As one begins to think about designing their home or hiring an expert to design it for them, it’s unlikely that the word “sustainability” is the first that comes to mind. After all, it’s hard to envision a home filled with raw wood, refined marble, and natural linens and think it could be anything BUT sustainable, organic, etc.
The sad truth is, interior design lacking intention can be quite an unsustainable business. As part of the building community, which generates 40% of annual global CO2 emissions, it is imperative that we, as designers, take this information into consideration.
Although the weight of climate change is both heavy and overwhelming, we believe in the power of knowledge to transform and overcome - the truth is, there are little things we can all do in order to live life more sustainably, and within the home is a great place to start.
Consider Electricity and Heat
Heat + electricity make up the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions within the building sector. Whether it’s purchasing eco-friendly appliances, installing a smart thermostat, enlisting in a green pricing program with your electric provider, investing in LED light bulbs, or using thermal installation, there are several ways to lessen your energy usage.
Incorporate Recycled Materials
Use recycled materials, particularly if you’re going through a large-scale remodel. Talk to your contractor - share with them your commitment to eco-friendly practices, and ask them to recycle materials from demo projects.
Paint, Paint, Paint
Unfortunately, interior paints can be extremely toxic - not only to produce, but for your health, too. Luckily, here in California, we have some of the highest standards in this regard. If you’re based outside of California, be on the lookout for low VOC + mineral-based paints.
Some of our favorite paint manufacturers include Benjamin Moore (particularly their Eco Spec and Natura collections,) Farrow and Ball, and ECOS Paints.
Shop Local, Vintage + Sustainable Brands
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, shop locally whenever possible. Whether you’re shopping at local vintage shops (we’ve been loving The Mart Collective and The Helping Hand here in LA,) collaborating with local craftsmen for custom furniture, cabinetry, etc., or supporting local artisans - making use of your community resources will limit unnecessary waste.
Lamp from Nikky Kehoe, Los Angeles (1st) | Fabric from Nikky Kehoe, Los Angeles (2nd) |
Pillows from Nikky Kehoe, Los Angeles (3rd) | Ceramic vase made by Marina del Clay (4th)
Do some research
There are numerous companies committed to making their products more sustainable. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention one of our absolute favorites - Fireclay Tile. Being the first tile company certified as a Benefit Corporation, they’re committed to a zero-waste manufacturing process, and hand-make all of their tiles here in California.
Shop the Blog
Below you’ll find a roundup of our favorite sustainable items.
Did you know we keep an archive of our most beloved interior finds? If you’re looking for home inspiration or a roundup of our current favorites, be sure to check out our affiliate shop.