Interior design trends have started to shift to be more environmentally sustainable. This movement, dubbed “eco-chic”,is now merginggood design with greener materials and building methods to reduce environmental impact. The eco-chic aesthetic pairs the clean, modernist look that is currently popular with natural, recycled, and non-toxic furnishings.
Eco-conscious designers are choosing products like forest stewardship-certified wood furniture, wool rugs, natural linens, and organic cotton textiles. These materials do not use dyes or bleaches that pollute waterways. Paints and finishes are also low or no VOC to improve indoor air quality. And an eco-chic space takes advantage of passive solar design and includes energy efficient lighting as well.
Beyond material selection, using vintage and antique furnishings through antique refurbishing and reupholstering also prevents items from entering landfills prematurely. And custom-designing pieces or opting for handmade items from local artists and craftspeople reduces the carbon footprint associated with mass manufacturing and shipping.
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Key Elements of Eco-Chic Style
An eco-chic interior design scheme has a few recognizable hallmarks. Design focuses on bright, airy spaces with large windows, lofty ceilings, and light colors that give a fresh feel while taking advantage of daylight and natural ventilation. Natural materials like wool, cotton, seagrass, and jute bring warmth, texture, and a sense of nature indoors.
Items made from recycled materials also make an appearance through repurposed furnishings or decorative accents of recycled glass, metal, and wood. Vintage or antique décor adds history, patina, and character while preventing more new purchases. Handcrafted ceramics, carvings, tapestries and other artwork spotlight local artisans, and indoor plants oxygenate the air while connecting occupants to living things.
Eco-chic style also makes use of renewable power through features like home solar panels to reduce environmental impact even further. According to the good folk at Vivint Solar, home solar panels can power lighting, appliances and electronics while also protecting against blackouts. Backed up by eco-conscious design choices, solar creates the ultimate sustainable living space.
Making Sustainable Design Accessible
In the past, most environmentally responsible products commanded premium prices, making fully green interiors expensive to execute. But as consumer demand and manufacturing capacities grow, companies can achieve economies of scale that lower costs. More budget-friendly lines of No-VOC paint, recyclable carpeting, sustainably sourced furnishings, energy efficient lighting and even solar power make eco-conscious design much more accessible.
Major retailers now offer entire collections created according to sustainable principles, often at just small upcharges over conventional items. And practices like upcycling thrift store finds have gone mainstream thanks to platforms like Pinterest and Instagram, signifying wide acceptance of recycled décor.
Eco-Chic Finds Mainstream Appeal
The surge of options for every budget combined with growing environmental awareness among consumers shows us that eco-conscious interior design is here to stay. Sustainable practices have become selling points for houses on the market rather than niche requests. And green remodels that add solar power or upgrade to eco-flooring often boost resale value beyond their cost.
Magazines, blogs, and TV shows focused specifically on environmentally responsible interiors have been launched to meet demand. Even traditional publications and networks cover sustainable design as a matter of course during their features on current trends. Eco-chic has secured itself as an expected staple look that merges ethics with aesthetics for the eco-aware consumer.
Eco-chic style is certainly not a passing fad. It arose from growing consumer worries over environmental damage caused by manufacturing, shipping, and disposal of conventional furnishings. And those underlying concerns will continue driving demand. As sustainable options at all price points keep increasing, it gets easier and easier to turn eco-awareness into action through interior design selections.