Why Eco-Friendly Design is One of the Biggest Trends this Year
As more and more people are re-evaluating their impact on our Earth, design trends are changing to keep up with this shift. The interior designers at CRT Studio are challenged with the opportunity to do our part by representing eco-friendly style trends in our design repertoire. As Earth-conscious designers, we understand the philosophy of expressing a love for the planet in your home and office design. The use of eco-friendly materials is just as important as avoiding using a surplus of unnecessary supplies. This has led consumers to take a more minimalistic approach to design.
To reduce and protect the environment, eco-friendly design is one of the biggest trends this year. To call it a design trend implies it may not last forever, but anyone who has a passion for preserving Mother Earth would beg to differ. The combination of sustainability and beauty is classic. Here are five ways Eco-Friendly Design Trends can improve the sustainability of your home.
Use Eco-Friendly Materials
The materials we use in the design are not typically considered first when leaning towards creating a sustainable home. Many people consider solar panels, water-conserving fixtures, and reduction in electricity use. However, the materials used throughout the home are important in reducing your carbon footprint as well. If you are looking to transform your space with as little environmental impact as possible, talk with our team.
Here are some popular eco-friendly home design materials and a little bit about why they are extraordinary.
- Bamboo. Bamboo is a lot like wood but is much more sustainable. It is a very fast-growing plant which means it can be used within four years of planting it vs. 50-60 years for most hardwoods. Unlike wood, it also requires far fewer pesticides and fertilizers to grow. Bamboo is typically used to make furniture, flooring, and fabrics in interior design.
- Recycled Metal. Recycled metal is commonly used to build furniture and creates that cool industrial look in design. It can also be used for lighting fixtures, railings, and art sculptures. Steel is an incredibly sustainable material and comes in many forms. Like most metals, it is sturdy, non-toxic, and infinitely recyclable. We have created some of the most unique design features using stainless and galvanized steel. Each design has a different esthetic but is equally sustainable.
- Reclaimed wood. This option utilizes recycled materials, giving them new life to be used for things like mantels, flooring, accent walls, and cabinetry. Those looking to create a rustic feel in their home or office space will appreciate these accents.
- Cork. Cork may give the impression that it will be spongy because of our familiarity with cork boards and wine corks. Cork as an eco-friendly material in home design actually mimics hardwood pretty closely. It is only harvested from the bark of trees, which does not hurt the trees themselves and is able to be reused.
- Recycled plastic. Recycled plastic, like high-density polyethylene or HDPE, is tough and dense. It is gaining popularity in use in items such as injection molded furniture. The color of the material is fade-resistant, too!
- Bio-Glass. This type of glass is made completely of post-consumer recycled glass, making it an extraordinary green substitute. It creates stunning home features such as countertops, bathroom sinks, walls, stained glass, and interior flooring.
Display Earth-Friendly Furniture and Décor
Consider organic materials when it comes to furniture and window treatments. The chemicals found in many upholstery cloths and fire-retardant materials can be harsh on the lungs and irritating to the eyes. Select rugs made of jute fibers to add an earthy feel to a room. Jute is a rapidly renewable plant due to how quickly it grows. It is durable, a good heat insulator, and very affordable.
Create Minimalistic Rooms
If you love the look of clean and simple, try a Scandinavian-inspired design. This style incorporates natural materials with the rawness of Earthy tones and lots of open space. The organic feel of a minimalistic room is achieved by using less resources altogether. Often, a stately fireplace will be used as the main focal point in a room but also functions as a natural heat source to conserve energy. Let “less is more” be your motto and simplicity be your guide.
Consider the Source of your Color Solutions
A natural color palette in eco-friendly design is soothing in that it matches the colors of Earth in nature. However, it is the type of paint or wall covering that determines if it is truly sustainable. Paint that is labeled as “low odor” or “low VOC” (volatile organic compounds) is without all the harsh chemicals that regular paint contains. These chemicals can continue to be expelled in the air as long as it is on your walls. Likewise, most wallpaper is coated in PVC/vinyl, which contains dangerous plasticizers.
Implement Environmentally Friendly Lighting
Switching your light bulbs to energy-saving LED bulbs is not only earth-friendly but also cost-efficient. This small change allows you to positively impact the environment while keeping the fixtures that you love. An often overlooked cause of heat loss is light fixtures such as recessed ceiling fans and chandeliers. Be sure to inspect these areas and add extra insulation to minimize heat loss in your home. A little energy saved in these areas goes a long way. Of course, whenever possible, natural light is best. Large, picturesque windows are in most designers’ love language. In Florida, residents can reap the benefit of up to 12 hours of light a day, so why not capitalize on this natural resource and let the sunshine in.
Eco-Friendly Design from CRT Studio
If you are interested in eco-friendly design for your next home project, we would love to chat. Our interior design team at CRT Studio is here to discuss your ideas and offer guidance as it relates to sustainable design. The future is exploding with eco-friendly initiatives across almost all industries, including interior design. We look forward to working with you and contributing to a healthier planet. Reach out today by calling or email Rob at firstname.lastname@example.org.