What is sustainable design? It is the ability to reduce negative impacts on the environment while supporting the health and wellbeing of people inhabiting the space being designed. An eco-home is built, designed and decorated using materials, finishes, furniture, decor and technology that reduces water waste, lowers energy use and reduces the house's carbon footprint.
As a sustainable designer, my mission is to reduce waste and carbon footprints by using methods and solutions that have a low impact on the environment. This includes reusing existing materials and furniture in creative ways, using sustainable materials & products, using local craftsmen, using energy effect and water-wise appliances, fixtures, and systems, all while achieving my client's vision for their home. I know eco/sustainable design has a particular aesthetic that is associated with it. Whether you are planning a new build, adding an addition, renovating your existing space, or freshening up and restyling your home, my objective is to show my community that any style can be achieved using sustainable solutions. One of my recent projects, The Eastern Cape Condo, is a great example of how you can design sustainably while still achieving the look, values, and style that you have envisioned for your home. This condo is a fresh take on mid-century modern design: the furniture in the space is made out of African teak, which is original to the mid-century modern area. The pieces in the space were purchased off of a local mid-century modern vender and reupholstered by local upholsterers. None of the original pieces in the space went to waste, as we found them new homes. Instead of throwing unwanted furniture and decor away, try selling it or donating it to someone in need. The textiles in the condo are made out of natural materials or sourced from local upholsterers’ collections. I encourage you to consider using sustainable methods when planning your next home improvement project. I know how overwhelming the process can be. If you are feeling overwhelmed, reach out to me and ask how you can achieve your vision while designing sustainably.
The Benefits of Sustainable Design
When you invest in smart technology, water-wise and energy efficient fixtures, appliances and systems, you will reduce waste and energy. This will save you money in the long run. Your home will not be using as much energy or water as before, therefore reducing the operating cost and saving you money. Did you know that, by doing this, you will be increasing market value? Sustainability is something that the younger demographic values and it is a smart investment, since it lowers your monthly and yearly payments, which is very valuable in the current economy. If you have an income property, it is a good idea to invest in smart technology and market your rental as a luxury eco-home that has the latest smart technology. Smart home technology is safer for you and your loved ones, as you can control and access your security system while at work, on vacation or out of the house, giving you peace of mind. Smart homes also allow you to keep track and control of your energy use by controlling your lights, heating and cooling systems. Smart homes save up to 30% more energy than the average house, which means they are saving a substantial amount of money.
I did a simple poll on my Instagram, @thewholesomelifestyle.to, to ask my followers if they would rent an eco-friendly house, apartment, condo, townhouse, or cottage that was a bit more expensive, rather than a regular rental. These were my results: 94% of people ages 22 to 50 said that sustainability is important to them. 53% said that, when investing, they choose to invest in sustainably. 41% said sustainability is really important to them but, when investing, it also needs to work in their budget. These results prove that sustainability is the way of the future, and it is crucial to make it assessable to everyone. If you want to learn more about eco-friendly interior design tips, join our email list & feel free to reach out if you have any questions!