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In recent years, sustainable interior design has become one of the fastest-growing industry trends in interior design and shopfitting. As more and more people become aware of the importance of being environmentally responsible, businesses have no choice but to follow suit. But what is sustainable interior design? And what can you do to make your business more environmentally-friendly in terms of design? Here’s our guide.

Sustainable interior design is concerned with building spaces that are environmentally-friendly and have a small ecological footprint. From energy-efficiency through the use of eco-friendly materials down to general waste reduction, sustainability has become an essential part of modern shopfitting and interior design. But what are the core principles of building sustainable spaces? And how can you implement them in your commercial property as well?

What is sustainable interior design?

In the simplest terms, sustainable interior design is about building spaces that have a low impact on the environment. As such, it promotes design solutions, practices and materials that are environmentally-friendly and have a small ecological footprint.

In other words, sustainable design aims to minimise the environmental impact of the manufacturing and refit process. In doing so, it emphasises the use of renewable materials, energy-efficiency and general waste reduction. Thus, the main principles of this design philosophy are:

  1. Designing with energy-efficiency
  2. Limiting the environmental impact
  3. Reducing waste
  4. Connecting people with the natural environment

Why is sustainable interior design important?

Apart from its popularity, there are many reasons why businesses today should embrace sustainable interior design. The most important of these include:

  • Reducing emissions and fighting climate change. Finding ways to create more sustainable designs and reducing the environmental impact of businesses will be critical for attaining the goal of reducing global greenhouse emissions and controlling climate change. While individual contributions might seem insignificant, we each must do our part to build a better future.
  • Protecting the environment and building interiors that are better for health. Sustainable interior design and conscious consumption can help reduce waste and build interiors that are better for overall health. At its core, sustainable interior design promotes practices that are better for the environment, individuals and the economy.
  • Adapting to customer expectations. Most consumers today value companies and brands that take a more environmentally-friendly approach towards their business. In doing so, they give preference to brands that promote sustainability and show effort in reducing the ecological footprint of their businesses.

How to create sustainable interior designs?

If you are planning for or in the process of redesigning or refitting your commercial space, you might be wondering what you can do to make your business more sustainable. So what aspects should you consider? And how can you design and build sustainable spaces? Here are a few tips and ideas.

Maximise space & create flexible layouts

One of the first and easiest steps of making your commercial space more sustainable is maximising space. Efficient use of available space and flexible layouts are necessary for minimising wastage of both space and materials.

Opting for bespoke joinery and furniture makes the best use of available space. Similarly, modular furniture and flexible designs allow you to reorganise your space and adjust your shop layout to constantly changing retail needs. In turn, this reduces the need for frequent refits.

Focus on energy-efficiency

Excessive energy consumption is one of the leading causes of climate change. Interior designers, architects and shopfitters can do a lot to improve the energy efficiency of large, commercial spaces. Applying a few key principles of sustainable interior design can significantly reduce energy consumption, which is a basic pillar of building sustainable spaces.

Through careful interior design, architects, designers and shopfitters can significantly enhance the energy-efficiency of commercial spaces. Thus, thermal insulation, energy-efficient light sources and appliances, as well as large windows and skylights can all help reduce the amount of energy needed for heating, lighting and running appliances.

Choose Materials Carefully

The materials used during the interior design and build process are crucial in attaining your sustainability goals. Taking into consideration the environmental impact of the materials used throughout their entire lifecycle is vital in this process.

Opting for quickly renewable materials, such as bamboo, choosing high-quality joinery, furnishing and fixtures form the basis of building environmentally-friendly spaces. As much as possible, try to choose locally resourced materials that have been extracted in an environmentally responsible way. Alternatively, you might also consider using recycled or salvaged materials.

Reduce waste

One of the key principles of sustainable interior design is waste reduction. Given the scarcity of resources and the fact that most fixtures and fittings are discarded as soon as they go out of fashion, it is vital to carefully evaluate your usage of materials.

Recycling, repurposing and upcycling is becoming more and more popular. Thus, instead of throwing away old fixtures and fittings, you can think about creative solutions to give them a new life. Both furniture and decorative items can be repurposed or refinished to match them to new designs and bring excitement into the space.

Focus on Flexibility & Durability

Last but not least, you can make your commercial property’s more sustainable by emphasising flexibility and quality. Try to opt for more flexible designs and modular furniture that can be easily reconfigured and adapted to your changing retail needs. Instead of following modern design trends, try to create timeless spaces. Above all, emphasise quality over quantity and keep functionality and simplicity in mind.

Contact sustainable interior design specialists

Today we talked about various ways in which you can make your space more sustainable and discussed the importance of focusing on sustainable interior designs. Nevertheless, if you need help in putting these ideas into practice and, you can contact our team at Contrast Interiors for help.

With a multidisciplinary team of architects, interior designers and shopfitters, we can help you in your efforts of building more sustainable spaces. We offer complete interior design and shopfitting services at any stage of the design and refit process. We can carry out a full on-site survey and advice you on how to create sustainable interior design while maintaining aesthetic appeal and quality.  Designing with flexibility, durability and quality in mind we offer future-proof and personalised design and fit-out solutions and build healthy and safe spaces that have a low environmental impact.

Looking for contractors to help put these sustainable interior design principles into practice? Contact us today. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to prospective customers. With great insight and care, we can evaluate your space and help you reach your sustainability goals.