7 tips for an eco-friendly interior makeover | homify
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7 tips for an eco-friendly interior makeover

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
811 on Flensborg Modern houses by Crontech Consulting Modern
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Since it’s 2020, we feel we really don’t need to be reminding anybody about the importance of global warming, lessening our carbon footprint, etc. We’d much rather be searching and sharing for tips and tricks to further embrace eco-friendly interior designs to help improve air quality and reduce environmental impact while still keeping your home as classy as ever.

And all of this without even needing to hire a professional, like an Interior Designer/Decorator or Architect

1. Eco-friendly interiors: Plants for decoration

Beach Retreat Eclectic style bedroom by Studio Do Cabo Eclectic
Studio Do Cabo

Beach Retreat

Studio Do Cabo

As plants provide oxygen and freshens the air, plus ensure extra colour and detail for a space, why would you not want to opt for a few potted pretties scattered around your home? 

Some of the best air-freshening options we have available in South Africa include Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum), Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis), Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema), Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata), English Ivy (Hedera helix), etc. 

2. Eco-friendly interiors: More light

Roca Llisa Modern style bedroom by ARRCC Modern

Roca Llisa


For the colder times of the year, we advise maximising your home’s natural sunlight by opening up curtains and blinds. But it’s also crucial to ensure that your windows are completely secure with no insulation issues. Thus, double glazing and proper window accoutrements (such as caulking and weather-stripping) are recommended to keep the cold out. 

homify hint: Always ensure your bedrooms and bathrooms face north (with less sun), while your kitchen and living room are positioned towards the sunny south. 

3. Eco-friendly interiors: No VOC

Suspended Clifton Apartment - Living area Modern living room by Jenny Mills Architects Modern
Jenny Mills Architects

Suspended Clifton Apartment—Living area

Jenny Mills Architects

Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are organic chemicals found in various household products like air fresheners, paints, and even furniture and carpets. These chemicals, which evaporate at room temperature, can be up to five times higher indoors than outside, which could obviously contribute to numerous health ailments including headaches, nausea, liver damage, etc. 

Cut down on your home’s VOC content by opting for Green Seal-certified paints, paint thinners, adhesives, etc. Keep an eye out for furnishings and products crafted from wood containing no formaldehyde. Use only wool, cotton, or silk rugs. And go with scented candles and diffusers based on essential (not artificial) oils. 

4. Eco-friendly interiors: Natural materials

Scope out your home to find plastic, polyester, nylon, particleboard, chromed metal, and non-organic or synthetically engineered materials. These need to be tossed and replaced with natural materials (wood, bamboo, etc.) to up your home’s eco-friendliness. 

But also remember that particleboard and medium-density fibreboard (created from compressed shaving and sawdust) are combined via synthetic glues and resins that usually contain formaldehyde. Good-quality wood furniture, on the other hand, makes use of wood joinery, minimising the need for VOC-laced adhesives. 

And where possible, organic materials like marble and other stone should rather be used for tables, countertops, etc. 

5. Eco-friendly interiors: Reuse and recycle

Replace your cookie-cutter, mass-produced items with recycled and recyclable materials. Examples can include constructing furnishings/accessories from wood pallets, stacking vintage suitcase atop one another for a unique side table, etc. 

It may take a trip to a second-hand store or flea market, plus adequate DIY skills, but the results can be creative, classy, and super exceptional (and isn’t that what we all want?). 

6. Eco-friendly interiors: Focus on your floors

House Oranjezicht Scandinavian style dining room by ATTIK Design Scandinavian
ATTIK Design

House Oranjezicht

ATTIK Design

The best materials you can pick for your floors (and your eco-friendly home) are stone and wood. That means wood, cement, cork, and Limestone tiles are perfect options to consider. But not vinyl, as it’s made of toxic plastic. 

7. Eco-friendly interiors: Build smaller

The popular “tiny homes” trend does not mean that a smaller home equals a cluttered lifestyle. It just works on the notion that smaller housing options are preferred by many for their efficiency, lower maintenance costs, affordability, and lower impact on the environment. But, it also teaches us to be thoughtful about how we use our space, especially when still planning our houses’ size, location and layout. 

Thus, keep your space manageable and cost effective. And see square footage as an investment in terms of location, not size. 

From indoor style to outdoor splendour, let’s see how to Put the style back in your concrete patio with these 8 ideas.

How are you planning on making your interiors more eco-friendly?
Modern houses by Casas inHAUS Modern

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