Home design is going green... not only literally!

Kitchen in raw and recycled materials by Pietro Algranti

Home Design is Going Green… not only literally!

" Some of us may have had this discussion already about fashion: how NOT TO buy fast fashion pieces every new season, how NOT TO follow every new trends, in a nutshell, how to be more conscious and buy sustainable. I am not going to explain the goal of doing all that, if you have not read about it, I am sure you will find loads of articles explaining how climate change marked the end of consumerism (which if we are being honest was not making us that happy anyway!). "
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Home design is going green

I have good news for you in these dark times: home design is going green… not only literally.

Some of us may have had this discussion already about fashion: how NOT TO buy fast fashion pieces every new season, how NOT TO follow every new trends, in a nutshell, how to be more conscious and buy sustainable. I am not going to explain the goal of doing all that, if you have not read about it, I am sure you will find loads of articles explaining how climate change marked the end of consumerism (which if we are being honest was not making us that happy anyway!).

So yes, buying sustainable is about the quality/longevity of the materials and the reduce (waste during production processes), reuse (already made objects in your interior, because… vintage is fun and -can be- cheap!), recycle (already used materials to produce new ones – please welcome organic cotton), upcycle way of production. The above kitchen with ecoplastic is a great example of recycling.
And it is as much our responsibility to ask around and buy what actually makes sense as consumers as it is the one of designers to think this way while producing.

But it is also about those trends
I feel like talking about sustainable trends is not as ‘cool’ as talking about those four ‘R’ above.
Well, of course sustainable trends does not make capitalism very happy (!) and this is what made me happy in January (despite the possibility of Trump being impeached): it looks like we are going to see less of those seasonal collections we had to keep up with, and more timeless designs, based on neutral colors, for truly useful objects from our everyday life, made out of natural materials, by true craftspeople.

So if this was already true for 2019, 2020 and 2021 will be even more all about nature.

Rattan bedhead
Black lacquered rattan bedhead from Maison Drucker - Source: le16cc

Nature-inspired colors.

Work your neutrals

Yes, neutrals are still in, you can use and reuse your basics! And even your grandmother’s camel leather sofa.

Eggshell, nude pinks (dusty pink and rose millenium are back!), tawny beige, caramel, copper, camel, terracotta, all of those earthy tones will warm up your interior.

The love for earthy colors has gone far enough to include brick red tones and burnt orange.

And the good news is they all go together and are so easy to combine!

Orange velvet couch and copper
Orange velvet couch and copper - Source: House beautiful
Naval chair
Naval leather chair on naval wall - Source: Trend design book

Naval blue is the new black

Naval blue is so elegant and contemporary and yet timeless, this was a color that was already in style in the 30’s and then in the 70’s

Pantone is now actually offering the Classic Blue as color of the year 2020.

I love deep blues on a wall or for a chair or a sofa, i.e. a large piece of your hallway or your living room because it makes it look so intimate, like a boudoir.

Grey, a cool neutral

First of all let me just say, I don’t like grey. I feel like grey is a no color. And a cold one with that. This year, this no-color is celebrated on walls as a neutral base to highlight a bright carpet or sofa.

But what mostly makes me change my mind about grey is the way to use it through stone materials on the floor with a waxed concrete that makes you want to walk barefoot all day, or on a kitchen counter because it is so easy to clean or with terrazzo as walls of your walk-in shower for a more spa like atmosphere.

Just throw in natural materials such as a wool plaid, a carpet or a rattan chair to warm it up!

Waxed concrete kitchen
Waxed concrete in the kitchen - Source: Hubstairs

All greens are in

How to talk about nature without talking about the color green?

I must say I am particularly in love with British racing green, which I think comes from my absolute dream of owning a kind of British old wooden library room to read my favorite books in a velvet green club chair covered with a plaid. Do you picture that?

Of course that was before becoming a mom, now I don’t even picture myself reading a book at all, even in my living room! Anyway, what an amazing color for a statement sofa!

But whether it is olive green on your hallway walls, forest green industrial style metal lights, mint green pillows in your living room, this color makes your house feel fresh and lively, almost like an inside-outside space.

Just what we need when we don’t have access to a garden or a balcony!

Green vintage hallway
Green hallway - Source: Barnabé aime le café
Wooden kitchen
Wooden kitchen by Casa Kaggeboda - Source: Trend design book

Natural materials.

Wood, wood, wood

This might be the first one coming through your mind when we talk about natural materials: wood of course is again everywhere this season, for a very warm atmosphere.

We have seen it coming from a very light (Scandinavian or Japanese zen) color to a much darker mid-century color (with the exception of red wangé), teak, walnut tree, oak tree or ash, bringing nobility and character to your interior.

