Saturday, November 3, 2012
These days, having an eco-friendly home means more than just recycling and installing compact fluorescent light bulbs. The use of sustainable and environmentally friendly materials in furniture and interior fitting has never been more prevalent, and this has opened up the possibilities for eco-friendly interior design. Traditionally an industry that was quite taxing on the environment, interior decor and furniture has been revolutionised to incorporate more recycled and repurposed materials.
A home’s furniture is what defines it, and homeowners are understandably choosy when it comes to picking out the right pieces for a room. Luckily, environment-conscious owners now have access to an ever-growing range of furniture designers and manufacturers focused on sourcing greener materials. In the UK alone, there are dozens of furniture companies that maintain a catalogue of UK sourced and built furniture.
Reclaimed wood furniture is a popular choice for the eco-friendly homeowner. By recycling old furniture, railroad ties and wood from various other sources, no new trees are cut down to build the furniture, and thus the demand for logging is also decreased. Companies throughout the UK now pride themselves in creating both traditional and contemporary wooden furniture out of exclusively reclaimed wood. Some companies will even take bespoke orders for custom pieces or kitchen fit outs.
Eco friendly interior design doesn’t just stop at recycled or reclaimed wood. Homeowners looking for an alternative can draw on many options available on the market. Many manufacturers go to great length to source, produce and deliver wooden floors that are as eco-friendly as possible, such as Swedish brand Kahrs, which offer a longer last alternative to vinyls or other synthetically manufactured floors. Of course, the up-front cost tends to be a bit higher but their longevity should be an important consideration for someone designing an eco-friendly home.
Soft furnishings, fabric and upholstery have also recently gone under an eco-friendly makeover. There are now plenty of organic cotton alternatives to bedding, curtains, cushions and more. Whilst many environmentally friendly individuals suffered for years with bland organic linens and fabrics, the recent popularity of organic dyes has made it possible to achieve beautiful colours and patterning to rival anything seen on the high street.
Of course, a large part of having an eco friendly interior is the ability to save or reduce energy consumption. Traditional incandescent bulbs are hardly even sold in stores anymore, and have largely been replaced by compact fluorescents, which require much less energy. However, many have grumbled about the colour of the light these fluorescents produce. As an alternative, LED light bulbs will also save energy, last a very long time and give off a much warmer light than their fluorescent counterparts.
Creating a truly eco friendly space has never been easier. Those who have shied away from doing so due to a lack of choices will be presently surprised at today’s options. Reclaimed and bamboo furniture has never looked so good and is often indistinguishable from traditional brands and styles. Add to this the wonderful textures, patterns and colours that can now be achieved through organic fabrics and dyes and there’s no denying that eco friendly design is a trend that has staying power.