Today, sustainable living is the need of the hour and rightly so. The impact of the increasing pollution, depleting natural resources and decreasing green cover on the ecosystem has become evident, and the problems arising from it are now coming to the fore. One way to mitigate this impact is to use resources responsibly. Nowadays, organisations across industries, from fashion and lifestyle to manufacturing and IT, are consciously using sustainable raw material and products.
Architecture and interior design play an equally important role in contributing to sustainable living. With the increasing awareness about going green, there’s a growing demand for eco-friendly homes. Here, architects and interior designers play a pivotal role. Traditionally, they would focus on the client’s needs in terms of aesthetics, but they now focus on their environmental concerns and blending functionality with aesthetics. They also guide their clients while choosing the right kind of raw material and products to suit their green needs.
Eco-friendly interior design is all about using sustainable, recycled and upcycled material to reduce the environmental impact of construction while ensuring that the quality of living is not compromised. It involves developing a balance between aesthetics and functionality, along with planning an energy-saving and cost-effective utilisation of space. For example, one could reuse, recycle, upcycle and use local products instead of buying new furniture and adding clutter to their homes for a more functional and efficient approach. It is also easy to amp up the look of furnishings by steering towards a creative approach. DIY, upcycling, origami and craft are few ways to modernise an old item.
Sustainable design is also about understanding the longevity of material that is used. Conscious thought about the nature and durability of raw materials and the method of disposal needs to be embedded in our minds to bring about a positive change. Furniture made from natural and organic materials such as wood and bamboo is sustainable and can be reused or upcycled in a plethora of ways. Rattan, granite and limestone can easily be used to make both indoor and outdoor furniture. Natural and biodegradable fibres such as wool, cotton or jute are a great alternative to nylon or polyester and can be used for the upholstery.
Minimalism is not just a modern and contemporary interior design trend but is another step towards sustainable living. Minimalism involves selecting furnishings that are functional and versatile, reducing the need to buy more which leads to cluttering the space. It also involves using fewer items that you’d regularly require.
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Another critical aspect of sustainable living is reducing energy consumption in terms of heating and lighting. Using LED lights instead of fluorescent bulbs is an eco-friendly approach and helps in curbing the emission of greenhouse gases. An exciting and cost-effective approach is choosing the right colour for lights and using reflective surfaces which reduces the need for artificial lighting. Also, ample ambient light makes your space look expansive and uplifts its mood.
Sustainability in home décor isn’t restricted to material palettes and design-intensive solutions. A little greenery goes a long way in making one’s home a healthier space. Plants are one such handy tool. They not only add to the aesthetics of a room but also act as indoor air purifiers. There are a variety of indoor plants that can bring a space alive with a dash of colour. They are low on maintenance and easily survive in dim-lit rooms as well.
Herbs, succulents and small potted plants can be placed across different rooms – bathroom, kitchen, living room and bedroom. Plants with blooming flowers are a delight for the senses and create a positive aura. Hanging plants can be used in the living room, terraces or balconies for an exquisite look.
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Outdoor or terrace gardens is another concept that people can opt for. It allows one to connect with nature and has many therapeutic benefits. Vertical gardens or green walls that occupy an entire wall also have multiple benefits. In addition to enhancing the aesthetics, they keep the environment cool and reduce noise which is an excellent option for corporate offices and residential spaces. Therefore, it is not wrong to say that one can easily achieve sustainability in design without compromising on aesthetics.