Interior designers play a crucial role in the pursuit of sustainability. Our responsibility is twofold: We must first craft interiors that will endure our clients’ lifestyles for years on end by leaning into timeless styles. We must then be thoughtful in our processes and selection of materials to promote longevity for our planet as a whole. When done correctly, our decisions as interior designers can reduce our society’s negative impact on the environment and encourage others to take the same approach.
In a nutshell, a sustainable design will seek to check as many of these boxes as possible:
- Keep energy and water consumption low
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- Emphasize the use of recycled materials to limit resource consumption
- Minimize the impact on a local ecosystem
- Use non-toxic materials
- Prioritize quality and durability over price
Urbane Design is committed to these sustainable design practices—many of which our clients see from their first interactions with us.
How we practice sustainable interior design
We don’t just consider ways to make a space beautiful—we think about how to make it last for years on end. Aesthetically, we don’t chase short-lived trends that will be out of style in a year. Instead we design our homes like classic white tees—they are relevant no matter the season or time period.
A sustainable home means much more than classic design, though. It also refers to the tedious work done behind the scenes to ensure that our furniture and material selections aren’t just temporary solutions. We will always choose quality and durability over the price of an item (sorry, IKEA!) This ensures that your beautiful kitchen table endures countless dinner parties, kids’ play dates, accidental spills, and candlelit conversations. What better story to tell than a piece of furniture that has been through every season of life with you?
For us, sustainability also means choosing non-toxic elements as much as possible. This includes staying away from toxic paints, glues, and finishes. We believe that a beautiful home should not come at the expense of you and your family’s health. By being mindful of the toxicity levels in our selections, we can create homes that are a safe, welcoming space for those with allergies and other sensitivities.
A home’s story is told through the people and things within it. We love to reduce consumption and waste by recycling the elements of your home that make it unique. Instead of ripping out your 100-year-old floors and beadboard ceilings, we will repair the elements that are damaged and breathe new life into them. We understand that not everything in a home is salvageable, and that’s okay—we just try to avoid our “throw away” culture as much as possible.
Finally, we are proud to say that Urbane Design is 90% paperless. This reduces the square footage necessary to run our business, and thus minimizes our personal impact on the environment. The 10% of paper we do use is recycled. Additionally, all samples we source are reused or recycled, which limits the amount of storage space needed and ensures that all of our materials continue to serve a purpose.
The future of sustainable interior design
Practicing sustainable interior design not only benefits the wellbeing of our environment, it also benefits your pocketbook. Quality, durable materials mean less costs for maintenance, repairs and replacements over time. This in turn reduces the impact of all phases of the production, removal and disposal of materials.
Sustainable processes are quickly gaining momentum around the world, with more and more corporations funding environmentally conscious practices. When we do good for the environment, we do good for one another—and Urbane Design is proud to move the needle on this cause from a local level.
To learn more about our sustainable interior design process, take a look at our approach.
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