Sustainability has emerged as a definite trend in home design and renovation projects. Below we have outlined a collection of top-trending materials and designs for you to consider as you begin your remodel or design process to decrease your carbon footprint and breathe a “green” element into your daily lifestyle.
Even if you do not intend to add a major eco-friendly change to your home—in the form of solar panels, low-flow fixtures or the like—you can make a big impact simply in the materials you choose for renovation. If possible, aim for materials that are either repurposed, recycled, natural and/or non-toxic. A few of The Environmental Magazine’s favorite choices are “wood, cork, steel, and bamboo,” and they say “if you get them refurbished, even better.” The use of sustainable materials is trending in conversations related to home design because they are a simple and effective way to reduce waste.
Oftentimes, we purchase international materials in home building either because they are more affordable or provide a higher quality than their U.S. counterparts. Yet as The Environmental Magazine outlines, “sourcing local materials is a popular choice to help reduce the carbon footprint of building materials.” Consider not just the emissions of transporting international goods (by plane, ship or ground), but also the benefit to the local economy when you choose to purchase American-made materials.
When completing a home renovation, try to take a “deconstructive” approach (as opposed to demolishing the area). This will allow you to either repurpose or recycle materials, keeping them out of the landfill. Repurposing items is also far more than a sustainable option, as it has emerged as a fashionable trend as well: “many repurposed items carry a vintage appeal that can turn a space into something special.”
Though some design trends fall toward those that want to take an extreme approach to eco-conscious living—in the form of expensive solar panels or a tiny home—there are also a number of smaller changes that can be made that make a big environmental impact without altering one’s lifestyle. Here is a list of design trends—both moderate and extreme—that are popular in 2019:
Whether it’s adding plants to the interior of your home or rooftop, adding live plants adds a bold design statement while improving air quality.
Adding technological features to monitor water use, control lighting, and automate your thermostat are convenient, cost-effective and eco-friendly.
Those looking for a complete lifestyle overhaul are moving into tiny homes, which (by virtue of their size) make a smaller environmental impact than other home options.
Perhaps the most well-known of eco-friendly options, solar panels cut down on energy use and thus drastically reduce energy bills as well.
Whether you elect to make large changes to your entire lifestyle or simply take the extra time to purchase locally sourced or sustainable building materials, the small choices made during the process can make a world of difference when it comes to the environment.