Green Interior Design: 3 Expressions
Interior design always sees changes. Whole looks are retired or revived, new ones are dreamed up, and intriguing details cross styles to merge into new expressions…
Nature has been a growing part of interior design—literally and figuratively—for several years. From kitchens that have a whole wall opening in the outdoors to the use of botanical wallpapers and permanents, interior design has definitely seen a lush expression of nature recently.
From an industry perspective, what’s truly considered “green design” is the fastest-growing segment in interior design. This refers specifically to the use of eco-friendly design to make a home more sustainable.
If you’re curious to see three related-but-different expressions of green interior design, keep reading…you’ll likely see why people opt for such wonderful connections with nature!!
What is green interior design?
Most of the articles and “shop this look” posts on green interior design focus on design that minimizes its environmental impact. That usually manifests in natural-feeling environments that are rich in recycled and sustainable materials—and with LOTS of natural light.
Three pillars of traditional green design:
- Lighting – One of the biggest considerations in design for an eco-friendly interior is lighting. Clever interior designers know how to move and add windows and skylights to maximize daylight based on when you’ll use that room (i.e., at what time of day). When artificial light is needed, then LEDs, halogens and fluorescent light bulbs are used.
- Materials – You’ll read a lot about bamboo in green design, but there are LOADS of other options to think about, too. For example, opt for natural fabrics in bedding and bath linens. Look at recycled countertop materials, also.
- Appliances – Even if your end “look” is a woodsy one Gaia herself would envy, you’ll still have electronics and appliances. Most appliances are veering in the direction of greater energy efficiency, but you’ll want to shop around to be sure you find the most eco-conscious option for your dishwashers, fridges, etc.
Get the Look
Going green in design is also about inviting the look and feel of nature into the space you live in…it provides that unparalleled feeling of a fresh perspective on every day…it’s a reminder that you’re alive…and it improves the quality of that life!!
Décor that invites nature in is what we call botanicals in interior design. These botanicals are FAR more modern than floral room wallpapers and faux flowers from forty years ago…botanicals, instead, offer a toned-down look that sticks with neutrals and green color palettes. The patterns used are smaller and more suitable for traditional spaces, too.
Look at all the botanicals I saw at High-Point Market last fall…
Maybe it’s unsurprising that these botanical designs saw such a HUGE boost during the pandemic…we all found a way to appreciate the outdoors more, especially greenery inspired by far-off places.
…And Don’t Forget Actual Nature!
Of course, the greatest way to add the essence of nature is to bring real greenery into your home…to decorate with plants!
The use of plants in interior design has grown in popularity, not just to make spaces feel “alive” and filter the air you breathe, but to be used as actual elements of interior design layouts. Plants can be accent pieces and they can play an integral part in creating a desired look and feel.
Consider scent, too! What would an aroma of natural mint or pine do for you in your home? How about for your guests?
Here are some other benefits of using plants in your décor…
- Reduces stress and anxiety (shown to lower blood pressure)
- Helps you sleep better (thanks to the boost in oxygen)
- Fights colds and allergies (because they increase humidity and decrease dust)
Read more about how to use plants in your interior design to get started…
There are MULTIPLE expressions of nature in the home today, and green interior design can take on the look and feel (and aroma, and essence!) that you want it to.
Join us on our private design community to tell us what you’d most like to do…