Updated: Sep 3
For many, interior design may not be synonymous with sustainability, as they consider renovation be to a total rip out and replace. However this doesn’t need to (shouldn’t) be the case! From energy efficient design to eco-friendly products, we’ve looked at just a few of the ways you can make your renovation project more sustainable.
Nkuku consciously work with sustainable and natural materials with a focus on traditional methods of production.
Adapt & Reuse
Making the best of what already exists to reduce the amount of waste generated can also include the rubble from your demolition! Granby Rock is a unique terrazzo-like material composed of recycled building materials. It’s used for table, tiles, splash backs, kitchen worktops and fire surrounds.
Using materials with an interesting back story and taking the time to search for meaningful found pieces, can add a real authenticity to your design. Check out Retrovius for architectural salvage and unique homewares. Buying antique, vintage or second hand furniture is not only environmentally friendly, but also creates talking points within your interior. The same applies to upcycling your existing pieces, but we’re not talking shabby chic and chalk paint! For inspiration take a look at Relovedmcr who totally transform and give a new lease of life to vintage furniture items.
Choose Eco-friendly Materials
Natural materials like wood and stone are obvious choices for building, but why not think outside the box and look at biomaterials such as cork, hemp and cane, to reduce the carbon footprint of your build. Given its accelerated growing time, bamboo is a far more renewable source than timber!
Left to right: Bamboo, Hemp, Cork. Images via Dezeen
For more decorative materials with an interesting back story, check out Smile Plastics whose hand crafted panels are made from recycled waste, and CArrelé tiles which are made from discarded eggshells!
Choosing suppliers who use recycled materials is also a great option for furniture and accessories, if antiques and upcycling aren’t your thing. Heals has released a range produced from salvaged ocean waste, plastic bottles and fashion industry offcuts. Also check out Tacchini Italian Furniture and Tala for lighting.
Design For Energy Efficiency
Energy efficient design is about reducing the amount of energy needed for heating and lighting. When building, this can be achieved through insulation and window selection, but what if you’re renovating an existing space? Make the most of natural light - doing this will depend on the mood you’re looking to achieve and the amount of privacy needed. For example, my living room is very close to the pavement and I don’t want every person who walks past having a nosey inside. Therefore, I opted for plantation shutters, as you can have them closed all the time whilst still allowing light through the louvres. If you don’t want to choose between privacy and light, decorative window films are a fun option!
When it comes to heat, fitted carpets are more energy efficient than exposed floor boards, but you could use a large area rug to minimise drafts. Heavy curtains such as velvet will provide more insulation than a sheer voile.
If you're looking to begin an interior renovation project which ensures sustainable options are explored at every stage of each project, book a free consultation with us today!