Simple and Sustainable Interior Design Ideas for a Healthy Planet

AI Visualization by Persimmon Design

2024 is here and sustainability is the talk of the town! Attitudes toward sustainable design among Interior designers in Seattle and the rest of the world continue to evolve as awareness of environmental issues grows and sustainability becomes increasingly integrated into mainstream design practices.

Sustainable interior design is a philosophy that seeks to minimize our carbon footprint, safeguard valuable resources for generations to come, enhance the well-being of the people who occupy the space, and promote ethical practices within the design industry.

Are you interested in a holistic way of living life in harmony with nature? Then read on to learn about how you can take definitive steps towards a more sustainable future through interior design.

Utilize Sustainable Materials in Your Interior Design Project

When beginning a sustainable interior design project, choose responsibly sourced materials that have less impact on the environment. Here are some materials you can consider.

Local Materials

Prioritizing the selection of local materials for constructing your home can contribute significantly to sustainability by reducing transport emissions, preserving the cultural identity of the region, and supporting local economy. Local materials are already attuned to the climate of the area, so they usually require less maintenance and have longer lifespans.


Did you know bamboo is actually a fast-growing grass instead of a tree? Since it is quickly renewable, it can be harvested in 3 to 5 years, as opposed to traditional hardwoods that take several decades to mature. Unlike trees, bamboo can be selectively harvested without killing the entire plant, allowing for continuous growth and regeneration.

Bamboo is a structurally strong, versatile, and flexible material that can be used in many ways while designing your interiors - from wall panelling to flooring, bamboo is both functional, sustainable, and timeless.

Hallway Design by Persimmon Design featuring Engineered Bamboo Flooring

Hallway Design by Persimmon Design featuring Engineered Bamboo Flooring


Beautiful and environment-friendly, rattan has benefits similar to bamboo when it comes to sustainability.

Rattan is a climbing palm with a rapid growth cycle, can be harvested with low environmental impact, and is biodegradable at the end of its life. Rattan can be used to produce furniture, light fixtures, and décor. It is versatile and can effortlessly blend with different design styles.

Living Room Design by Persimmon Design featuring Rattan furniture

Living Room Design by Persimmon Design featuring Rattan furniture


Terrazzo is a stunning option for surfaces while sustainably designing your home interiors.

Terrazzo is crafted by mixing scraps of used glasses, quartz, granite, and marbles - often making use of the waste left behind from other projects. Long-lasting, versatile, and durable terrazzo can be used to create floors, walls, bathroom sinks, etc. Terrazzo installations can contribute to earning points for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, a widely recognized green building rating system.

AI Visualization by Persimmon Design of Terrazzo surfaces in a Bathroom

AI Visualization by Persimmon Design of Terrazzo surfaces in a Bathroom

Invasive Species

Several interior designers in Seattle and around the world are excited about the use of invasive plant species to craft décor items, ropes for weaving baskets, and even furniture.

Products created from harvested invasive plant species like water hyacinth make use of an unwanted and abundant resource to create sustainable products for your home interior décor.

Some other popular sustainable materials for interior designing are reclaimed wood, Mango wood, recycled metal, cork and linoleum, coconut shells, and natural textiles like organic cotton or hemp.

Recycle and Upcycle

When it comes to sustainable interior designing, recycling and upcycling are two of the most effective methods to achieve stylish and functional spaces that are environmentally responsible.

Here are a few ways to make recycling and upcycling simple, convenient, and beautiful:

Go Vintage

Buy pre-loved furniture and décor for your home from flea markets and thrift stores of Seattle to add a touch of story and character to your home while keeping things sustainable.

Hallway Design by Persimmon Design featuring a vintage console

Hallway Design by Persimmon Design featuring a vintage console

Get Creative

Transform your old furniture and décor items by applying a fresh coat of paint on them. Make a few DIY decor treats for your home using old materials and existing items in house.

