10 interesting eco-design projects

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini—homify UK
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Nowadays, products labeled as eco, bio or organic attract much more attention than others, as more people are becoming environmentally friendly and making the shift to support sustainable development. The terms eco and bio are not solely reserved for food as they once were. You will now find products in the realm of fashion and industrial design respecting these ethics and transforming the way we view the pieces that inhabit our homes or wardrobes.

In the past decade, we have seen a surge in eco-friendly homes in terms of both architecture and interior design. This stems not only from the growing awareness of consumers, but from manufacturing and construction techniques also. Companies and businesses that show no concern for nature, or no responsibility for the part they play in ruining the environment, are being shunned by customers and even other big businesses. The process for a sustainability designed product starts from the very beginning—from the purchase and processing of recyclable materials, to the finished product, which, in itself, has the possibility to be reused in some capacity. Today, we are going to take a closer look at 10 homify professionals that have taken the world of eco-design by the reigns and are producing products which are both on-trend and environmentally friendly. These products are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they are functional and have, of course, been created in accordance with sustainable design principles. Take a look…

1. Minimalism & simple materials

rustic Dining room by Amaris Elements
Amaris Elements

Hocker Teakholz

Amaris Elements

Many of you are probably wondering; what is this piece? The beauty of products designed with the principles of minimalism in mind is that they have a myriad of different uses and functions. This particular product, can be treated as a stool, ottoman, coffee table or even fashionable night stand. It is truly the ideal piece for those who value reliability, functionality and, of course, high-quality design. The designers behind this particular product have used organically grown teak wood, which has been sustainably farmed and processed. The chosen timber has a high naturally occurring content of oil, meaning it is resistant to the absorption of water or other pollutants in the air. In turn, this means you have a piece that is durable and will stand the test of time. 

2. Nature dominates

Nothing gives a room more character than adding colour, texture or pattern to the walls. Whether or not it is a dominating or complementary factor, adding wallpaper to a space creates a totally different dimension and ambience. However, have you ever thought about how environmentally friendly your wallpaper is? Not only in terms of the material it is made from, but to the finer details, like the chemical qualities of the glue. This particular example is made from interlaced sisal fibres, which sounds like a science experiment but is really a complicated way of saying woven bamboo or abaca. These species are fast growing and are fast becoming one of the most popular and sustainable materials to build and furnish your home with. Its warm colour gives the room not only character, but depth and a slightly exotic aura. With this, it is possible to have an incredible feature wall which is at the height of contemporary eco-design. 

3. Eco functionality

 Wine cellar by  Douelledereve / Eco design construction
Douelledereve / Eco design construction

unité de stockage bouteilles de vins, en aménagement de cave, dans la cuisine…

Douelledereve / Eco design construction

The problem with some organic products on the market is that they do not always meet our expectations visually. Limiting yourself to eco-friendly or sustainable design techniques can sometimes limit your production output. This sometimes happens when the materials these products are made from do not look stylish and inviting and, as a consequence, do not fit in properly with our existing interiors. The pictured wine rack shows us otherwise. It is both functional, evokes curiosity and to top it off, is made from completely eco-friendly materials. The form is both original and modern and can hold up to twelve bottles. The raw oak timber with which it has been created  was once used to produce wooden barrels. Now, it has been reworked, reformed, and absolutely no damage or harm has been inflicted upon the environment. 

4. Recycling in the retro style

This seat is an extremely interesting product in many ways. First, it was made by hand using recycled cartons. These cartons have been decorated to reflect vintage and retro advertising material. On top of this, the chair has been assembled with organic adhesives and paints, meaning that both the designer and future owners of this piece will remain healthy. This is a perfect example of how eco-design can fall in line with the latest trends and styles.

5. Childhood memories

Many of us are familiar with the problem of owning dozens of books from our childhood, and after we've outgrown them, having nowhere to store or house them. The problem with these books is that we grow attached to them. Some stories resonate with us well into our adult lives, meaning it is virtually impossible to throw or give these books away. They also remind us of the simpler times, when we were carefree and happy, and when we thought talking scarecrows and dragons existed. Instead of parting with these memories for good, why not salvage them in the form of a clothes hanger? Not only does it save paper, but it introduces a vintage and almost melancholic aura into our homes. This idea is not only original, but completely eco-friendly, as your books won't end up in landfill. You can use this fantastic example as inspiration, attaching hooks from the hardware store to a whole range of books. You can now conveniently hang your keys, hats and jackets in many rooms in your home. 

6. Design from another era

rustic Living room by Reversible
Reversible

Housses de coussins—Modèles Dekozen

Reversible

These pillows are a decorative element that are decidedly unconventional. Made from old bags of coffee, they evoke feelings of the industrial revolution, when ships and containers were used to ship various products from different tips and points of the globe. Each of these pillows has its own unique design, yet they share a material derived from recycled and durable cotton bags. Don't forget, these bags once housed ten kilograms of coffee, so you can be sure they will withstand time! With these pillows, you can be sure to collapse into a deep sleep with a clear conscious. 

7. Convenience in nature

Created from the re-processing of raw materials, these chairs are made from old, recycled cardboard boxes. At the forefront of conceptual design and environmental awareness, you can be comfortable and support a company that is aware of their impact on nature. Furthermore, the design of the chair resembles a coral bloom. The commitment of the designers is enviable; the energy required to produce these pieces comes from renewable sources only. Bravo! 

8. An eco-friendly pup

If you are under the impression that ecological design is a concept only for people, nothing could be more wrong! Now, as our pets can join the trend of sustainable design, we no longer have to choose between a clean conscience and convenience of our dog. The bed is a miniature version of a piece of furniture from the designer's children's collection. Made of solid pine wood, it is an excellent example of craftsmanship and is part of the current ecological movement that supports the use of a minimal number of materials, highlighting their raw and natural beauty instead. 

9. Sustainable luxuries

Organic does not only mean processed and recycled, but it can also mean new, personalised and luxurious. If you belong to the group of lucky ones who have access to an outdoor swimming pool and who want to make it available for use year round, here is the solution for you. Not only is this cover organic, but it is also an amazing concept we haven't seen before. This transparent construction provides the perfect cover for your pool during the cooler months, allowing you to use it at lower temperatures. Made of curved wood, it can be adapted to any pool design or shape. Acting upon the principles of a glasshouse, this casing ensures that the heat, which is supplied only via sunlight, is retained inside the structure. 

10. The omnipresent power of nature

 Houses by LIJO.RENY.architects
LIJO.RENY.architects

The Green Roof Residence

LIJO.RENY.architects

The concept behind the design of this house was to ensure the nature environment was not interrupted by a man-made structure. In fact, the aim was to have a little impact on the surrounding landscape as possible. The green roof, which acts as one of the best thermal barriers on the market today, will maintain a comfortable temperature inside the property all year round. On top of thermal properties, it also helps to reduce the amount of sound that can enter the internal spaces. It is a documented fact that houses with a green roof use 25% less energy than those with a standard roof construction. Therefore, the design of this house is not only ecological but economical too!

We are proud that the awareness of consumers and producers has grown, and that there is a demand for products that are designed in according with eco-friendly techniques. The best thing is, as the number of these pieces increases, they become accessible to everyone. So, why not do your part. When you are thinking of completing your next project, be it a new interior design fit out or architectural feat, think about nature and the impact you will have on the environment. We know for a fact, that you will feel much better in the long run if you do. 

What do you think of these eco-projects? Would you considering implementing any into your interiors? 
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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