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How to Design a Home to Be Eco-friendly

By Jamie Richardson | January 9, 2020

One of the hottest topics right now in interior design and landscaping is creating spaces that are environmentally friendly. A home that reduces your carbon footprint and creates a state of health and well being is every designer’s focus.

Home Buyers like open floor plans, open-plan kitchens and other modern designs

It's an exciting yet stressful experience designing a home. However, your blank slate has endless possibilities, and it's essential to make the right choices early on to save you the cost of changes in the future. So, where to start in planning your perfect eco-friendly space?

There are several ways in which you could design your home to be green. These include details such as ethical material choices, alternative energy solutions, interior decorating products, and floorplan concepts.

Looking for advice on what you could implement in your home design plans? Then read on to find out the easiest and most effective ways to turn your house into an environmental haven.

Choose Safe Decorating Materials

When you enter your newly plastered property, your first thoughts will fall to wall coverings and finishings. It is at this point you need to stop and think. Often overthought are the Volatile Organic  compound (VOC) chemicals we pour all over our houses.

When choosing paints, sealants, adhesives, and other chemical products for decorating and cleaning, it's crucial to select products with a green seal-certified label. This reduces the number of chemicals that evaporate into the air and minimizes the risk of health complications from inhalation over time. Low VOC products are advertised as low-odor and water-based.

Use Natural and Locally Sourced Materials

A practical way to lower your carbon footprint while supporting local businesses is by sourcing local materials and textiles.

By doing this, you are cutting down on transport emissions, excessive packaging waste, and bringing a part of your local community into your home. Search for opportunities like refurbished bricks or granite cut-offs to recycle, further helping your goal to be green.

Furthermore, Natural fibers such as wool have a multitude of benefits. Wool is hypoallergenic, dust-mite resistant, and fire-resistant. Why choose home furnishings that are dipped in VOC chemicals when there are natural and healthier alternatives?

Try to cover your floors in natural fiber carpets, wood, or ceramics to cut down on VOC emissions. Plus these, materials are also excellent at regulating the temperature in your home and are biodegradable. 


By far, the easiest way to make your home unique and personalized. Recycle old furniture made from natural materials to bring personality into your home. By doing this, you are saving items from the landfill and cutting down your footprint in several ways.

Up-cycle antique furniture, reclaimed wood, and other natural materials where possible. Find an array of items to craft with at thrift stores, charity shops, recycling centers, and garden sales. There are countless ideas for up-cycling, depending on your taste and decor plans.

Decorate with Native Plants

Plants are a simple yet beautiful addition to any home, a simple way to liven up an area and bring some color into space.

That is not their only purpose; plants also play a vital role in regulating air quality, they filter the air and provide oxygen, making your home fresh and your breathing easy. Plants are an important aspect of any home design, and placement should be considered with care. Your plants need to thrive in order to keep you healthy too.

Additionally, flowering plants give off pleasant fragrances that will deter you from spraying air fresheners or having plugins that are releasing more chemicals into the air. These are often a trigger for asthma and other health effects and are proven unsafe for pets.

No Need to Trade Luxury for Green!

It is often the misconception that going green means giving up the luxurious. This is not the case! In fact, it can be quite the opposite as a lot of natural material products are more costly, such as solid wood tables or natural marble worktops.

As those at DevMcGill say, ‘eco-responsibility means being creative. This pushes us to find the best solutions to combine luxury, design, comfort, innovation, sustainability, and energy efficiency’. There are some things that we could up-cycle ourselves or that are locally sourced from crafters and manufacturers. Whereas some things we may need to splash out for. These are lifelong investments to environmentally friendly housing, such as solar paneling.

It is all a balance and compromise between your ethics, preference, the realms of possibility, and budget. Remember whichever ways you decide to use to make your home eco-friendly, every little bit helps to save our planet!

Jamie is a 5-year freelance writer who enjoys real estate. He is currently a Realty Biz News Contributor.
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