Now more than ever before is our climate becoming the center of our decisions. From the brands we like, to the homes we live in, sustainability and the effect of our decisions on the climate are vitally important. In the design world, as i + D Magazine put it, “there’s a renewed interest in producing and highlighting sustainable products for the home.” And it is true. At Arise Interiors, we are constantly looking to incorporate recycled materials, fair trade design elements and sustainably manufactured resources. In this blog post we are going to be sharing some of our favorite highlights from the i + D Magazine Spring 2020 issue, ‘Looking Ahead as Design Changes the Climate’.
Highlight 1: A Guiding Principle
Founded in 2006, was the Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC). This council is comprised of manufacturers, retailers and designers designated to increase the eco-responsibility of furniture being made across the world. The SFC has scorecards for a furniture piece by looking at the materials that are used to make it. For example, the Wood Furniture Scorecard was created to hold furniture companies to a high expectation that they select and source wood sustainably and responsibly. The guided efforts of SFC are not only looked at by manufacturers but also by consumers. According to i + D Magazine, nearly half of their website traffic comes from consumers wanting to learn more about what they are buying. This is something interesting to think about when looking at pieces to incorporate into your next remodel or even just re-decorating project in your home. At Arise we primarily work with certified supplies and select products that are designed to last and vetted for downstream effects. Nearly every vendor we work with is either solely offering or offers LEED certified and/or sustainably sourced materials.
Highlight 2: Clearing the Air
One of the largest catalysts to climate change is air pollution. But did you know that there are now ways to combat air pollution that actually start with the household pieces you buy? One of the most popular and budget-friendly retailers, IKEA, is working on this solution within their products specifically. According to i + D Magazine, “In 2018, the company launched the Better Air Now initiative in an effort to combat air pollution by turning rice straw — a harvesting residue that contributes to air pollution when burned — into raw material.” These pieces under the collection, FÖRÄNDRING, are available in Europe and India exclusively, however the collection has made fast waves since the initiative started and has plans to become available globally. It’s options like these that will make the difference for the masses. People from all economic levels can afford to reduce their carbon footprint, without sacrificing design aesthetic.
Highlight 3: Reducing Landfill Waste
A major issue that still has no resolution, is the process of how we get rid of our waste. While we do have landfills, these landfills are only a small bandaid over a massive problem. Any way that we can reduce, reuse and recycle, the better. And it’s amazing at the current number of companies, from furniture, to beauty to food, that are centering their products and packaging solely on recycled materials. One successful business example that i + D Magazine showcases is Greg Benson, CEO and Co-Founder of Loll Designs. Benson uses recycled water cartons to make stunning Adirondack chairs, as well as a full line of stunning outdoor furniture, from dining tables and chairs to lounges. He says that “more than half of his sales come from architects and designers.” This is exactly the type of product we look for at Arise Interiors when making product and finish sections. There has also be a new interest in carbon offsets for remodel projects. It’s a one-time expense that is relatively small that can reduce the impact of building.
Highlight 4: Telling a Story
More and more standards are increasing for companies to be green and sustainable. It’s not merely enough to use these buzzwords as consumers and businesses increasingly want to know how their goods were sourced and manufactured, what chemicals were used (if any), and how they were made. At Arise Interiors we have numerous sustainable design practices not only in our projects, but in our office too. See below as to how our office is sustainable.
- We minimize consumption of single use plastics and paper
- Limit passive heat gain during hot months
- Offset carbon consumption
- Chose an office location based lower commute times and access to public transit
- Employ sustainable design practices and materials for clients
To access and read the full article in i + D Magazine, click the link here.
Featured Image via Tiles of Spain
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, kellyelko.com
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