the space in an energy-efficient way.
When it comes to lighting, choosing lighter colors could have an impact as they reflect more light.
The second principle is to think about the impact of the materials you use. Organic materials are the obvious choice, but make sure they are treated responsibly. Luckily there are some eco-labels such as the FSC for forestry products.
Waste reduction comes next on the list and here, a designer’s creativity can go a long way by giving a second life to items that might have gone out of fashion. Another way designers could have an impact is by choosing materials that are made from recycled products.
The fourth principle is to think long term and design timeless spaces that don’t have to be tossed every couple of years. Choose quality over quantity, simplicity over embellishments, or classics over trendy.
Finally, design for healthy environments. People spend a lot of time indoors (no way, we are in the middle of a pandemic) so to keep this in mind by ensuring proper ventilation, quality of air, lighting, and acoustics is a form of courtesy.
Indoor pollution is something we don’t talk a lot about but it is one of the five biggest environmental threats to public health. How to fight it? Fresh air can be achieved not only with proper ventilation but also with plants and carpets.
Plants are a no brainer, they provide oxygen and offer natural beauty, ambiance, and freshness.
And yes, carpets. They can function as a magnet for dust and particles, as well as sound insulators.
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