Home decoration is a reflection of your personal taste and daily principles. If embracing a more sustainable lifestyle is important to you—as it is to us—you can choose natural, recycled, and ethically responsible decorations to bring comfort to your home and make it even more your own. This choice requires special attention to the materials you choose and the stores where you can find the decorative elements for your home. In this article, we’ll learn more about sustainable design and explore some ideas for decorating your home in a more “green” and eco-friendly way.
What is Sustainable Design?
Sustainable interior design is based on the concept of eco-friendly decoration, which involves an ethical and ecological consciousness regarding the use of natural materials, manufactured products, and reusability. The main objective is to minimise the environmental impact of decoration by incorporating more natural elements and recycling materials. Decorating your home with eco-friendly design principles involves a careful selection of environmentally friendly materials—natural, biodegradable, or recyclable—and a long-term vision based on ethical values that strive for truly zero waste decoration.
This sustainability-focused approach to decoration promotes a better use of the home, emphasising essential elements that provide comfort to its household members. It is, therefore, an inspiration for Scandinavian-style decoration: minimalist, simple, and practical, without unnecessary elements.
Materials and Eco-Friendly Stores
For sustainable decoration, it is important to use natural or organic materials. Some stores reflect this concern in their products, but it is ideal to search in street markets and local producers. Buying second-hand is a good option for recycling materials or reusing decorations that have adorned other homes before yours.
When it comes to materials, it is advisable to avoid plastics and, in an animal-friendly choice, products made from leather, fur, or wool. Opt for decorations made from recycled or reclaimed wood, clay, terracotta, or bamboo. In textiles, choose natural fibers, preferably organic and non- animal-based, such as cotton, bamboo, or hemp, which are more eco-friendly and durable compared to synthetic materials.
Glass is an excellent alternative to plastic as it is less disposable and more long-lasting, ultimately compensating for its initial cost over time. It is also a material that can be endlessly recycled, resulting in a lower environmental impact.
If you want to paint your home, opt for paints with fewer volatile organic compounds that are less harmful to the environment or choose completely non-toxic paints. For candles, soy is a plant-based alternative to wax, being more sustainable, long-lasting, and free from toxins. The fewer chemical finishes decorations have, the more sustainable they are.
Plants also serve as natural and simple decorations that bring life into your home. You can recycle jars to use as plant pots, creating an eco-friendly element on multiple levels.
Pieces of Decoration
The most ideal decorations for an eco-friendly design are those that are handmade, unique, and produced sustainably. Let’s start with furniture: at Muuto, you can find a modular wooden chest of drawers and storage unit that can be adjusted to fit your needs. Boa Safra, a Portuguese brand, offers a freixo armchair with a 100% ecological oil finish. Your sofa deserves a pillow and the floor of your house a rug, both with the Rug & Weave label and also with this ecological concern.
On the wall, opt for colourful mirrors from Muuto and this wall decoration made from banana fiber from Women Craft. IKEA offers a wide variety of natural plants to choose from, but we suggest an Alocasia Amazonica with vibrant colours and a medium size. You can place it in this seagrass basket from Rug & Weave or hang it in this palm leaf basket from Bohemia Design.
Other useful products for home decoration include this ethically manufactured Bohemia Design frame, this cylindrical lamp from the Portuguese brand Musgo Design, and this glass bottle with a cork lid from Muuto.
DIY – Do it yourself
Recycling materials or items you already have at home to transform them into DIY decorations is also a highly eco-friendly option for decorating the various spaces in your home. On one hand, you get to reuse and save on purchasing new decorations; on the other hand, it allows you to have full control over the materials used and the environmental impact of their production.
DIY decorations are unique and truly original pieces that make your space even more personal. Some examples of DIY projects include repurposing wooden boards as photo frames, using glass jars as candle holders or decorative lights, creating crochet pieces to hang on the walls, and many more. Let your creativity flow and enjoy giving new life to your decorative items!
Transforming your home into a more eco-friendly decor doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a process that should be done gradually, one room at a time. The most important thing is to become aware of your desire to change and gradually discover sustainable decorations that best align with your taste.
A more sustainable interior design can be a way to adjust your home to your personality and create a better environment for yourself. At RIMA, we aim to find a balance that allows us to be as sustainable as possible in each project. Sustainability is the future of decoration, and we are ready to embrace this challenge.