Like fashion, interior trends come, go, and then come back around again. But one trend that is going nowhere in the New Year is the trend for decorating "sustainably".
According to Brielle Bellingham of Elle Decoration magazine, "Interior design plays a key role in helping create functional spaces that improve our health and general level of satisfaction...and sustainable interior design ideas emphasise the importance of improving the quality of your life, health and well-being by changing your indoor environment."
A sense of accountability was bound to become apparent in our homes with the rise in fear about the future of our planet, and it has been evidenced by the increasing use of sustainable materials. The prick to our social conscience has provoked a desire to reclaim, recycle and hark back to the past.
So what does "sustainable" mean?
The Cambridge English Dictionary's definition of products that are "sustainable" is those that "cause little or no damage to the environment and are therefore able to continue for a long time." Examples of sustainable materials that can be used in the home include: sheep's wool, bamboo, (because it grows so quickly), and cotton-blended fabrics; arrowroot and sisal wall coverings and leather floor coverings; recycled materials, such as ceramic, porcelain, metal and glass; and recycled polyesters and blended 'wool' made from recycled materials.
The longevity of materials is a major factor when choosing sustainable products for the home, so in this case, it is important to take a quality over quantity approach.
If saving the environment isn't a large enough incentive to decorate sustainably, the following list of sustainable products will also look stylish in any home:
1. Recycled Coloured glassware - Recycled bottles double up as vases and decorator pieces, and mason jars can be used as glasses or containers. Glass is the perfect way to infuse colour into your home in an environmentally-friendly way.
2. Sisal rugs - These continue to dominate the rug market due to their neutrality, functionality, and their ability to add texture and earthiness to a space. Cork is also making a comeback in flooring. Likewise, wicker furniture, baskets and mats add depth and warmth to many interior styles such as urban, Hamptons and coastal.
3. Vintage Furniture - Look no further than Vintage for your furniture needs, or upcycle old or existing pieces, rather than buy new. Give that old chest of drawers a coat of organic paint. Re-upholster those old sofas and chairs. Check out op shops or markets for the fabulous range of dining tables constructed from reclaimed timber tops and recycled metal legs.
4. Rattan Light Shades - Bamboo and rattan pendant shades are the perfect way to stay both stylish and sustainable, and the look blends perfectly with coastal and urban styling.
5. Textiles - For curtains, cushions and other ethically-sourced textiles, check out the ranges at Ink and Spindle or Pampa. Alternatively, buy some plain cotton fabric and rediscover school-learnt crafts such as tie-dyeing.