Luxury and Green: Designing an Eco-Friendly Home

The Earth’s resources are not in a good shape these days; so, what else is new? For centuries, humanity has been acting recklessly when it comes to nature, and now the time has finally come to fix what can be fixed. That’s why we have so many “green” movements in fashion, food production and other areas. While all these are small steps in the good direction, eco-friendly construction might be the thing to make the biggest contribution. Make no mistake; an eco-conscious house doesn’t have to mean you need to make design compromises. You can make it both green and luxurious. Here is everything you need to know about that.

Sustainable building materials

Regardless of whether you are building a house from scratch or remodeling your home, you need to use green building materials. Those are materials that have a low environmental impact. They are natural, durable, recyclable and reusable.

Some of the most frequently used environmentally-friendly materials in construction are cellulose, paints and wood treatments without solvents and chemical additions, quarry wastes, recycled glass and plastic, reclaimed wood, bamboo, cork, etc.

How does a green home work for you?

It is vital to realize that making your home eco-friendly is not a sacrifice. It is a project that will prove to be worthwhile in a short time. Not only will you make your house a healthier environment for your family, but you will also save money in the long run by lowering your energy bills. In fact, you can even get financing for home improvements which include energy-saving upgrades. These programs offer up to 100 percent financing with the option of paying for the cost of the project in a period of 30 years.

Smart energy-efficient upgrades

The first step toward a green home is to improve your property’s energy-efficiency. Here are some of the projects to consider:

  • Improve the insulation, but make sure you are using an eco-friendly insulating substance, such as sheep’s wool, cotton or Icynene.
  • Install multi-pane windows and insulated window frames – these things could pay for themselves in a matter of a few years.
  • Get a high-efficiency heating system.
  • Use solar panels to harvest solar
  • Get a tankless water heater or a high-efficiency pump
  • Install LED lighting throughout the house and use solar lamps for the outdoors.
  • Use motion sensor lights.
  • Get Energy Star-rated appliances.

Eco-friendly structural features

A “green” home doesn’t only refer to sustainable materials. There are ways to create energy and heat by incorporating different design features. These include an open concept which allows the free flow of air throughout the space. All the rooms that are part of the open floor plan will get plenty of heating, cooling, and natural light. The smaller the house, the smaller the environmental footprint it leaves, but that doesn’t mean you have to skimp on square footage. You can build vertically. Also, consider ditching traditional staircases, as they interrupt the light and air flow. Spiral stairs are a better option.

Green up your interior design

How you design the space plays a huge impact on the eco-friendliness of your home. We’ve already mentioned something about choosing sustainable construction materials, but that’s not all. This also goes for fabrics and textiles used in the décor. For example, choose a wool or jute rug for your (bamboo, cork or reclaimed wood) floors. Use organic cotton for the bedding and upholstering. Furthermore, you can fill up your home with houseplants, which not only look beautiful but also purify the air in a natural way. You can maximize that potential by going for a green wall.

Be smart

Modern day technology is working along with tendencies in eco-friendly construction to support the preservation of resources and money savings for individuals. Home automation is one of the most sought out features for high-end buyers, and it is finally becoming affordable to the average homeowner as well. You should seize the moment and bring a sense of luxury to your home with gadgets like a smart thermostat, remote control lighting and similar, which also save energy.

Eco-friendliness and luxury don’t have to be on the opposite ends of the spectrum. In fact, when you think about it, many of the green innovations bring a modern touch into your home. Just look at the large windows that let in plenty of natural light and sustainable interior materials like reclaimed hardwood flooring. Investing in greening up your home today can mean a great deal for the future, and not only for yours and your family’s, but also for the future of this world, so think about it. What do you have to lose?

 

Tracey Clayton
Author, HighStyleLife
 
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