Touch of green

Design your home with natural materials like bamboo, wood and jute, says Rashmi Gopal Rao

September 21, 2018 02:42 pm | Updated 02:42 pm IST

W ith terms such as ‘eco-friendly’, ‘sustainable’ and ‘green living’ buzzwords in almost every industry today, their impact on the design industry has now become significant. Due to the rapid depletion of natural resources, it has become imperative to adopt a developmental approach that focuses on conservation and sustainability. Concepts like reusing, recycling and upcycling have taken centre stage in the field of interiors and are being used extensively with an objective of ensuring a lighter footprint on the planet.

While sustainable décor is not necessarily theme-based, it involves the use of renewable resources to reduce our negative impact on the environment. “The rate of growth in our country today and the subsequent need for resources is significantly high. If we do not move our lifestyle towards sustainability, we will end up over exploiting our resources, which will eventually lead to destruction of our ecology and biodiversity. Eco-living should not be just a trend, but a way of life,” says Priyanka Mehra, principal architect at Mumbai-based PS Design.

Myriad options

There are several home owners can opt for to give their dwellings a touch of green. Furniture made from reclaimed wood, second hand furniture, usage of vintage pieces and upcycling old heirloom pieces are just some of the ways one can ensure sustainability. Manufacturers today are also offering several alternatives: handmade tiles for the flooring, using cotton or paper-based wallpapers instead of vinyl and wall cladding with natural jute fabric, among others.

The use of natural and native materials like bamboo, cane, wicker and rattan is an emerging trend. Bamboo not only lends an aesthetic look but is also durable and hence used in furniture, wall panelling and even fabrics. Switching to solar power and energy efficient LED lighting is on top of the list for most today. “There are old windows made into mirrors, old doors made into partitions and cupboards and old arches made into consoles today. Cork used in lamps is taken from the bark of the tree which regenerates itself eventually. The faux concrete remainder is again used to make coasters and door knobs” says Radeesh Shetty, director of city-based design studio, The Purple Turtles.

Back in time

There is nothing more fulfilling than pulling out your grandmother’s iron trunk, painting your favourite patterns on it and using it as a statement piece in your living room. Old window shutters can be transformed into accent wall pieces and old doors can either be converted to tables or even wall shelves. The best part about this is that the pieces are exclusive and all of them lend a unique character to your abode. “Upcycling a piece of furniture, art or object that has a history gives you a sense of connect that is often lost in this big busy world. It opens up opportunities for you to be creative and lends a personal touch to the space” adds Shetty.

While customers are more conscious and open to using hand-crafted products, ‘green’ décor is not without challenges. “These products are generally handmade and hence do cost more than other products, however, they are in demand as there is a charm attached to natural materials” says Mumbai-based designer, Minnie Bhatt, adding how it is often difficult to source machines and tools to restore and upcycle antique pieces.

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