Top picks for sustainable interiors
There must be hundreds of sustainable home furnishings we can use to make our homes look beautiful while respecting our planet. However, they are not always easy to find. We’ve done the research for you and found some fabulous pieces to make your home more eco-friendly.
Our top tips for sustainable living are:
- Make your home as energy-efficient as possible by having well-fitted windows and doors and plenty of insulation
- Buy organic materials where possible e.g. wool, natural stone and wood. But make sure you check wooden furniture exhibits an FSC label to demonstrate sustainability
- Choose furniture pieces that you will love for a long time
- Introduce house plants to improve air quality
Our top 10 sustainable interior ideas:
100% wool carpet comes from a sustainable source as well as offering good insulating properties. However, in some cases, chemicals used in the dyeing process can affect its eco-credentials. Have you considered using natural coir flooring instead? Coir comes from coconut husks and is extremely resilient. It brings a natural texture into the home and works well in heavy-traffic areas such as hallways, living rooms and dining rooms. Complete the look with natural woods and earth tones. Coir carpet is available from Sisal & Seagrass from £19.40 per m2.
Keep drafts at bay
Make your home as sustainable as possible by making sure you have well-fitting windows and doors. Evolution use timber alternative frames, which have the look and feel of natural wood. Although the PVCu frames are made of plastic, they have exceptional insulation properties compared to natural timber and do not need repainting. Evolution’s frames and glass are high enough quality to be recycled at the end of their lifespan. Image from www.jomiltoninteriors.com
Ditch the single use plastic
Weaver Green have cleverly used up to 300 recycled plastic bottles to create each of its Scandinavian style blankets and hammams. While they look beautiful draped over beds and sofas, they can also be used as waterproof picnic blankets. They are soft, stain resistant, machine-washable, environmentally friendly and come in a beautiful range of colours from £45. Check out Weaver Green’s range of rugs, cushions and ottomans too.
Would you guess this side table started out life as scaffolding boards? The boards were reclaimed and repurposed by sanding them to reveal the beautiful timber hiding below. The hexagon shape was inspired by a beehive and the table top has been varnished with a solvent-free matt varnish. Each table is made by hand in Bristol and available from Wearth from £155.
This soft, luxurious bedding from Panda is made from 100% organically grown bamboo viscose and comes in biodegradable packaging. Bamboo is not only a sustainable resource, but is also one of the world’s fastest growing plants, using less water than other plants. The highly breathable bamboo fabric is temperature regulating and has antibacterial properties. It has half the drying time of cotton and resists wrinkling too. Panda’s bedding sets include a fitted sheet, duvet cover and pillowcases and come in a choice of colours, priced from £110 to £180 depending on size.
Reuse exiting furniture or search out unloved pieces in charity, vintage or second hand shops. Give it a new lease of life with a lick of paint. We love the stencil designs from Dizzy Duck Designs for transforming an old sideboard or chest of drawers into a statement piece. This Bukhara Mandala design starts from £14.98.
Peg it up
Old-fashioned pegboards have been given a fresh update from Kreis Design. These pegboards are made from sustainably sourced birch plywood and feature various pegs, shelves and utensil holders to suit your room, whether a hallway, kitchen, bedroom or workspace. The one featured here is the Chef’s Edition, which additionally features a knife holder, utensils rack and condiment holder. The pegboards start from £95.
House of Kind offer a range of products which are vegan-friendly, made from sustainable materials and don’t use any toxic chemicals. This Hexagon Mirror/Terrarium from £32 has been designed by an independent maker using recycled glass, which can be recycled again at the end of its useful life. You can add an air plant to use it as a terrarium or store make-up or jewellery in it.
Switch plastic for wool
Solidwool has created a sustainable alternative to petrochemical reinforced plastics. They use wool from upland, hill-farmed sheep, which is a by-product of sheep farming, and combine it with-bio resins to create a strong composite with a lower impact on the environment. Inspired by the 1950s Eames plastic chair, the Hembury Chair is made with Solidwool and features solid ash legs, from £395. They come in a natural, dark grey, Herdwick wool finish or blue, green and orange Scotch Blackface wool.
There are lots of charity shops on our high streets selling unwanted furniture so you can give it a new lease of life. But if you’re looking for a new piece, we’ve found this recycled pine bed from Maison du Monde. The Cappadoce bed has been made from reclaimed wood and is available from £1397 – it even includes storage compartments on the side of the headboard so you don’t need a bedside table. Maison du Monde contributes 1% of the revenue to environmental charities and the bed is recyclable at the end of its useful life.
By Sara Chardin