Going Green: The Mechanics of Adopting Sustainability in Interior Design
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Over a year ago, I came across a Danish company selling posters online. They then using part of the income to fund a charity project in rural Nepal. The most exciting thing about the entire project that caught my eye, however, is the fact that all the posters they sold were produced sustainably. This got me thinking about sustainable practices in Interior design.
Why We Need to Go Green in Interior Design
Most people wouldn’t normally associate going green with interior design. However, it’s incredible how much can be done to promote sustainability through responsible design approaches in this industry. For instance, what if an interior designer committed to sourcing materials such as furniture and paintings from a sustainable source? A lot of what we have in our homes and offices today got there through some production process that has a direct impact on the environment.
Sustainability is not just a hot topic but is slowly becoming a standard across many industries as we scramble to undo and ultimately slow down the damage that we have done to the environment due to everyday inefficiencies and taxing production processes.
Let’s take a look at some of the principles/ ideas interior designers can adopt to promote sustainability in their practice.
Utilizing Space Effectively
For a long time, having wide open spaces was deemed good design and a lot of interior designers still prefer this approach. However, with advances in technologies and the need for space in today’s megacities, interior designers are encouraged to make good use of spaces and reduce construction stress in our cities. Indeed, styling of micro-buildings or tiny houses is one of the hottest interior design trends today.
The lesser space you can use as an interior designer, the better it will be for sustainability. It means fewer materials will be needed to construct buildings and people will spend less energy living in smaller spaces. This is so important as construction has, for the longest time been one of the most problematic areas in sustainability, especially in the urban areas.
Sourcing Materials from Sustainable Sources
Windows, furniture, doors, paint, floors; these are all things an interior design has total control over when it comes to designing a modern building. This is why it is crucial that interior designers are brought on board when it comes to going green and adopting sustainable design practices. Source interior material such as furniture and fittings from sustainable sources like those made from reclaimed wood, bamboo, or recycled materials.
Posters and interior artwork form part and parcel of any interior design project. You can choose to print or buy original artwork from conventional sources or go for a green source to promote sustainability. In a recent interior design project, we sourced all our interior posters from the company I mentioned at the beginning. They were all in a collection dubbed “Poster Copenhagen” as the office we were working on then had a Copenhagen theme.
As interior designers, we use lighting fixtures to control the theme and mood of any interior space we are working on. For sustainability, an interior designer should go for lighting sources that are energy efficient. Technological advances in this industry have made it possible to have efficient lighting that is at par with traditional lighting sources. The use of natural light through wide transparent windows and skylights is also encouraged.
There several ways that designers can promote sustainability in their trade by reducing waste. Firstly, they can design interior spaces and use fixtures that promote efficient use of resources. For instance, one can choose to use automatic water fixtures such as taps to reduce the amount of water that is wasted. Secondly, interior designers need to find new ways to redeploy, reuse and recycle excess materials in every project.
Why do we need to go green in our industry and just how valuable is our input into promoting sustainability? Well, very important if you ask me and thousands of experts who feel interior designers have a role to play in designing green buildings. An interior designer wields so much power in the choice of materials and design choices in any project, so yes, their input is significant for sustainability.