Over the last few years, more and more people have been trying to be a little more environmentally conscious when it comes to many aspects of their lives including trying to use more “green” products and materials for the interior design in their homes.
From flooring to furniture and almost everything in between more and more people are adding some elements of natural interior design to their homes and for some very different reasons. Some are doing so for pure style reasons, others for the sake of eco-friendliness, most for a combination of the two. And as some buyers actively look for a green element in a home it may even improve the perceived value of your Waterloo Region home at sale time.
Here are some of the more popular natural additions people are making to their homes and the advantages that can be gained if you choose to do the same:
Natural Interior Design: Flooring
Several natural flooring products are considered to be very hot right now. For example, natural stone is making a comeback in a big way. Natural stone is a great choice for flooring in the kitchen, bathroom, living room or for an outdoor room and the choice of colors and tones is quite extensive.
Natural stone is expensive but it will also outlast most other forms of flooring by decades, something that is good for the environment in terms of reducing waste as well as good for a homeowner’s long-term budget!
Traditional hardwood flooring is also being replaced with more eco-friendly options. Bamboo is as durable and beautiful as any hardwood and because bamboo is a grass it is a renewable resource making bamboo flooring a very ‘green’ choice. It is also a smart choice for family homes as bamboo has natural antibacterial properties that can help make your home a slightly healthier place for everyone to be.
Another renewable resource used to create some truly attractive – and very practical – flooring is cork. Cork does come from a tree but only the bark is harvested, leaving the tree itself alive and thriving. Lots of people love cork because the flooring has a natural “give” – try squeezing a wine cork to see what we mean – that is very easy on the feet as well as great sound absorption properties that can help make a busy, noisy place a slightly quieter place.
Natural Interior Design: Wall Coverings
People are also going greener when it comes to choosing what to adorn the walls of their home with as well. One interesting trend is the return of milk paint. Milk paint is made of real milk proteins, clay, and natural colorants and was widely used in the 18th century by the colonists who settled in North America. Because of the concern about all the dangerous chemicals that modern paint contains that are bad for the environment and for humans more people are rediscovering this natural, chemical-free alternative that also creates a very unique look when used in the home.
Another natural wall-covering that is gaining popularity is grasscloth. Grasscloth looks like a very rough and textured wallpaper that is actually woven from all natural fibers by hand. The look can be a unique one and is certainly a lot more environmentally friendly than traditional paper-based wallpapers.
Natural Interior Design: Recycled Products
More and more products made from recycled materials are finding their way into our homes as well. These include beautiful brightly colored countertops made from recycled glass and sturdy but lightweight plastic home furnishings that are crafted from recycled plastic from simple soda bottles! Old wood is also finding new life in the form of reclaimed wood flooring and reclaimed wood furniture.
These are just a few ideas for incorporating natural and eco-friendly interior design into your home, there are plenty of others you can explore. What all of this demonstrates though is that going green and natural does not have to mean that you live in a “hippie” home, just that you are a little more thoughtful and responsible about the materials and products you choose for your home decor.