Interior Stylist Fiona Gould shares her tips for creating a beautiful living space with a focus on sustainability.
A lot of us are becoming more aware of the environmental impact our home design choices are making, but how do we go about actually making a change while still enjoying a stylish aesthetic? I recommend following one of 3 core principles to get you started in the right direction:
1: Choosing products with a low environmental impact
It’s all about looking at the entire lifecycle of a product from how the materials are produced, their impact on resources such as land/air/water and the emissions they release in being manufactured, and also where they will end up at the end of their lives.
A great starting point is to look for pieces made from natural materials that can eventually break down, unlike plastics and synthetic fibres. Products made from materials like glass and metal which are infinitely recyclable. Where possible I often opt for 100% linen, it’s a beautifully classic fabric and takes far less water to produce than cotton for example. The Como armchair by James Lane is covered in 100% pure linen and feels so soft to touch.
Timber is a great natural material choice, but choosing recycled or FSC certified where possible is even better. These beautiful Southport tables from Oz Design Furniture are made from reclaimed wood and I adore the texture it brings to this space.
Bamboo/wicker is another fantastic sustainable choice. I love the shape of this Sasha woven basket by Shack, I’ve styled with foraged florals from my yard.
This Patchwork Istanbul rug from Coppola Home is crafted from combining patches of various vintage rugs. For me, I think pairing pieces with rich character like this amongst more modern items is where the magic is made in a space.
2: Energy efficiency.
Think about ways we can make your home that little bit more energy efficient. From solar power, to energy saving appliances, to opting for ceiling fans and natural air flow over air conditioning, there are so many changes we can make throughout our homes to reduce our energy consumption.
In the living room, lighting is a great place to start, go for dimmable LEDs where possible. I love the smart bulbs from Beacon Lighting that connect to Alexa.
3: Designing for longevity.
And lastly, let’s think long term. We can reduce what ends up in landfill by investing in great quality pieces, steering clear of fast trends that will tire quickly and instead buy with the intent of keeping pieces forever.
I like to opt for classic, timeless shapes and colours when it comes to my large hero pieces, that way I know they will always suit my style and I can let smaller decorative pieces evolve. The Kandos sofa from Provincial Home & Living is a perfect base for me to layer the rest of the room around, with classic form in a beautiful natural linen colour.
The Juniper floor lamp from Contents ID is another great statement piece that is built to last from solid brass and is a stunning shape that will never go out of style.
While it’s an ongoing learning process for us all, and no one is perfect, I hope this has inspired just a few ways we can all be just a little kinder to our planet.