Of earthy tones, mossy greens


One of the hottest decorating trends for the year 2009 is going green. Scores of fashionable people are showing off eco–friendly interior design styles that are kind to the earth and easy on the eyes.
Earthy tones
Eco–friendly decorating allows you to take care of your planet and simultaneously create an eco–chic look for your home. Eco-friendly decorating allows you to maintain the chic styles that you are accustomed to, while keeping a clean conscience.

You can make your home eco chic in a lot of ways. Whenever you wish to buy new appliances, shop for the most energy-efficient ones you can find. There are ways to make every room in your home a little greener without making major expenditures or detracting from your style. Switch to water-saving toilets and showerheads. Discover art made from recycled items and add plants to help filter the air.

Checking air pollution
Indoor air pollution is a serious dilemma that contributes to a variety of health problems, including asthma, headaches, breathing problems, etc.
One of the biggest contributors to pollution is paint. We all know that paint is an economical way to give your home a fresh look.

Why not make an eco-friendly choice when you are ready to pick up the brush? Choose furniture with natural finishes and organic materials when you make a buying decision. Typical paints release airborne chemicals known as volatile organic compounds or VOCs. These compounds create problems both inside and outside your homes.

Similarly some manufactured furniture too is highly toxic, and like paint, emits high levels of VOCs. It pollutes the air in your home.
The best option, of course, is to recycle furniture. Any time you reuse something, you are avoiding the use of new materials and production costs, plus keeping more items from ending up in the landfill taking up precious space and contaminating the environment.
Fabrics too have gone green. Look for fabrics you know are all natural. One hundred per cent cotton is a good choice, as is silk, linen and wool. Patterns inspired by nature are another big eco-decorating trend.
Both floral, leaf designs and bright colours are all available in the market today in different fabrics. If you are thinking of buying new draperies, bedding, upholstery or pillows, do the earth a favour and choose green fabrics. Not only does all this help mother earth, but all these patterns and colours inspired by nature have a very positive impact.

Eco-friendly floors
Flooring choices can be environmentally friendly too. The most popular flooring material is bamboo, which is easy to work with and non-allergic.
Making your home green sounds like an excellent idea and in many ways, green homes appear to be a step individuals can take to help fight global warming. Whenever you are planning to redecorate, why not move towards an eco-friendly décor? You can achieve a beautiful look and help achieve a green interior by making a wise selection of materials.

Do up your interiors
Decorate with plants. One of the simplest ways to freshen indoor air and clear things out is by using house plants. While artificial plants and flowers add texture and colour to a home, real plants can actually cleanse the air you breathe and add beauty at the same time.

Natural fabrics, as already discussed, are a better way for eco-friendly decoration. For soft and comfortable cushions, bedding and pillows, reject polyester or foam filling and discover how wonderful feather, wool or cotton fills are. You wouldn’t ever want to go back to synthetic fibres.

And these natural fibres are constantly renewable.
Install wool, cotton, jute carpets or rugs which are eco-friendly and beautiful.
Avoid ply wood which emit gases and go for solid wood for furniture. You can’t beat the beauty of natural wood, which is also renewable.
Select surfaces that don’t collect dust and can be easily wiped clean. Avoid textured fabrics for draperies and opt for wooden shutters.  They look neat and sleek, can be custom made to fit any window and are easy to clean when they need freshening. Abstract metal art is chic and some art objects of metal are made of things thrown away by people. It is in fashion, being placed in top 10 trends for 2009, according to most designers. 

Earth tones are hot
With the eco-friendly trend and “going green” lifestyle, nature is in and big, in home décor accessories.

An obvious addition to home décor is the influence of nature’s colour in interior decorating. Earth tones and mossy greens are hot colours.
Natural accessories take the look one step further by using nature’s elements in home accessories.

From sand: Seashells, coral and natural sponges can be worked into any casual décor. A terrarium with sand and small shells can make the cutest accessory in the bathroom by the tub. From the sea: Glass offers much of the same properties as water with the smooth look and feel. Art glass offers a distinctive look, particularly in more modern and sophisticated settings.
With a variety of colours, styles, shapes and price ranges, art glass can slip right into a budget decorating project.

From the land: Sticks and stones. You can use almost anything from nature to make an accessory; large bowls made of twigs have been a hot summer accessory this year.

From the earth: Plants are natural and green as an accessory can be.  You can’t go wrong when you’re decorating with natural elements.

Eco-towns in the UK
As I write this from the UK, I have been reading that four sites have been approved by the UK government for construction of low carbon eco-towns.

They will serve as a platform from which it pioneers and launches the energy-efficient design and infrastructure necessary for lower carbon emission. The eco developments will be fully–equipped with smart meters to measure electricity consumption, community heat services and electric car charging points. Homes will also feature renewable energy technologies draw power from the sun, wind and earth. All schools, shops restaurants and public buildings in the eco-towns will be designed to emit zero carbon. The eco-towns will be powered by local renewable energy sources, small and large scale.

Back in Bangalore
The Leela Palace Kempinski has been recognised as ‘the best eco friendly five star deluxe hotel’. They use eco-friendly chemicals like herbal pesticides for pest control as well as use waste flower and dry leaves as manure. The waste water is treated inhouse in a sewage treatment plant and is used for watering their gardens. Some upscale eco-friendly housing societies are coming up around Bangalore.  Indians are nature lovers. Going green does not mean planting trees only.
Even homes should go green. Every little step helps us maintain this planet for our children and their children.  It’s not hard to follow this  trend of 2009, which is here to continue in the coming years. Going green is more than a trend – it is a way of life.

(The author is an interior designer and decorator, Modccon Interior.  She may be contacted at modcconinterior@rediffmail.com)

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