Traditionally, interior design has concerned itself with creating beautiful and functional spaces for people to live, work and play. Professional interior designers are well equipped with the right tools to enhance the conditions of the interior of buildings. They utilise tools such as colour, texture, light, placement and space to achieve their goals.
Above all, interior designers manipulate the elements in a room to enhance the quality of lives of its occupants. From residential design to commercial interiors, the aim is to promote the physical and mental wellbeing of those who are within the space.
Green interior design, also known as eco-friendly interior design focuses on improving the indoor quality of a building as well as reducing the negative impact that traditional interior design can have on the environment. Things like excess waste, inefficient consumption of energy and use of non-renewable materials have a negative impact on the environment, and as a result, reduce the wellbeing of humans, the earth and our ecosystem.
Healthy environments directly enhance our physical and mental wellbeing
On the whole, we spend 80% of our time indoors. Whether that’s in the office, at school or at home. There are several factors to take into account when creating eco-friendly interior designs. The quality of air, sources of light, heating, ventilation and acoustics all come down to the designer’s discretion.
Whilst we’re all aware of the harmful impact of pollution generated by cars and traffic, and the state of the earth waters; indoor air pollution is one of the biggest environmental threats to public health.
The result of products and materials with high levels of toxic emissions can be curbed with the replacement of renewable materials. For example, furniture that has been treated with harmful chemicals that release toxins into the air should be replaced with materials with low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC).
The long term effects of these replacements would have a profound impact on the physical and mental wellbeing of building occupants. Cleaner air, whilst directly contributing to better physical health, plays a large role in inducing sentiments of happiness and safety.
As far as design elements go, there is a clear case to incorporate plants into a room for a number of reasons. They improve the quality of indoor air, it’s necessary for the air to circulate regularly. Plants act as a natural air filter. Plants and natural elements are also widely regarded to be important in promoting mental wellbeing. Since we spend most of our time indoors, there is a clear case to bring the outdoors in.
Carpets and rugs play a central role in interior design. They’ve been used for centuries, around the world for their beauty and comfort. Carpets can also act as an air filter indoors by trapping dust particles from the air and holding them down until vacuumed. This practice calls for regular and sustainable carpet cleaning to ensure the room remains clean, free of germs and allergens that are harmful when breathed in.
Not to mention the additional padding of carpets that act as excellent sound insulators. They help to reduce noise by absorbing vibrations. This is an important factor when it comes to the wellbeing of occupants and residents. As trends have increasingly leaned towards exposed wooden flooring, interior designers should weigh up the benefits of laying sustainable carpets too.
Research has suggested that both physical and psychological health depends on exposure to natural light. A low level of exposure has been directly linked with symptoms of depression. This is relevant across all forms of interior design and can be an excellent source of light to reduce pressures on electricity and energy consumption.
Professional interior designers will know precisely how to make the most out of what the dun offers. From constructing skylines to using blinds and placing mirrors strategically; the natural light source is a key way in creating eco-friendly design and resultantly improving the wellbeing of people within a room.
Biophilic design is a type of interior design that recognises the importance of including natural elements into building and interiors. It aims to restore and balance the connection between humans and nature. It’s become a growing trend in the interior design industry, as we see more professionals collaborating with biologists to account for the best ways to sustainably design and enhance occupants’ standards of lives.