Green Interior Design Tips
Today more than ever savvy consumers are realizing that we have choices when it comes to keeping our environment as pollutant free as possible. This is especially true when it comes to the home. There are now a myriad of choices when it comes to opting for a healthier, more conscious lifestyle, and these particularly apply to selecting products that are in tune with environmentally sound practices.
Starting With the Basics
The first step in good green interior design is to start with the basics. Removing exposure to toxins and pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOC) and gaseous chemicals begins with choosing intelligent cleaning products, paints, carpeting, and furniture.
There are many green cleaning products on the market today that are perfect substitutes for conventional brands. Though the labels may say organic, natural, and biodegradable, certain manufacturers are more reliable than others. Look for companies such as Earth Choice, OxiClean, CitraSolv, Biokleen or make your own formula out of common and timeless ingredients like vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda.
Paints and Finishes
When it comes to paints and finishes, there are more and more low or non-VOC lines available through manufacturers such as Benjamin Moore, Duron, and Sherwin-Williams. Bioshield is another company that works with plant based paints, providing a wide range of beautiful non-toxic hues. When you decide to change the color of your walls, finding a non-petrochemical option is the way to go, and you’ll notice the difference right away as you won’t be breathing in those toxic fumes as you do the job. Choose light colors to make your rooms brighter and you will save energy by using the natural light of mornings and late afternoons.
Packaging and Storage Elements
Paying attention to packaging materials is another way to up the ante on a greener lifestyle. Selecting storage bins made from recycled PET plastic bottles is a great way to organize your closet with consciousness. Not using materials made with toxic glue will help to keep your home pristine and chemical free.
Get Rid of That Old Wall to Wall!
One of the must underhanded criminals in the toxin department is conventional carpeting. Carpets generally provide a very friendly housing situation for allergens, pesticides, and other toxins, including all sorts of bacteria tracked in from the outdoors. Synthetic carpeting contains VOCs, which are huge culprits when it comes to subtly breaking down the body’s immune system. Either remove your wall to wall, or if you’re not ready to part with it, make sure you clean it weekly with a HEPA vacuum designed to pick up allergens.
Great Flooring Alternatives
These days, contemporary homes sport some wonderful flooring alternatives in the form of responsibly harvested or reclaimed wood floors, with materials like renewable bamboo or cork, both of which are easily harvested without destroying the tree. Concrete is a beautiful modern option, where creative surfacing can create a unique look that brings a clean, functional feeling to your home. Low toxicity carpets and area rugs made of wool, hemp, or easy-to- clean cotton provide warmth and will brighten up a room as well as delineate a specific space, especially in a loft. The Patagonia Sheepskin Rug at Viesso is a great idea, especially if you’re looking for a cozy texture in which to bury your toes. Look for labels like DRI Green Label Plus to make sure that what you are buying is made responsibly.
Surfaces and Shelving
Buying or creating surfaces and shelving out of recycled metal or glass is an excellent design choice when keeping to the green ethic. Both materials create a modern look and are easy to clean. Using glass mosaic or ceramic tiles to form the backsplash area in a kitchen is a practical way to make a beautiful statement that can also compliment the room’s design. If you like the look of wood in your home, use formaldehyde-free plywood or medium density fiberboard for your interior project.
Using textiles made from silk, linen, cotton, wool, and bamboo that are not made with synthetic dyes are a great way to add exquisite design touches to your home. Covering a chair or a sofa in leather or leatherette is a perfect green way to add character to your furniture, such as Viesso’s Split Back Deluxe Sofa Bed in dramatic black or white.
Furniture: Durability, Longevity, and Style
Speaking of furniture, a good green design choice should always be based on durability. Choose your pieces on the basis of how solidly built their frames and sub-frames are, and you will have something that is designed not just for function but also for longevity. A perfect example of this is Viesso’s Bamboo Float Sectional sofa, made of sustainable bamboo materials with a beautifully upholstered seat and an attached coffee table. Created for the intelligent use of space, the sofa has a light and balanced Zen-like feeling that is understated and extremely contemporary.
Using your imagination and creativity you can create a home that really speaks of who you are, especially when you highlight your surroundings with antiques and pieces found in thrift stores. Often, found objects carry a lot more soul than their factory-made generic substitutes. Refinish them with eco-friendly paint or coverings, or leave them as they are. When you are a part of recycling and reuse you reduce your footprint by many miles. Remembering that every selection you make has an impact on providing your home with a more sustainable solution is what will make your shopping more informed and more efficient.
Marrying Form and Function with Eco Friendly Design
By creating a green interior home, you are creating an inviting, nurturing, and contemporary space that speaks of your attitude towards life and it’s sustainability. Decorating with plants that help to keep the air clean and fresh, exploring how to buy from artisans who take time and care to create their wares, and marrying form and function with eco-friendly design speaks volumes about the way you view the world and your place in it.
For more information on how to furnish and decorate your home while maintaining a green lifestyle, contact Viesso today!