Traditionally, the talk on sustainable interiors design practices and materials was never the main focus of interior design, but that is definitely changing.
Interior designers and brands are starting to pay attention to the environmental impact of the interior design process. From design and production to shipping and recycling.

Additionally, there is an abundant amount of sustainable materials in today’s second-hand market. As an article in Vishion put it, “in a world where convenience is prioritized over all else, it’s easy to fall into a lifestyle that’s synonymous with wastefulness.” And when it comes to interior design, there are a multitude of options we can take to sub in a recycled material. As a matter of fact, almost every material when remodeling can be sourced ethically and sustainably. So before you start your next home project, check out these simple tips to create a beautiful space, while reducing your carbon-footprint, and putting your money where your mouth is. 

Tip 1: Source Second-Hand Furnishings

One way to keep costs low and aesthetic authentic, is to opt for second-hand furnishings. Second-hand furnishings not only boost the up-cycle movement, but they help to reduce waste in your local community. Another reason why shopping second-hand is resourceful, is because shopping second-hand helps the local antique shops and thrift stores within your community. After all, there’s nothing that a little polishing can’t fix. Here’s a great spot in the San Diego community with over three locations that you can explore for repurposed furnishings.


Photo via Kelly Elko,


Tip 2: Refurbish Those Dining Room Chairs

Well, maybe not specifically your dining room chairs, but before buying a new, think about what you already have. Taking a thorough inventory of what furniture pieces are giveaway versus which ones just need a fresh refurbish can make a big difference in your decorating cost. When you reupholster a set of outdated dining room chairs, you get to keep the old-world charm all while ditching the out dated and worn upholstery. And the same can be said for refinishing. Sometimes all a piece of furniture needs is some sanding and staining, or even more simple, just a repaint!

Tip 3: New Paint Goes a Long Way

The paint color is crucial in every home project, whether it’s the exterior or interior this is a fast and easy way to give your space a new look or the same look but refreshed. However, when choosing a paint one thing to absolutely consider is the type of paint. Eco-Friendly paint is always the most environmentally responsible way to go. Consult with your local hardware store for eco-friendly paint options as well as conduct your own research online beforehand. 

Tip 4: Install Recycled Materials

We are always trying to keep an eye on how to make projects more sustainable. There are tons of great products out there. Many times using what already exists is even more beneficial to the environment and carbon footprint than sourcing new ‘green’ materials. While we do agree, all the materials need to be quality, it’s also important not to discount recycled materials such as recycled glass, bamboo and salvaged wood. By incorporating these base materials into your home, you can achieve beauty and uniqueness in the details without sacrificing quality or longevity.  

Here is a great example of an Arise Interior project that used various sustainable designs in just one room (pictured above):

  • Reusable Concrete Sink: 50’s era sink typically found in garages and laundry rooms in the area. It was found online and refreshed with a black epoxy coating and is now a feature piece.
  • Flooring: New concrete tile transitions into an existing bamboo floor that was kept intact through the remodel.
  • Door: Original door from 1950’s, it’s a better quality and look, plus they will hold up for a longer time than starting with new doors, even accounting for their 60+ age already.
  • Wooden Siding: The siding on the wall was sourced from Habitat for Humanity Restore and hand distressed.


Tip 5: Do Your Research

Get to know the local construction and interior businesses within your community, as well as search for resourceful websites that provide further sustainable tips and information. For this article, we found this website, Vishion, quite direct when sharing tips on how to incorporate environmentally friendly practices into your next renovation project. Read more through the link above. 

If you are considering a remodel project in your home, contact Arise Interiors today to line up a consultation with our leading designer.

Featured Image via Pierre Châtel-Innocenti