Principles of Sustainable Interior Design

Isn’t it shocking that buildings consume 40% of our worldwide energy?

It’s no secret that people are considering energy-efficient and sustainable interior design options for a greener future. We’re noticing a sharp increase in our clients here at JDG who want to incorporate sustainable principles in their homes and workspaces.

Are you considering unique and sustainable interior design for your home or business? We’ve made a convenient list for you that outlines a few of the most important principles of sustainable design for your interior space.


Becoming less dependent on fossil fuels is more pressing than ever before. We know that heating and lighting are the highest contributors to energy efficiency that interior designers have control over.

Improving your interior space will result in direct energy savings. For example, converting to LED bulbs can save up to 50% on your lighting bill. They produce roughly 85% less energy compared to incandescent bulbs on the same lighting level.

Windows are remarkable for natural lighting but are also notorious places for your indoor heat to escape. Interior designers can ensure windows are double-glazed so heat loss is mitigated by nearly half. Installing stylish curtains or drapes on your windows can help keep your space cozy in the colder months while keeping the sun’s heat out during the summer.

Did you know that carpets are also estimated to retain nearly 10% of a room’s heat? Consider using carpeting or area rugs in spaces you want to stay warmer, such as the bedroom or your living room.


Serviceable materials and products are discarded far too often.

Our interior designers at JDG evaluate the lifespan of a chosen material that we plan to use in your space.

Design elements that are heavily used – like flooring – should be durable and timeless in sustainable interior design. Thinking practically and choosing an enduring design that’s high quality and classy – like bamboo or reclaimed hardwood – will help increase its longevity.

Your life changes. You move into a new home, you may have kids, adopt pets, and even host events with your friends and family. Your space shouldn’t remain stagnant; it should evolve alongside you and your life.

Innovative ideas have brought a plethora of options in flexible interior design. Some perfect examples of flexible design include:

  • Modified walls
  • Mobile Furniture
  • Modular flooring

Trendy modular carpets are simply pieced together. If an area of the flooring is ever damaged, all you have to do is replace a single square!


Using non-polluting and abundant products is a common practice of sustainable interior design.

Although lumber may be an answer that’s top of mind, interior designers must consider how ethically it is sourced. Thankfully, there are easy ways to tell. An FSC label on the product will signify that the wood is organically and ethically sourced.

If you’re wanting ethically sourced lumber, there are three different FSC labels to be aware of:

FSC 100%: Products originate from FSC-Certified forests
FSC Recycled: The product is only from reclaimed material
FSC Mixed: at least 70% of the wood comes from FSC-Certifed or recycled material.

Fast-growing bamboo is another great lumber alternative to use for interior design. Bamboo forests grow much faster and are harvested sustainably. Depending on the application, coated and treated bamboo can easily last at least 10-12 years in your space


It’s staggering that the US Environmental Protection Agency considers indoor air pollution in the top 5 biggest environmental threats. Living with optimal air quality is imperative for sustainable interior design.

Volatile Organic Compounds (or VOCs) are known to cause poor indoor air quality. These solvents can be found in certain types of paints or products. Our interior designers opt for eco-friendly water-based paints which don’t contain any VOCs. You can rest easy at home or even at work in your home office with better air quality.

Greenery will always freshen up your indoor living or working space. Indoor plants are aesthetically pleasing while they purify the air around you. Popular choices for indoor arborists include peace lilies, spider plants, snake plants, monkey trees, rubber plants and succulents.


Interior designers have a lot of say on what materials to use to mitigate waste. We know the planet’s resources are dwindling and limited.

Designers are highly aware of current sustainable interior design thinking and practices. New trends here to stay are recycling, upcycling and repurposing. For example, upcycling is when an unwanted piece is repurposed and reused. Picture an aimless piece of driftwood washed up on the beach. Imagine if it could be cleaned and beautifully stained into a distinctive shelf or coffee table?

Our interior designers can be creative with functional pieces and find ways to grant them new life. Today, at least 2.5 million tons of textiles are recycled annually. Sustainable materials for interior spaces include recycled polyester for drapes and upholstery.


That sums up our top 5 list of sustainable interior design elements to consider for your next project.

Do you need a hand with your interior space? Don’t hesitate to contact us and our expert team of interior designers can certainly help turn your space eco-friendly and sustainable for years to follow.

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