If you’re ready to jump on board the eco-wagon, one of these design trends is sure to suit you.
The "green" movement has well and truly taken off in the past few years and it’s had a huge impact on the decor and design world. These days, forward-thinking companies and designers are creating products, brands and materials that scream "eco-chic". If you’re building or redecorating and thinking of going "green", you no longer have to sacrifice style for sustainability — you can have it all!
These days, LED lighting is dominating the interior design world. These modern fixtures cut energy costs, have a long lifespan and are friendly to the environment. They are also known to outlast regular bulbs by many years. These lights also add a softer, warmer glow; if you’re used to harsh, incandescent lighting, you won’t know how you lived without them! What more could you want?
Another major trend is incorporating recycled or vintage materials into home decor. When it comes to flooring, many eco-conscious people are ditching brand new floorboards in favour of recycled oak, teak, bamboo and driftwood. These kinds of materials are not only more sustainable, but they are also far more "homely" (and, as some would argue, more chic) than the highly polished, veneer finishes of modern pieces. If you’re into statement design, other cool trends are embedding stones and gems into concrete kitchen tops and putting one-of-a-kind, vintage accents like lounges and ottomans on display.
Since eco-design is absolutely exploding at the moment, there are so many ways to make a home sustainable. Many people aren’t stopping at using eco-friendly products and brands; they are designing and revamping homes that cut back on energy consumption and waste. One of the most gorgeous ways to do this is by creating a rooftop garden (or herb patch), which looks beautiful and also provides insulation. You’ve come this far, so why not install solar energy panels?
For years, homeowners automatically chose lumber for their outdoor decks. It’s readily available, relatively cheap and traditional, so it’s no wonder why lumber has been the decking of choice for so long. As decking design has evolved, so too have the materials. In 2013, recycled decking that looks exactly like lumber but is in fact made from materials like reclaimed wood, recycled plastic bags and bottles, and polyurethane are set to take off. There are plenty of companies selling this sustainable "imitation lumber"and these days it comes in a range of colours and designs: Even the most nit-picky homeowner’s tastes will be satisfied.
Here’s a little known fact for you: Windows cause 30 per cent of a home’s heat gain and loss, which explains why you constantly feel the need to turn the air con or heater on when the weather isn’t too bad outside. Eco-designers are always one step ahead of the pack and windows are no exception. Energy-efficient glass windows are becoming more and more popular and there’s a laundry list of reasons why. They keep your space warmer in winter and cooler in summer, meaning you use less electricity to heat it up and cool it down. Slashed electricity bills? Sign us up!
Glass has been huge on the design scene for a while now: Think of all the sheer splashbacks, countertops and coffee tables that have popped up in recent years. But now, BioGlass is edging its way into homes and offices. Made from 100 per cent recycled glass, BioGlass looks and feels exactly like the real stuff, but it is a whole lot friendlier to the environment. It’s light-reflecting, durable and easy to clean, and it suits most minimalistic and traditional decors. At the moment, it’s mostly being used for countertops, wall fixtures and office desks, but watch this space.
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