Sustainability in Interior Design – what is worth knowing today?

Category: Blog post
Modern cabinets in the luxury kitchen
Drops Pattern

You’ve likely heard of sustainability before. It has become a buzzword in all industries … But what does the term actually mean?

Sustainability, in general, means being environmentally responsible, as well as closely connected to the environment, and acting on global issues, such as climate change, food security, water, and waste management, in order not to compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. 

Studies define sustainable interior design as “interior design in which all systems and materials are designed with an emphasis on integration into a whole to minimize negative impacts on the environment and occupants and maximize positive impacts on environmental, economic, and social systems over the life cycle of a building”

Example Recycled Materials: Cambria countertop made of old countertops cut into slits and glued together to make an interesting counter.  

There are plenty of steps you can take to make your home more sustainable. There are small decisions in your daily life, like choosing recycled materials or opting and reducing waste and packaging, or big ones, such as materials and design when remodeling your home.  Many people strive for more sustainable lifestyles but are unsure where to start. Let us see how with Emma!

1. How to implement sustainability in interior design?

The main goal of sustainable interior design is to increase environmental awareness, such as by using recycled materials when it comes to furniture and accessories. Interior designers and architects have a lot of power in their hands to act sustainably, creating a cyclical process of reusing to eliminate waste and incorporate natural elements in design for longevity and flexibility,  alongside designing durable and timeless spaces. In addition,  architects and interior designers can improve energy efficiency and lower environmental impact, mainly by picking materials and products with the lowest environmental impact. In addition, studies have shown that implementing sustainable products in space reduces stress and improves mental health.  

Modern cabinets in the luxury kitchen
Example Repurposed Materials: reuse old wine crates as a backsplash.

2. Do you think the future of interiors is sustainable? Why?  

As people are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of the environment and the impact they have on the planet. More people seek to incorporate sustainability principles into their interiors and are environmentally responsible when building and designing, such as using safe and chemical-free products; windows, and lights that maximize the use of daylight and minimize artificial light. Another option is using repurposed and refinished decorative materials like tiles, carpets, and fabrics. Even sinks and counters can be made from recycled materials. Reclaimed wood is also a more sustainable option for furniture and flooring that then becomes statement pieces in the home.

In addition, designers and architects have a tremendous impact on the sustainability of an environment, since they strongly influence which materials and products to use, such as reclaimed wood, bamboo, and natural stones to name a few. 

Interior designers must also consider many aspects, such as long-lasting, high-quality design, low environmental impact, reduced waste, and lowest possible pollution”.

Designers are implementing materials that lower the consumption of nonrenewable resources and shifting towards renewable resources. Interior design tools help to create a sustainable environment, with elements of natural resources, sustainable fabrication, manufacturing, and installation, all the way up to sustainable use, reuse, recycle, and final disposal. Where products are sourced can also be a consideration, as transporting goods has an environmental impact, as well.

For example, where the raw materials are extracted from nature and then inserted into the production of goods that perform specific functions, and when their operational life ends, they are disposed of.  A product may be re-designed so it is manufactured using different, fewer, less toxic, and more durable materials so that at the end of its useful life, it can be readily disassembled. Eco-design products can make recycling easier and landfill less damaging. 

“The lowest environmental impact results from a material or component which can be reused directly at the end of its usable life, with little or no further processing”.

– Ali Basim Alfuraty
Dept. of Architectural Engineering, College of Engineering
lifecycle Analysis ring-chart
Life Cycle Analysis is essentially a method of considering the entire environmental impact, energy, and resource usage of a material or product. It is often known as a ‘cradle-to-grave’ analysis and can encompass the entire lifetime from extraction to end-of-life disposal.

Another important branch of sustainability is choosing appliances that use less water, are made of sustainable material, maximize energy efficiency, and lower the carbon footprint. Designers and architects are also taking into account the product life-cycle, which is the environmental impact of a product from manufacturing to disposal,  and the long-term environmental impact of materials that produce large volumes of waste in production and disposal in landfills. The production and use of these materials generate significant environmental pollution, including greenhouse gas emissions.  Reducing high energy consumption and pollutant emissions of production processes, increasing the abundance and use of renewable resources, and improving the durability and permanence of materials, all have a  positive impact on the environment.

The continuing growth of sustainability and wellness design is here to stay, and their importance and growth are inevitable,  “interior design becomes part of environmental sustainability systems, as it contributes to preserving natural resources, reducing pollutant emissions and reducing energy consumption, in addition to that, the sustainable interior design contributes to reformulating the cycle of using natural resources”.

Large modern open space loft kitchen interior with large kitchen island and bar chairs.
Prioritizing natural light

3. How can we all come together to resolve sustainable living?

If you are not looking to remodel your home, it is the little decisions you make within your life that have an impact. For example, if your appliance broke, buy one that uses less water or less energy, and when you are changing a light bulb, choose LED lights. Be aware of what you’re bringing into your life, such as buying appliances meant to last for 20-30 years, which are more sustainable.

4. With the COVID-19 pandemic, many people decided to change their lifestyle and their eating habits. What challenges do these people face after deciding to live sustainably? 

People now focus on wellness and mental health, and after spending time at home, they realized that their interior was not serving them the way they needed it to. This increased focus on wellness when designing, such as choosing calming colors, bringing in plants, allowing natural light and airflow in, and using a biophilic design, which exploded during the COVID period.  Many have decided to change the way they live and interact with the environment, and solve the dilemma between them and the space they are living in due to impacts on the environment

At Natufia, we believe humankind’s relationship with nature is extremely important. To contribute to a more sustainable future, we create products that enable nutritious greens to be grown in your own kitchen while minimizing the environmental impact and bridging the gaps of food security. 

Sustainability is a core value that we are deeply committed to here at Natufia. 

Our mission has always been to empower people to grow their own food. It’s healthier, tastier, and more rewarding than store-bought produce, and is also the most sustainable option. 

In the coming years, we hope to continue to use our technology to spread the use of sustainable gardening and interior design. 

Stay tuned for more inspiration to live sustainably! 

  1. 2022, https://interestingengineering.com/11-ways-humans-impact-the-environment
  2. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1757-899X/881/1/012035/pdf.
  3. “Sustainable Building Design And Impacts On Mental Health | KTGY | Architecture | Branding | Interiors | Planning”. KTGY | Architecture | Branding | Interiors | Planning, 2022, https://ktgy.com/media/sustainable-building-design-and-impacts-on-mental-health/#:~:text=Creating%20views%20that%20connect%20to,and%20emotions%2C%20and%20improve%20concentration.
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