Of course you can find beautiful stylish sideboards within new designers but let’s just also think of second hand 50’s low furniture with straight chic lines which would be perfectly in style in a dining room right now and will remain a timeless piece.

We did not talk yet about recycled wood, there are many of them that can be used for furniture but also would look effortless and warm on a kitchen counter or even on wall(s) for a chalet spirit. And let’s mention this good old plywood, that appears to release few volatile organic compounds or carcinogenic gas, and to be biodegradable and reusable, no less!

Terry wool, linen and cotton

These are the soft materials in which you want to bundle up all winter, whether it is on your bed, your sofa or an armchair.

Choose them in one or several of those neutrals tones we spoke about and you’ve got yourself a perfectly chic and timeless base for any room.

Mint green linen bedsheets
Mint green linen bedsheets - Source: Nonagon style
Cane bookends
Cane bookends by DOIY Kanne

Velvet and leather

For bigger pieces, velvet or cord and leather are back again this year on sofas and armchairs and can be used to give a chic retro Art Deco spirit (combined with naval blue or forest green, it is divine!) or a very relaxed loft atmosphere.

Rattan

Of course, rattan and wicker are still everywhere: chairs, mirrors, lamps, baskets, but I like to see them this year on bigger pieces such as a bed head (we looove) or a sofa for a modern rustic atmosphere.

You can easily bargain-hunt all of those! Check out the gorgeous Marcel Breuer chairs found by London fashion blogger Camille Charriere, seen in Vogue.

Ochre velvet sofa
Source: Le klint

Pottery, ceramic, brass and copper

It never hurts to throw a cup, a vase, an old lamp or a set of pans made out of those materials on a counter or a wall.

Coming right back from the 60’s (I hope you begin to see a pattern here: REUSE people, reuse!), brass and copper reflect light, add a vintage/Art Deco touch to your interior.

For a more ‘English tea’ moment, think of ceramic and earthenware. Although these are also materials you would find in your grandmother’s kitchen cabinet and still handmade pieces, they have been revisited by designers these last years for more refined look, again mostly in neutral tones.

Handmade ceramic cups
Handmade ceramic cups - Source: artisann.be

Natural elements of decor.

Finally for this nature vibe, we are still seeing a lot of pictures or drawings on wallpapers, whether it was jungle or flower patterns in the last years or Chinese art this year, as a statement wall in the living room or the dining room, or a fresh bedhead in the bedroom.

You can also set it up in your bathroom: some vinyl or non woven wallpapers are especially designed for a wet room. Pictures could also be printed on tiles for a more sustainable option (down with plastic!).

Chinese art wallpaper
Chinese art wallpaper - Source: Studio DB

What else.

Other handmade stuff

For those fashionistas out there it will not come as a surprise to know that cewax is in in home design.

A beautiful Afro trend is indeed upon us this year, giving texture to our walls with Juju Hats and adding colors to our beds and sofas with cewax pillows. Colorful pillows have been spotted at the MOM show of January of this year and IKEA already launched in 2019 the déco ÖVERALLT collection as a limited edition, entirely dedicated to Africa.

So let’s hope we will hear more and more about African designers this year.

Cewax seats
Cewax weats - Source: Unrelated needs
Curvy couch
Curvy couch - Source: Note design studio

Curvy furniture

This is the kind of trends I don’t really fall for because for a few of years we will hear about those curvy sofas and then it will probably be something else and then what do you do with your brand new expensive sofa? By now I think you got it with the number of times I repeated that word already throughout the article, I like ‘timeless’ pieces!

But anyway I am here to report so here it comes: after years of straight and refined chairs and sofas, softer and more cocooning lines, circles, arcs, ovals are coming.

It does look warm and welcoming, could fit better in a small living room and let’s not forget: no more bangs against sharp edges!

Face lines decor


This is a buzzing design trend present in the online world, loved by many upon the millennial generation. You can see those graphic face lines this year on lamps, vases and of course wallpapers to give character and a kind of modern loft vibe to a white wall.

Minimalism vs maximalism

We have been hearing about minimalism and ‘less is more’ for years now. Coming directly from the Nordic and Japanese arts of living, it assumes that a refined interior will always give the impression of a more airy, welcoming area, thus allowing you to pay more attention to the pieces you picked and chose.

But maximalism appears to be on the rise with a ‘more is more’ mood, inviting us to mix and match bold colors, patterns, textures and unconventional shapes. Art Deco style objects for example, a statement mirror or a bold large scale wallpaper could give a sentiment of a warmer, more embracing space. For those who, like me, also like a good old bohemian style apartment, you will love this book: A Beautiful Mess, from Claire Bingham.

The end. Thank you!

La déco d'intérieur passe au vert

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