Consider the interior of your home as a series of layers, beginning with hard, durable surfaces such as floors and walls, moving on through with furniture, and finishing with fabrics and soft furnishings. Careful consideration of these layers is what makes a well-balanced and eco-conscious home. Here are a few ideas to assist you when choosing fabrics and wall coverings. After all, they play an important role in every interior. In addition to adding color, pattern and texture, fabrics can also reduce heat loss from a room when used to cover windows.
Fun Eco-Conscious Fabrics:
Felt - This has once of the simplest manufacturing processes. Felt is nonwoven textile that relies on small scales of wool fibers. Historically it is made with pure wool, and so its properties and colors can reflect the breed from which it was cut.
Lycocell - This is a man-made fiber created from the natural cellulose found in wood, which makes it 100% sustainable. This fabric is currently used for clothing, bed linens, pillows and quilts.
Organic Cotton - It is made from the soft cellulose fiber that contains the seeds of a cotton plant. This fabric is now being used to produce a whole range of products, from clothes to dish towels, and bed linens. Just make sure the cotton is made from fair-trade organic cotton.
Alpaca - This fabric is amazingly warm and luxurious, and much stronger and lighter than wool. It is perfect for throws. There are up to 22 different shades, from creams, grays to blacks, and even rose.
Linen - Made from flax, linen is highly sustainable since the whole plant can be used. This is a good material for warm climates as the fabric is breathable and adjusts nicely to temperature shifts.
Hemp - As with linen, the entire hemp plant can be put to use. This is a great insulation material. Its porous fibers can take on dye very easily. It also is great to resist mold and offers good UV protection.
Recycled Textiles - This is great when it comes to reducing embodied energy and landfills. You can find reclaimed fabrics in markets, antique stores, thrift shops and online. This is a great option to really reduce the level of outgassing toxins in the home.
Earth Friendly Walls:
Treating your walls is the easiest and most cost effective way to impact on the look and feel of a space. Using environmentally friendly wall finishes need not limit what you can do within an interior space.
Light reflective surfaces, such as some recycled plastics, and translucent materials, like glass, can bounce natural light around your home and so reduce the need for additional artificial lighting. Eco-wall coverings, including wood, and natural fiber wallpapers add impact, character, and texture, while using eco-friendly paints keeps your home toxin free.
Here are some additional wall Eco- conscious paint ideas:
- Natural paint made from water, chalk, natural oils and clays.
- Insulating paint that use hollow glass microspheres which trap air , and act as a thermos insulator.
- Lime plaster allows moisture to seep in and evaporate out.
- Recycled glass tiles made from colored glass are great for bathrooms
- Eco-wallpaper with decorative designs
- Reclaimed lumber or paneling
This is just a taste of what you can do to design a healthy home for a healthier planet and a healthier you. If you want to see how to design every aspect of your home in a mindful way you can learn more earth friendly design ideas from my basic Eco-Conscious E - program .
Mary Jane Kasliner
Mary Jane Kasliner