At Hoskins Interior Design, environmental considerations are becoming a more important factor in the material choices we make for our clients’ homes as well as our own. Depending upon how they are finished, many sustainable, natural products can be healthier choices for both the environment and our bodies.
There are many reasons to use natural products in interior design schemes:
1) Aesthetic: Wood, natural stone, bamboo, and cork lend organic warmth and richness to a design, rather than a slick or artificial aesthetic.
2) Durability: Natural materials tend to be durable, lasting through the wear and tear a home can subject them to.
3) Character: The inherent beauty found in natural materials allows them to bring more interest to a space, while easily hiding soil and wear. Metals like copper bring personality and warmth, and are almost like art themselves. Granite, marble, quartzite and other natural stones add a similar interest to a space, with each slab bringing its own unique variations.
4) Technology: It used to be that petroleum-based paints with high volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which pose a health risk to humans, were the only durable choice for paint. Technological advances have made water-based paints, which have lower VOCs, more user-friendly in today’s home.
5) Care and Maintenance: Particularly in flooring, wood or stone performs much better than carpet over time. Big spill? No stains! While wood does need to be refinished after many years, if your slate floor chips, the look is only enhanced. Materials like bamboo and cork offer the added advantages of being soft underfoot and bringing a modern feel to a space.
6) Creativity: Natural linoleum is a favorite product of ours. It comes in bright colors, can be cut into cool shapes and is quite durable. While it is rare to see it used in residential designs right now, we would love to see a comeback as it offers great opportunity for creativity. Glass is another natural material that lends itself to all kinds of unique ideas and applications.
Natural materials in furnishings:
Below are some ways natural materials enhance your overall design aesthetic:
1) Fabrics: Natural fabrics like linen, cotton, wool and silk feel good to the touch, are breathable, and drape beautiful for drapery and upholstery. Each has its own personality: linen is wrinkly, light and airy; wool is warm and cozy; and silk is rich and shiny. Each material evokes a different feel in a space.
2) Natural Grasses: Sisal, jute, and sea grass rugs and furniture offer the feeling of bringing the outside in. Just like fabric, each has its own personalities through their varying textures, patterns and colors.
3) Wool Rugs: Beyond being hand-made from natural materials, wool rugs last forever! We love the patterned variety for high traffic areas as they take a lot of abuse while retaining their beauty.
4) Plants and Light: The ultimate natural material, live plants give us life-giving oxygen! Their natural beauty also brings softness, sculpture and color to a space. Natural light is important for our well-being, and creates a welcoming and comfortable ambiance to a home.
At Hoskins Interior Design, we use natural materials in our interior design schemes for their organic warmth and richness, and to pull the outdoors into a space. We also believe in the environmental benefits of using materials that require minimal processing, and of purchasing locally-sourced materials like limestone and American hardwoods. If you would like to use more environmentally-friendly materials in your home, ask your interior designer, contractor or suppliers for guidance.
Questions? Send us an email, or give us a call at 317.253.8986.