Support Sustainable Brands

Look for products that carry recognized sustainability certifications. For example, certifications such as FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) for wood, Cradle to Cradle for overall product lifecycle, or GREENGUARD for low-emission products can be indicators of environmentally friendly options.

Brands that prioritize sustainability often provide information about the materials used, manufacturing processes, labor conditions, trade practices, and environmental processes. Look for transparency in product descriptions on the company's website.

Picture courtesy: @arteriorshome

Picture courtesy: @arteriorshome 

Arteriors’ dynamic home collection consists of over 1800 items across categories including lighting, furniture, wall décor, and accessories.  Many of these products incorporate a broad range of sustainable, biodegradable, and compostable materials in their designs like rattan, coconut shells, teak, mango wood, and abaca.

Energy Efficient Interior Design

Making a few energy-conscious choices can go a long way for sustainable interior design goals.

  • Use energy efficient lighting solutions like LED bulbs - they consume less energy, have longer lifespans, and produce higher quality light.
  • Implement smart lighting systems with motion sensors, timers, or programmable controls. These systems can automatically adjust lighting levels based on occupancy, time of day, or ambient light conditions, further reducing energy consumption.
  • Ensure proper insulation in walls, floors, and ceilings to regulate indoor temperatures. Well-insulated spaces require less heating and cooling, leading to significant energy savings. Choose eco-friendly and sustainable insulation materials when possible.
  • Invest in energy-efficient windows with double or triple glazing, low-emissivity coatings, and insulated frames. These features help to minimize heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer, improving overall energy efficiency.
  • Select heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems with high energy efficiency ratings. Regular maintenance of HVAC systems is crucial to ensure optimal performance and energy savings. Consider using programmable thermostats to control temperatures based on occupancy patterns.
  • Choose energy-efficient appliances with Energy Star or equivalent certifications. These appliances are designed to use less energy while maintaining high performance standards. This includes refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, and other household devices.
Entryway Design by Persimmon Design featuring custom chandelier made from recycled cardboard

Entryway Design by Persimmon Design featuring custom chandelier made from recycled cardboard

Select Adhesives, Paints, and Textiles Carefully

One of the biggest challenges in sustainable interior design is crafting an environment free from hidden pollutants that can compromise your well-being.

Make smart choices about the materials you bring into your home, particularly adhesives, paints, and textiles – the most notorious culprits for releasing harmful toxins into the air.

The term VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds, often found in a variety of products like paints, adhesives, cleaning supplies, pesticides, furnishings, air fresheners, etc. Exposure to VOCs can cause health problems like headaches, nausea, respiratory problems, and can even affect the central nervous system. Make sure to pick paints and other products that emit zero VOCs.

Embrace natural fabrics like organic cotton, linen, and hemp for the textiles in your home. For performance fabrics, seek out the "OEKO-TEX Standard 100" certification, which ensures that the textiles are free from harmful substances.

Source High Quality Products from Craftsmen

In a design world that often feels impersonal and cookie cutter, sourcing furniture, lighting, or décor handmade by skilled craftspeople is a conscious act of rebellion against mass production and in favor of sustainability, community, individuality, and preservation of tradition.

AI Visualization by Persimmon Design

AI Visualization by Persimmon Design

It is time we move past the ‘disposable furniture’ mindset and invest in the talent of traditional craftspeople - they invest their skills and heart into each piece, creating high quality heirlooms that will grace your home for generations. This translates to reduced waste and less frequent furniture replacements, minimizing your environmental impact over time.

Stay away from aisles of mass-produced generic furniture & say hello to artistry. Your home, and the planet, will thank you for it.

Conclusion – A Home in Harmony with Nature

Sustainable interior design might sound daunting at first, but it is a journey of continuous learning and small, impactful choices.

Every decision you make – from choosing a bamboo coffee table to upcycling an old dresser – is a step towards creating a home that's not just beautiful but also responsible.

By following the sustainable interior design tips mentioned above, you can transform your Seattle home into a haven. You'll not only be protecting the planet but also creating a space that reflects your values and fosters well-being.

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