“Sustainability can’t be like some sort of moral sacrifice or political dilemma or a philanthropic cause. It has to be a design challenge”

Bjarke Ingels

Sustainable interior design should not be a fad or a trend but an urgent necessity. The planet demands changes in our way of life and that necessarily implies more relevant proposals to think, create and design sustainable interiors that take better care of our world.

In our magazine, we have already analyzed the keys to sustainable architecture or the future of housing, but the role of interior design is also crucial and of vital importance to move towards a green, ecological and environmentally responsible future.

What is green interior design?

Sustainable interior design is based on designing spaces (whether housing or other types of projects) with sustainable materials and always bearing in mind the need to reduce the use of energy, the overexploitation of resources and the absence of toxic products. 

Another important value when going green in interior design is to seek to minimize as much as possible the waste produced while promoting their reuse. 

In this sense, sustainable interior design is committed to making an interior an ecologically responsible place. Both through the material with which the elements that compose it have been manufactured and by making a responsible use of natural resources.

Keys to sustainable interior design

To achieve a good sustainable interior design it is essential to follow these 4 tips:

  • Reuse furniture. Give a second chance to your furniture and before buying new ones, think if you can continue using them giving them a new look. In this way, you will reduce the consumption of raw materials for the manufacture of new furniture at the same time that you do not generate waste.
  • Opt for natural materials. When selecting the furniture that will decorate your interior, go for those that are made from natural materials and/or follow sustainable manufacturing processes. For example, mud, the new avant-garde design material. Also the use of ecological paint or parquet wood floors free of toxic products are practices that help to achieve a sustainable interior design.
  • Energy sustainable houses. This means being able to make the most of the space’s own resources and natural lighting to be more energy efficient.

Sustainable interior design: decoration classics revisited

As we have said, one of the requirements to achieve a sustainable interior design is to include in the decoration pieces that are eco-efficient, recyclable and sustainable. Here we have compiled, for design lovers, great interior design classics that have been reissued with an environmentally friendly twist and also other new pieces made already in an ecological key.

  1. Alvar Aalto’s famous Iittala vase now has its version made from 100% recycled glass. Its color varies from cool blue to beige or light beige depending on the glass used.
  1. A chair made from plastic scraps is the sustainable bet of South Korean designer Donghoon Sohn. The plastic sheets are pressed together like slices of bread. 
  1. Designer Munich Stefan Diez’s modular sofa for Magis is made from recycled and recyclable polypropylene. 
  1. Re-Circles cutting boards by Muller Van Severen for Valerie Objects mix polyethylene scraps for an eco-friendly and colorful result. 
  1. N02 Recycle: a zero kilometer chair. Japanese studio Nendo has designed for Fritz Hansen a chair whose seat shell is made from recycled plastic that can be recycled again. Also all the material contains plastic waste collected, processed and recycled in Central Europe to shorten the transport route for it.
  1. A reissued classic: Faye Toogood’s Roly Poly design is now part of Driade’s new Green collection made from recycled PET bottles and industrial waste.
  1. A chair that protects the environment (and any back). Tip Ton RE is Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby’s take on Vitra made from 100% recycled household waste.
The Tip Ton RE chair is a clear example of sustainable interior design
Tip Ton RE by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby’s for Vitra
  1. For Nomad’s rug by Rubber Rug is made by weaving together old bicycle tubes.