With so much concern over the state of the environment over the last few years, the idea of “going green” has grown from a necessity to an all-out trend, especially when it comes to home decorating. Almost everyone is trying to find ways to make their homes more green simply because being environmentally friendly is not only better for the environment, but it is also often cheaper and healthier.
To respond to the growing demand for green initiatives in the home, trends in interior design have changed to meet those needs. The following are just some of the green design trends for 2012.
Carpet has been one of the most popular types of flooring for decades, but unfortunately the production of carpet is quite taxing on the environment. Not only that, but new carpets are often produced with many harmful chemicals that can release into your home.
When it comes to the world of interior design, you need to be fast to keep up with the changing trends. Future design trends will bring bright home decorating colours to give people a sense of optimism, joy and hope. Materials and light that make up room décor will combine comfort and functionality to create more simplistic, charming and nonchalant home interiors.
Reuse and recycle
Recycling, repurposing and reusing old furnishings and home décor accessories never goes out of style. Items that on their own appear to be old, used or useless can be applied in a modern setting to add rustic charm to a space. Think about ‘60s and ‘70s retro style including shag carpet, refurbished Victorian furniture, and chic wooden accessories.
Various geometric patterns and kaleidoscope-esque designs that will be gracing various fabrics in the future symbolise dynamic changes and allow designers to get creative with colour and texture. For example, animal prints, which are associated with luxury and aristocratic style, add a chic flavour to modern decorating.
In the contemporary business climate, it is increasingly common for customers to not just expect, but also demand information about the environmental impacts of products. Increasingly, customers recognise the need for environmental responsibility and the pivotal role they can play in supporting the reduction of processes and products that cause negative environmental impact.
Essentially, customers want openness and transparency and the provision of clear and appropriately detailed information in relation to the ingredients and environmental impacts of a product — throughout the life of that product. This information and demand applies to a great range of products, including carpets and flooring, building materials, white goods and furniture.
The demand for products and buildings that are sustainable and ‘green’ is definitely growing. This demand is important and worthy, and many companies have picked up on the desire of consumers to purchase and use sustainably sourced and produced and environmentally friendly products. However, the market has become ‘greenwashed’ with no end of companies claiming to be green, committed to sustainability and environmentally conscious.
From cleaning products to food and flooring, what does ‘being green’ really mean?
Unfortunately, there is scope for companies to make all sorts of green claims that cannot actually be substantiated or verified. Upon seeing these marks upon the products that we use, from cleaning products and food to flooring and fuel, confusion can result as to which are actually 100% recycled, 100% organic, 100% eco-friendly and many more such claims.
What does it really mean to be an authentically ‘green’ office? While so many businesses realise and commit to behaving more responsibly toward the natural environment, a standard or framework by which to measure the ‘green-ness’ of your office is very useful.
Particularly since the late 1960s, environmental awareness has grown significantly. Of course, issues of environmental concern are made prominent through the media and, as consumers, many of us show a preference for products made from recycled and sustainable materials and using processes that cause minimal environmental impact. Sustainable carpets and flooring are just one example of this, and much of the flooring produced using recycled and sustainable materials and processes is not only on-trend, it is also of excellent quality.
When retailers turn their attention to the fitout of their spaces, there are many elements that need to be considered in order to create effective and functional interiors. Of all considerations, the selection of flooring is one of the most important and is certainly one of the elements that can deliver the greatest impact.
Why does flooring matter?
For a number of reasons, the flooring used in a retail environment is important. These reasons include:
Business owners increasingly want to create offices that are stimulating, visually appealing and conducive to productivity and effective working practices. Not only do business owners want to offer such workplaces, the best quality employees demand such a work environment.
Awareness and responsibility for environmental protection and sustainability is also guiding the decisions made by a number of business owners in terms of the interiors, policies and practices that are present in their offices. Rather than being tokenistic or an effort to ‘outwardly impress’, an ever-growing number of businesses are assuming a dedicated and proactive stance through deliberate promotion of sustainable processes and choice of sustainable products.
Offices need no longer be boring, uninspiring and sterile places. On the contrary, some of the world’s leading organisations are attracting the highest calibre of staff with their cutting edge and modern office interiors. These companies also recognise that the presentation of an office speaks volumes about an organisation and its approach to business — and no business wants their image to be stale, stagnant or express that they are reticent to embrace new technologies and approaches.
Some of the most innovative office design trends of 2012… flooring, lighting and beyond:
There are many interior design features that effectively enhance office interiors. Flooring, use of lighting and creative use of space are just some of the ways offices are being modified for the better and design trends — coupled with greater flexibility in working arrangements — are reducing demands on office space, increasing the mobility of staff and trimming overhead costs.
Few things are more impressive and inspiring to potential employees than a cool office. Because so much of our days, weeks, years and lives are spent at work, an attractive, comfortable, safe and healthy workplace can make a huge difference to attitude, productivity and loyalty.
Businesses that seek to attract the most qualified, talented and skilful employees to their organisations should recognise the incredible impact that can occur when superior working conditions are provided. A workplace that is ‘cool’ matters and, together with salaries and incentives, factors in decisions about where and how a person will work.
With environmental awareness increasing all the time, owners of private homes and businesses are realising the responsibility they have to nurture and protect the environment through the choices they make. In light of this, it is little surprise that options of environmentally friendly flooring are increasing and growing in popularity.
What is environmentally friendly flooring?
The term environmentally friendly (or sustainable) flooring relates to any type of carpet or other flooring that is produced using sustainable materials and sustainable processes. The use of sustainable materials and processes lessens the impact and demands on ecosystems during the product’s life-cycle, which includes its harvest, production, use and disposal.