Many clients are very interested today in making their homes more environmentally friendly. This can include anything from the way the architecture of the house is created to take advantage of natural heat, light and airflow, through to ensuring that building products and materials contain non-hazardous substances and are sourced as close to locally as possible.
When it comes to the interiors of the home, there are many eco conscious options available for flooring, walls, and ceiling treatments and materials.
However, one element of a homes interior which seems to be more elusive to track down are eco friendly options for furnishings and fabrics. Yet there are a lot of solutions out there which are available for both reasonable and high-end budgets and which span a wide range of styles from traditional, transitional, rustic and contemporary. Check out the following images to see just how wide the range of options is, proving that there are suitable solutions for every style and budget.
All of the above upholstered pieces are fabricated using natural non-chemical foams, wood from FSC (Forestry Stewardship Commission) sources, no VOC stains, and the fabrics are all natural non-chemical materials and are hypoallergenic.
When it comes to fabrics with an eco-story, look for content containing hemp and bamboo because they are readily renewable resources. Also look for fabrics which indicate recycled content such as recycle post-consumer polyester. Because recycled polyester has a very hard texture, many suppliers are creating fabrics which contain a blend of recycled polyester, bamboo, cotton or other hypo-allergenic materials. How fabric is made and dyed is as important as the material itself. To ensure you are purchasing fabric which is hypo-allergenic, look for the Oeko Tex label. Oeko Tex is an international regulatory body with strict guidelines that manufacturers must follow if they want to market their fabrics to be truly hypo-allergenic. This means that in addition to the fabric itself being safe, there are no toxic chemicals used as dyes or finishing agents.
Oeko Tex Label
There are many furniture solutions out there on the retail marketplace today which are offered at such ridiculously low prices that we get suckered in and are tempted to invest in pieces which are either poor quality construction or contain substances and materials which can be seriously hazardous to our health. With a little effort and wise investment, you can furnish your home while positively impacting you and your families' health.
Be sure to ask the furniture vendor about how the pieces are made, where they are made and what substances are in the product. By furnishing your home with eco-friendly furniture and fabrics, you will have peace of mind knowing that the furnishings you are sitting and sleeping on are complimentary to an eco-friendly lifestyle and pose no risk to your health. Since we have a more intimate relationship with our furnishings, isnt' it obvious that we should be carefully considering our options and investing accordingly? Happy shopping! (image below courtesy of Cisco Brothers)
Kevin Gray is a residential interiors specialist, who has more than 20 years experience in the interior and architectural design industry.