In 2017, the move towards sustainable design trends is alive and healthy. While green building and design is better for the environment, that’s not the only reason many people are making eco-friendly choices. Sustainable design also helps reduce the negative health impact that chemicals in certain paints, flooring, and other building materials can have on a home’s occupants.
Whether you’re on board because you love the earth or are looking out for your family’s health, let’s get to it! Here are some of our favorite sustainable/green design trends for 2017.
- Sustainable From the Ground Up
If you’re building or doing a complete home remodel, you’ve got a tremendous opportunity to make an eco-friendly decision in your choice of flooring – and the options are endless. One flooring material that often goes overlooked is cork. Harvested from the cork oak tree, it’s durable, child- and pet-proof, looks beautiful, and is sustainable. Another plus: it’s antimicrobial, making it a wonderful choice for allergy sufferers.
Another sustainable flooring option is all-natural bamboo. A great alternative to wood flooring, bamboo imparts a clean, exotic look. It’s also incredibly easy to clean. It is a softer flooring material and will need to be sanded and refinished eventually as it collects scuffs, dents, and scratches.
- Less is More
Over the past few years, we’ve seen the tiny house boom take the world by storm, both in real life and playing out on reality shows on networks like HGTV. While a tiny house may not be for everyone, the general trend has been towards smaller spaces that are more energy efficient and require less maintenance.
With a smaller home comes less storage space, so current design trends lean towards maximizing storage. Whether it’s awesome under-bed storage or creative ideas that help you organize cooking equipment in a smaller kitchen, there’s no reason that less space should mean total disorder.
- Go Green with Lighting Energy-efficient lighting is a powerful tool in the battle to help save the environment. This is why eco-conscious designers are opting for LED lights. They’re up to 80% more energy efficient than incandescent and fluorescent bulbs, which convert 95% of the energy that’s sent to the bulb into heat and a mere 5% into light. By comparison, LEDs convert 95% of their energy into light, while only wasting 5% as heat. LED lights are an elegant, unobtrusive option, whether they’re used in the kitchen, the bath, or in living areas.
- Reclaimed Wood Everything
Reclaimed wood isn’t just eco-friendly; it’s also gorgeous. That’s why it can be found everywhere – from accenting ceilings with rustic wood beams to hardy reclaimed wood countertops that will stand up to all everyday home life can throw at them. Don’t only use reclaimed wood during the building or remodeling process, though: decorating your home with reclaimed wood furniture means that every piece will have a secret history and its very own story.
- Ditch the Chemicals in Paint
One of the easiest ways to give your home a makeover is with a paintbrush. With that, however, often comes fumes and exposure to a whole host of chemicals. Conventional paints can contain formaldehyde and even volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that the paint continues to give off for up to five years after the job is done. Instead, opt for eco paints that are often plant-based and use natural ingredients that are much safer than their harsh chemical counterparts.
Happy Design Travels!