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Sustainability does not need to be a compromise. You can have luxurious, high-end design without sacrificing your desire to create a sustainable home. Modern interiors are now more than capable of balancing green sustainability with luxury and many designers are happy to work with sustainable materials such as reclaimed wood, bamboo, hemp, and wool.
The aim of sustainable living is to design an interior that is environmentally friendly. Green design focusses on using materials that have been recycled or that come from renewable sources. Instead of acres of polished concrete, designers create beautiful, aesthetically pleasing interiors using materials such as reclaimed oak flooring, but materials are not always easy to come by.
A Lack of Sustainable Materials
A research paper published by the International Journal of Sustainable Built Environment in 2015 found that choices in sustainable materials were still limited, despite the high demand for green and Fair Trade products. Researchers discovered that the provenance of materials and products is not always clear, which creates a barrier for designers who are reluctant to spend excessive amounts of time searching for sustainable materials. Some clients are also resistant to the extra cost involved in sourcing suitable materials.
Despite this, with the right designer and a suitable budget, it’s possible to create luxurious interiors using sustainable materials. You don’t necessarily need deep pockets to achieve the right look and you certainly don’t need to sacrifice your green ethos to create a sense of luxury, as this beautiful design illustrates.
Using Recycled Materials in Interior Design
Recycled materials fit the bill perfectly. Recycled timber is a good example, but you could also use recycled brick slips to build an authentic-looking inglenook fireplace, repurpose marble for a bathroom, or use old copper piping to create industrial-chic lighting for a kitchen or dining room. There is no limit to what you can achieve.
It’s not difficult to find recycled materials and furniture. Salvage yards specialise in recycled timber, wrought iron, copper, and other materials, so these should be your first port of call. Tropical hardwoods and natural stone are by definition luxury materials. When used in the right setting, a gorgeous piece of teak can be turned into an unusual coffee table or a piece of marble transformed into a countertop for a bathroom. Make use of recycled ceramic tiles to create an interesting mosaic floor. Old furniture is ripe for recycling and often inexpensive. Use chalk paint to refinish an old pine dresser and give it a whole new lease of life.
Create a Sense of Luxury in the Bedroom
Recycled items used in conjunction with sustainable materials such as wool, hemp, and silk, are all perfect for a luxury interior. Silk and cotton work well in the bedroom. Use hand-painted silk as a wall.