5 Key Principles of Eco-Friendly Interior Design

Cruelty-free beauty products and organic diets are all the rage lately because people want to start living more continuously. However, your home plays a big part in the rise in global C02 emission rates. Committing to a more eco-friendly interior design can really help the planet.

How to Become an Interior Designer

Becoming an interior designer typically requires a degree, but not all professionals who work in this field have gone to college. The pathway to success may be challenging, but you can get there by learning a designer’s duties and required skills, like customer service and patience.

Principles of Eco-Friendly Interior Design

It’s a good idea to find a mentor who can help you gain experience and build your reputation. Non-degree holders often start as independent contractors, so they can develop their portfolio consistently. Don’t forget to build your network, as they’ll help you find job opportunities.

The Important Principles of an Eco-Friendly Home

According to studies, utilities, furnishing, shelter, miscellaneous goods, and electronics account for 33.6% of household emissions. You can get this number down by implementing the following principles of eco-friendly interior design:

1. Energy-Efficient Design

Energy consumption heavily contributes to climate change and environmental degradation. Most modern buildings consume large amounts of electricity, either directly or through conversion. For example, most American homes get their electricity by converting gas.

Natural lighting, effective insulation, and the right wall colors can cut down on consumption. Carpets can retain up to 10% of a home’s heat, and lighter colors can brighten up the room, which lowers your utility bills. Light curtains and drapes can reduce the need for artificial lights.

2. Water-Efficient Design

Water shortages aren’t all that uncommon, even in the United States. Homeowners can install rainwater storage systems that reuse rainwater for household use, while water-use feedback machines can keep people aware of how much water they’re using, preventing overuse.

Small things like a no-leak tap system, pressuring regulating devices, drip irrigation systems, high-efficiency nozzles, and low-flow toilets could help you save 50% of your daily water use. What’s more, you don’t even have to change your lifestyle to reduce your overall consumption.

3. Eco-Friendly Materials

Fast fashion and single-use plastics are polluting our planet, but so are materials that are used in our home-based fabrics and paint. Non-toxic and non-polluting materials have a much lower environmental impact, so try to use wood and stone products as long as they aren’t treated.

Bamboo is an alternative to many other organic materials, as they’re less likely to be extracted, transported, produced, and processed irresponsibly. Eco-paint, typically made from starch and clay, can lower volatile organic chemicals, but so can bio-glass and cork-made flooring.

bamboo as a construction material

4. Sustainability With Style

There’s a running myth that eco-friendly homes fail in the “stylish” department, but thanks to modern technology, that’s no longer the case. Today, bamboo and cork flooring come in various textures and colors, making them versatile for all homes, regardless of your personal style.

Not only that, but most eco-friendly materials are more durable and widely available, as brands are focusing more on their eco-lines of products. For example, PaperStone makes countertops, accessories, sinks, cladding, and more out of 100% recycled paper and non-petroleum resin.

5. Sustainable Furniture

Furniture is an essential aspect of interior design, as it plays a role in influencing a home’s aesthetic. Buying used furniture is a great first step, but you have to make sure said furniture is made from sustainable and organic materials, like non-treated wood and fast-growing bamboo.

As mentioned, sustainable materials like cork lead to less pollution, but recycled plastic, metal, and rattan-made products offer both eco-friendliness and comfort. If you’re a fan of fabric-made couches, make sure the dye used in the furniture is able to break down safely in landfills.

Simple Home Renovations That Can Improve Energy Efficiency

There is almost nothing more satisfying than a clean, fresh, and sustainable home. You may think that renovating your home is a hassle, not to mention expensive, but there are plenty of small changes that can make a home really feel like it’s yours. Something as simple as a new garage door, or a small solar panel can bring personality and life to your home while saving energy and giving you a boost of pride for your house.

1. Doors and Windows

When thinking about renovating your house, you probably think, new basement, new roofing, and much more expensive and time consuming projects. But do not write off home improvement just yet! There are plenty of small changes that can make a huge difference to the style of your home and even boost its overall value.

Doors and windows play a huge part in energy efficiency as air enters and escapes your home. This makes these options a great place to start as they add a personal flair to your home’s look as well as being environmentally friendly. Below is a short list of these green home renovations that can improve energy efficiency:

insulated-home

Garage Doors

When thinking about the outdoor curb appeal of your home, an often overlooked detail is the garage. This may seem silly but just think about how much visual space your garage door or doors take up.

A new or refurbished garage door can not only up the style and personality of your home, but can make your home more energy efficient and secure. And with companies like CSSGarageDoors there are so many styles to choose from.

Front Door

A unique front door also helps your house stand out and adds your own personal touch to your home. Keep in mind the style of your garage doors and make sure your other doors do not clash. Replacing old front doors can also save you money and energy, as air often escapes from unseen cracks in old doors and windows.

There are hundreds of style choices to choose from, and many energy efficient sustainable options too. Not only will this give your home an instant personality boost, it will raise the value of your home significantly.

Windows

While this one may be a little more on the pricey side of renovations, it is yet another example of boosting your homes personality, value, and energy efficiency. Not only can you choose from styles of windows, you can choose how you want the glass and frames to make them custom just for you and your home.

New windows will save you money on heating and air and some even keep out the noises of busy streets or noisy neighbors. Depending on the climate and place you live, these replacements could be a life saver. Lowes has an excellent selection of beautiful window and door replacements.

2. Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

While improving the overall look of your home can give you a sense of personal pride in your home, less visible but sustainable options can give you comfort and help the planet. If you want to live more sustainably but do not have the funds to build a whole new eco-friendly home, there are small changes that can boost your home’s energy efficiency and sustainability. Below is a short list of options to improve your home from the inside out.

Tankless Water Heaters

Water heaters are probably something you do not often think about when going on home energy efficiency upgrades. However, that tank that sits in your garage or basement is constantly using energy. Even when you are not using your hot water, the tank is busy working away using energy and costing you money. Switching to a tankless or on-demand water heater means that it will only be using energy when you need it.

Solar Panels

Solar panels are becoming better and better, and adding one to your homes exterior no longer seems like a dream. While there is a lot to consider before installing solar panels, they can be an amazing way to reduce energy and a great investment.

solar-powered-home

Although solar panels can last for up to 30 years, you do not need to be afraid of wasting money when you move as they can increase the value of your home significantly. You can also get a sizeable tax return for installing solar panels, so it is a great option to look at for sustainable living.