Not only is sustainable living applicable to our daily life, it can also be adopted right at the beginning of your homeownership journey – starting with the design of your home. Listed below are some design tips to limit the impact on the environment even as you create your dream home!
Keeping Cool with Curtains
With our year-round tropical weather, it’s tempting to turn to the air conditioner. To keep your home cool, consider incorporating curtains and drapes which will help block out the heat and direct sunlight – this will lessen the load on your air conditioners.
Alternatively, if your budget permits, consider opting for coated windows that are energy-efficient, to keep the heat out.
Use Energy-Efficient Lights
LEDs, halogens and compact fluorescent light bulbs are some of the options to choose from. To maximise natural light, adopt lighter colours for the walls and use glass partitions to let light through. As rooms with darker walls and furnishing will require more lighting to brighten the space, the use of reflective surfaces will help to reduce the need for lamps!
Choose Your Materials Wisely
When using natural materials such as wood and granite, check that they are ethically and responsibly sourced. From extraction, to production, transportation and disposal, all stages of the material’s lifespan should be considered. For example, an FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) label on wood products ensures that the wood was harvested sustainably.
Some homeowners may prefer naturally-sourced materials over artificially created materials. However, while natural materials such as marble are popular due to their durability and ability to be recycled, we need to also take into account the energy-intensive manufacturing process involved.
Sometimes, recycled synthetic materials may be even better alternatives!
Dabble in DIY
Unleash your creativity by reusing and repurposing items! For instance, instead of a built-in TV feature wall, bring together your favourite art pieces or photos to create a gallery wall. Not only does this approach reduce waste, it will also add a dash of personality to the living space.
Plants can help improve indoor air quality. Having some greenery in the house also helps to liven up the space.
Opt for Pre-Loved Furniture
Instead of brand new furnishings, opt for pre-loved pieces or repurpose an existing one!
Otherwise, choose to shop local or sustainably-made pieces – you’ll be surprised at the difference your decision can make!