When it comes to sustainable design, we try and make sure that all aspects we touch are not only the best for our clients but for Mother Nature as well.
This philosophy is also included in our interior design elements where we try and focus on environmental considerations as well as functionality, accessibility and aesthetics. Our interior designers try to create a beautiful, functional and safe home for you and your family and the environment. After all we are trying to create a home that you never want to leave!
“There are quite a few reasons why you would want to design your home sustainably, the number one reason is your health”.
What Is Sustainable Interior Design and Why Does It Matter?
Sustainable interior design as defined by the General Services Administration “seeks to reduce negative impacts on the environment, and the health and comfort of people, thereby improving building performance. The basic objectives of sustainability are to reduce consumption of non-renewable resources, minimize waste, and create healthy, productive environments.” So, in a nutshell, sustainable interior design is good for you and the environment.
There are quite a few reasons why you would want to design your home sustainably, the number one reason is your health. There are several materials that go into building a home that have toxins that can be avoided. Vinyl flooring, blinds and wall coverings can be harmful due to the phthalates which are used to make the plastic soft and flexible. Another offender is sealants, adhesives and coatings such as paint. They can emit chemicals into the air we breathe and cause serious health concerns. All the big paint companies now offer non-toxic paint, and you can find non-toxic or low toxicity sealants as well. Another offender is engineered wood as this can contain formaldehyde. Try to source plywood, fiberboard, or particleboard that is certified formaldehyde free. When working with a sustainable interior designer, they know what products you should use and what materials you should stay away from.
Interior Design and Our Health and Well Being
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American spends 93% of their life indoors. 87% of their life is inside buildings, then another 6% of their life in automobiles. That’s only 7% of your entire life outdoors. So, if we spend 93% of our time indoors, why not live in a healthy and comfortable space. Making sustainable choices inside the home can make a world of difference for you and your family. The burning of fossil gas (also known as “natural” gas) inside the home for starters generates high levels of nitrogen oxides which can lead to asthma especially among children. Moving to electric for your stove and heating in the house can reduce your indoor air pollutants.
Another good option is bringing some of the great outdoors inside. Decorating with nature has a soothing effect and can refresh, calm and even reset your nervous system along with reducing blood pressure, heart rate, and muscle tension. A few favorites for decorating with the great outdoors inside are:
Decorate with as much living as possible
Living walls have become popular over the past few years. They are a great way to clear the air of pollutants and getting fresh air into your space. Plants, flowers and shrubs are a great way to finish off any space as well. Open the curtains and windows and let the natural light and air in to help everything grow and flourish.
“Decorating with nature has a soothing effect and can refresh, calm and even reset the nervous system”
Natural Fibres, textures and pattern
Decorate your space with materials that are inspired by nature. Items such as wicker, hemp, bamboo, pine, jute, wheat and wool to name a few. Use them in furniture, rugs, baskets, blankets and accents around the house. This will help turn your space into a relaxation oasis.
Use Nature to Decorate
Using colors that are inspired by nature such as earthy greens, refreshing blues, fresh yellows and clean neutral tones are a great way to bring Mother Nature indoors. Another great way to incorporate nature into everyday living is to decorate with items found in nature itself like shells, twigs, sand, straw, and flowers. This will also give off an outdoorsy scent which will remind you of being at the beach or in the forest.
Sustainable Design and the Environment
When choosing materials, appliances and fixtures for your home you have the potential to save on energy and water by selecting ENERGY STAR appliances which meet specifications for energy performance. There are also low flow faucets, shower heads and toilets that use less than 5 liters of water compared to the standard toilets that use 23 liters. You can also install eco-friendly lighting by installing LED’s and using sensor lighting outdoors.
At GNAR we set out to design your home inside and out to be something that lasts the test of time. Something that your family finds solace in and can be proud of. We spend a lot of time creating a comfortable space that works with your family, something that becomes everything they need and nothing more. Considering the environment along with the design contributes to reducing our overall carbon footprint one home at a time.
At GNAR Inc we are passionate about creating sustainable homes, let us know how we can help you bring your dream house to life. Call us at 604.962.1611 or email email@example.com for more information.