Interior trends come and go, and then come back around again. But one trend that’s going nowhere is the trend for decorating “sustainably”.
According to Brielle Bellingham of Elle Decoration magazine, “Interior design plays a key role in helping create functional spaces that improve our health and general level of satisfaction…and sustainable interior design ideas emphasise the importance of improving the quality of your life, health and well-being by changing your indoor environment.”
A sense of accountability was bound to appear in our homes at some point. And the evidence of a rise in fears about the future of our planet is being seen in our increasing use of sustainable materials.
The prick to our environmental conscience has provoked a desire to reclaim, recycle, and hark back to the past
So what does “sustainability” mean?
The Cambridge English Dictionary’s definition of products that are sustainable is those that “cause little or no damage to the environment and are therefore able to continue for a long time,” and sustainable materials that can be used in the home include sheep’s wool, bamboo, cotton-blended fabrics, arrowroot, sisal wall coverings, leather floor coverings, recycled materials, and recycled polyesters and blended ‘wool’ made from recycled materials.
The longevity of the materials is a major factor when choosing sustainable products, so it’s important to take a quality over quantity approach.
But if saving the planet isn’t a big enough incentive to decorate sustainably, the following examples of sustainable products that look stylish in any home may tempt you:
1. Recycled Coloured glassware – Recycled bottles double up as vases and pretty decorator pieces, and mason jars can be used as glasses or containers. Glass is the perfect way to infuse colour into your home in an environmentally-friendly way.
2. Natural fibres – These continue to dominate the rug market due to their neutrality, functionality, and ability to add texture and earthiness to a space. Cork is also making a comeback in flooring. Likewise, wicker furniture, baskets and mats add depth and warmth to many interior styles such as urban, Hamptons, and coastal.
3. Vintage Furniture – Look no further than your local Salvos or Vinnies for for your furniture needs, or upcycle your existing pieces. Give that old chest of drawers a coat of organic paint. Re-upholster those old sofas and chairs. Check out your local markets for bargains.
4. Rattan Light Shades – Bamboo and rattan pendant shades are the perfect way to stay both stylish and sustainable, and they work beautifully in urban, Hamptons, and coastal settings.
5. Textiles – For curtains and cushion covers, check out the ethically-sourced textiles at Ink and Spindle or Pampa. Alternatively, buy some plain cotton fabric and rediscover crafts such as tie-dyeing.
Got any sustainable material tips?