When designing an interior, there are so many things to consider. Good business interiors ensure the right message is being portrayed, both for your employees or potential customers, while also making sure the space is efficient.
Another thing that businesses should consider in this day and age is the sustainability of your design. It is vital that everyone does their bit for the environment, and businesses are expected to be at the forefront, promoting change through their messaging. As the interior is one of the most common forms of communication, it’s a great opportunity to promote an eco-conscious message.
In this blog, we look at some simple ways businesses can make their interiors more sustainable. From upcycling vintage industrial lighting to taking inspiration from the outdoors, discover simple ideas to boost your interior design.
Understanding the Principles of Sustainability
To achieve a sustainable interior design, the first step is to understand what sustainability means.
There are so many different terms and ideas around eco-friendliness that it can be hard to pin it down into actionable goals. If you want to create an eco-conscious interior, you should consider its impact in five key areas:
- Initial environmental impact - the cost of new items.
- Energy efficiency - how much energy it can save over time.
- Waste reduction - how little waste is produced.
- Longevity - The potential lifespan of the design.
- Personal health - how it contributes to the health of occupants.
Any sustainable interior design must achieve at least one of these goals - ideally, you should meet all five for a genuinely sustainable interior.
So how can you go about creating an interior design that considers the five points above? Below, we’ve highlighted some aspects to consider.
If you’re designing your business interior from scratch, it can be tempting to lean into the latest trends to create a fresh and exciting design. However, you should consider how that might look in three months or even three years.
When designing on a blank canvas, consider laying a foundation made from a timeless, versatile interior style.
Opting for high-quality contemporary, classic or industrial furnishings will ensure that you won’t need to buy bulky goods every time you want a redesign, reducing your long-term waste.
With a strong style foundation, you can then incorporate the latest trends to create a modern and exciting space that is quick and easy to reinvent without breaking the bank.
Light and Open Spaces
One way to maximise your space’s sustainability is to ensure it is as open as possible, particularly around sources of light.
Having a business interior full of natural light provides multiple benefits. If your space is bright during the day, you’ll save energy by not needing artificial light. Perhaps more importantly, though, is the mental health benefits of working in brighter spaces.
When designing a business interior, one of the first things you should consider is natural light sources. Take the time to ensure these are maximised, with considerations for both space and colours, to make your business as bright as possible.
Retro Large Pendant - 17 Inch - Pewter, £89, by Industville (Image supplied by One to One, Chalk Street Estates)
Biophilia - an affinity for living items - has become one of the most popular interior design trends of the last few years. A biophilic interior is filled with living things, such as plants, although you can achieve a similar feel by simply having neutral colours and plenty of natural light.
Studies have shown that spending more time in natural spaces can do wonders for our mental health and general mood. As that might not be an option for some employees, a biophilic interior design is the closest thing to bringing that outdoor energy indoors.
The main benefit of a biophilic interior for sustainability is its impact on people. Including more natural elements in your design can do wonders for the well-being of your staff. Being surrounded by living things can also help raise awareness for broader issues on sustainability, helping to promote a more eco-friendly attitude across the business.
Brooklyn Giant Dome Pendant - 24 Inch - Pewter, £139, by Industville (Image supplied by ThirdWay Interiors)
Most offices tend to favour a minimalist approach to interior design, as this can focus the mind and create a sense of calm. Minimalism is also a good choice for the environment, so long as it is done sustainably.
A minimalist interior design doesn’t just focus the minds of workers, but it also forces owners and designers to think carefully about what they need and what they don’t.
By sticking to a minimalist interior, you will likely reduce the amount of new furnishings you need to buy, reducing potential waste. Similar to biophilia, by taking sustainable steps in your design, you’ll also promote environmental mindfulness amongst your employees.
Retro Large Pendant - 17 Inch - Pewter, £89, by Industville (Image supplied by Cocoon & Bauer)
Recycling and Upcycling
Two of the most common words in the world of sustainability. If you want to be seen as an eco-conscious business, it’s a good idea to consider these points.
Recycling is something that every business should be doing. Upcycling, however, is less common but provides a wealth of opportunities when it comes to interior design.
Instead of buying new furniture, take a moment to consider how you can use what you already have. So many furnishings can be transformed with a fresh coat of paint, while you could repurpose old furniture for a truly sustainable, bohemian look.
Of course, if you’re transforming your business interior, you’ll likely need to buy some new items. When buying new, consider how the pieces could be transformed in the future when styles change to ensure you can upcycle them over their lifetime through various trends.
Brooklyn Dome Pendant - 8 Inch - Pewter & Copper, £79, by Industville (Image supplied by ThirdWay Interiors)
Consider Your Outdoor Spaces
Remember, sustainable design doesn’t start and end with your interior. If you’re lucky enough to have outdoor space on your premises, consider how these could benefit from the points above.
If you have a decorative garden, consider its water usage, which can be a sustainability issue. Outdoor spaces also do wonders for people’s wellbeing, so make sure they’re accessible, ideally throughout all four seasons.
Swan Neck Outdoor & Bathroom Dome Wall Light - 8 Inch - Pewter & Brass, £149, by Industville (Image supplied by Fresh Start Living)
With a few considerations during the initial design phase, business interiors can easily be made sustainable while also delivering on style. If you want more sustainable interior inspiration, be sure to check out our Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest pages, where we post new designs every day.
Header image credit: ThirdWay Interiors