Sustainable home improvement is rising, with people becoming more aware of the environmental and health impact of certain materials, processes, and adhesives used in building and renovating a home. A big part of this involves interior design and decoration. Here are three ways interior design companies make sustainable home improvement based on the four sustainability principles: energy efficiency, low waste, low environmental impact, and flexibility.
Install a Ceiling Fan
Ceiling fans may no longer be as useful today because of air conditioners, but they remain beautiful fixtures for your ceiling. What many homeowners may not know is that it can help you save on HVAC costs. When you switch on the AC at the slightest heat to cool your home in summer, you raise your energy costs right away. A ceiling fan consumes less energy, so it lowers your energy bills.
But did you know that you can reverse the blade rotation of your fan and achieve a warming comfort in winter? When you hit the reverse switch on the fan, the blades rotate the opposite direction, pushing down the hot air trapped near the ceiling. The effect is a soft breeze that warms the room during cold winter days. A typical air conditioner uses up to 3500 watts of energy, but your ceiling fan uses only 60 watts. That’s energy efficiency at its best.
Use Light Paint on Your Walls
The average electricity bill in a regular US household in 2019 was $110.76 monthly. Residential lighting makes up about 11 percent of the consumption, according to US energy information. While the amount may not be that high, the proportion is more than it should be. Why?
Ideally, during the day, households don’t need artificial lighting because of the natural light from outside. But many homes turn on lights during the day because the interiors are dark and visibility is poor. Dark walls and flooring could be the main reason.
Interior designers suggest light-colored paint for the walls, to allow daylight to reflect from it and brighten the room. It lessens the number of light bulbs you need. You don’t have to paint every room white, however. For parts of the home that don’t require very bright hues, such as the bedroom or entertainment room, warm colors will be just as perfect.
Replace Your Lights with LED
If you must install lights, use LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs. LED lights slash at least 40 percent of your energy bills. Some homeowners claim that LED bulbs are not as warm or cozy as incandescent bulbs, but manufacturers are working on versions with improved light output while lowering energy.
Use Design Items with Recycled Materials
When talking about sustainable building or home design, it usually means junking toxic materials and waste byproducts. Sourcing, production, and disposal must also be sustainable, such as using less power or petroleum. A popular viable method is recycling. Apart from lessening waste, it unclogs landfills and prevents flooding. Get inspiration from a commercial flooring company that uses harvested fishing nets from oceans in developing countries to make yarn for their carpets. They also use discarded carpets from landfills for carpet backing.
Don’t Discard, Upcycle
Upcycling is a creative way to transform old and used things into functional—and exceptional—items. Looking at this list of upcycling ideas, you’ll realize that the only thing that stops you from upcycling is your imagination. Old light bulbs as candles? Used toilet paper rolls as computer cable keepers? Old muffin pans as jewelry cases? You can practically turn anything into an interesting piece of décor or fixture if you can envision what it could become.
Sustainable interior design is all about saving energy, saving used items, saving materials, and saving the earth. These tips are but a few examples of how you can do it. But the options are endless.