In the modern world, residential environmentalism is no longer an option, but a necessity. With the rise of global warming and the growing scarcity of natural resources such as energy and water, homeowners around the world are turning to eco-friendly solutions. The goal is to minimize their carbon footprint and allow them to save money in the process.
With 2018 well under way, the time is better than ever to give your home a well-deserved, green makeover. Embrace efficiency, functionality, and timeless aesthetic appeal to your household. Preferably without busting the proverbial bank.
Here are the top eco-friendly home design trends that are going to rule in 2018.
Energy efficiency reigns supreme
Energy efficiency has been a key cornerstone of environmentalism for decades. Now modern generations of homeowners are taking the concept to a whole new level. They are combining time-tested solutions with innovative designs. From introducing LED lighting across the household along with eco-friendly appliances such as the fridge, the oven, and washing machine, to minimizing the energy expenditure of your HVAC, there are plenty of traditional solutions that will remain vital in 2018.
Taking the concept a step further, modern households aim to create complete energy independence. How? by installing solar panels as well as solar heating and hot water systems in order to ensure the flow of clean, renewable energy.
The idea is to create a Net Zero household, where the infrastructure generates as much power as the occupants consume, or more. To that end, you will also want to consider proper insulation on the windows, the walls, and the floors. Consider double-glazed windows that conserve heat during the winter months, and keep the place naturally cool during the summer.
Locally sourced and re-purposed
The age of new, freshly crafted furniture in every room is over. Now is the time of locally sourced, salvaged materials, re-purposed to serve a functional and aesthetic purpose. Instead of ordering new timber furniture, you can find many artisan pieces at local thrift shops and salvage markets.
You can also salvage healthy timber from landfills and other homeowners who have no use for them, in order to assemble it into furniture that fits the design of your home just right. The result will be a decreased environmental impact. You are eliminating needless deforestation, production, and transport pollution, among other processes detrimental to the environment.
In the pursuit of a truly environmentally friendly household that is able to sustain itself, flooring will play a vital role. Many homeowners don’t give a second thought to their flooring solutions, except for the aesthetic aspect. However, when implemented the right way into the overall design, your floors can serve a multitude of green, as well as aesthetic purposes.
Among popular flooring options are reclaimed, earth-friendly tile, natural hardwood flooring, and decorative concrete that provides durability and insulation.
While the two former options have their benefits as well as drawbacks, modern Geostone decorative concrete is probably one of the safest long-term solutions for green homes due to its low environmental impact and longevity. Concrete also acts as a thermal mass, helping keep the house cool in the summer, and the floors naturally warm during the colder months of the year.
Thinking green across the board
Green interior and exterior designs have been steadily gaining in popularity over the decades, with innovative solutions such as indoor vertical gardens, outdoor rooftop gardens, and window gardens becoming the staple of sustainability and aesthetics in the modern world. Introducing various greenery around the house will help cleanse the air and create a safe, healthy living environment with plenty of fresh air, while a rooftop garden will serve as natural insulation device that regulates the amount of heat permeating through the ceiling.
This way, you can significantly decrease your HVAC and heating energy expenditure. The result will be lowered greenhouse gas emissions, and increased year-round energy conservation. The beauty of the garden is simply a bonus feature the entire family can admire.
Water efficiency throughout
A green household is not complete without a sound water conservation strategy in place, entailing various contemporary eco-friendly features in the bathroom and the kitchen. From low-flow toilets to faucet aerators, as well as efficient showerheads that maintain water pressure without sacrificing efficacy, the possibilities are numerous.
Invest in a smart sprinkler system that can be easily programmed to conserve energy. In addition, you can schedule regular watering according to the environmental conditions. In the kitchen, make sure you are using water-efficient appliances, such as a smart dishwasher and washing machine. Pair your water conservation solutions with a strict water usage policy and you will have created an efficient household.
Green home designs are becoming increasingly popular with homeowners around the world. This is because of their long-term benefits ranging from environmental preservation, to monetary gain. With these essential eco-friendly design solutions in mind, 2018 is bound to be the most rewarding year of your life.
AUTHOR AT SMOOTH DECORATOR