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Interior Design: Tips for Balancing Aesthetics and Sustainability

A sustainable home interior design often involves eco-friendly décor and furniture pieces, which are specifically chosen to reduce environmental impact. Because of this definition, some homeowners think their design options are limited, affecting the visual appeal of their interiors.

This doesn’t have to be true. You can still achieve your envisioned design for your interiors. The trick is to choose the right materials and furnishing pieces for your home — ones that balance aesthetics and sustainability.

Below are some design tips and strategies to help you blend sustainability and style in your home interiors.

1. Opt for engineered construction materials

Many homeowners prefer natural materials for different parts of their home, such as the floors, countertops, and cabinetry. However, the sourcing methods for natural wood and building materials aren’t always sustainable.

Timber gathering has a significant impact on forests, more so if it doesn’t follow the proper logging methods. Transporting the timber also increases the activity’s environmental footprint, especially if it’s not sourced locally.

If you want that natural wood for your flooring or cabinets, choose salvaged or reclaimed wood to reduce your impact on the environment. There are also exotic prefinished engineered hardwood flooring options that only use a thin layer of hardwood for the outermost part of the plank. The inner layers are made of plywood or fiberboard, reducing your consumption of natural hardwood.

Reclaimed wood is perfect for barn-style or rustic-themed interiors, and engineered stone works best for a contemporary design.

2. Choose sustainable furniture and décor pieces
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For your décor and furniture, look for pieces made from salvaged wood, reused materials, or recycled textiles. Just like with reclaimed wood flooring, choosing sustainable furniture pieces will help reduce your environmental footprint.

Also, reusing or upcycling prevents these building materials from going into landfills, helping ease the country’s waste problem.

Bamboo and rattan are also sustainable materials that make good, stylish furniture and décor.

3. Utilize natural light

Utilize natural light as much as possible in your space. This means having large windows strategically placed to receive a good amount of light without absorbing too much heat. French doors are also a good addition to your living room, opening up to your patio to give you a seamless indoor-outdoor lifestyle.

If you’re worried about the heat loss through windows, go for double-glazed windows that prevent energy loss. Proper caulking and weather-stripping will also help reduce air leakage, resulting in an energy-efficient home.

During the hot months, you can cover the windows with medium-colored curtains. The Department of Energy says that this technique can help reduce heat gains by 33 percent.

Maximizing natural light makes your space look bigger and brighter, perfect for all-white interiors.

4. Change your lighting

LED is the most sustainable light option in the market today. LEDs use less energy than other types of bulbs, letting you save on your utility bills. You can also use LEDs to enhance the ambiance of your interiors by getting dimmers. Dimmers regulate the lighting output, so you can go for a cooler or warmer tone, depending on the mood you want to set.

Make sure to get an ENERGY STAR-certified dimmer switch to guarantee its safety.

These are only a few ways to blend sustainability and aesthetics in your home. Consult an interior design with relevant experience to get professional advice on how you can achieve the visual appeal you want while observing the principles of sustainability.

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