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Go Green: Easy Sustainable Design Choices You Can Make This Year

As the owner here at Zenith, I’m often running between meetings with clients and my team, or taking phone calls that keep me pretty busy. But as a lover of all things remodeling, I often stop by a construction site for some good old fashioned demo or find myself nerding out over the latest and greatest brand of countertops. Lately though, I’ve been really focused on Zenith’s designs. As a design + build company, not only do we manage every step of the construction project, we design it too. And I’m going to go ahead and toot our horns- our designs are pretty freaking sweet.

I caught up with our in-house designer, Julieta Linhart, about the biggest trend she is seeing in interior design and our home remodeling designs. She said, without a doubt, that it is: sustainable design choices. I was a little surprised to hear this! I was expecting some of the same things we’ve been hearing for years (gray walls, LVP, different color lower cabinets in the kitchen, etc). I had to know more — so I sat down with Julieta and asked her a few questions about this trend so we can all learn more together.

SUSTAINABILITY + INTERIOR DESIGN

How would you define sustainable interior design?

The ability for a designer to use products that not only stand the test of time esthetically but also through wear and tear. It also means selecting materials that offer a low environmental impact, such as choosing local products to reduce carbon emissions produced by shipping goods long distances.

Why is sustainable design important?

We only have one planet, and we all need to do our part to waste less. We can do that by opting for materials that don't need discarded or replaced so frequently, and implementing greener materials into our homes.

Can you give me some examples of sustainable materials?

Wool carpeting, cork, bamboo, and linoleum flooring, and, of course, tiles made out of recycled materials.

Cork flooring samples — a sustainable and durable flooring option
Cork flooring samples — a sustainable and durable flooring option

Why do you think more homeowners are moving towards sustainable design choices?

I’ve had this discussion with many homeowners. One reason I’ve heard is that they don't want to bring toxic chemicals into their homes, such as the ones produced when products off-gas. Another reason that most mention is because we all have a stake in where the world will be in the future — they want a safe future for their children and grandchildren.

What are some simple ways to implement sustainable design choices in remodels?

The biggest piece of advice I can offer is to spend a little more money to get things you truly like for the long haul. This will mean less items ending up in landfills because something isn’t trendy anymore.

Another easy way is to do research on sustainable materials before going shopping! Think about where your materials are coming from, and what they’re made of. And be sure to ask the salesperson or your interior designer as well.

Do you have a favorite sustainable design choice?

At the moment, it's wool carpeting. It's so soft and beautiful, and I know that it will stand the test of time.

An example of a sustainable design choice: an in-counter compost bucket! This bucket is discreet (and scent-free).
An example of a sustainable design choice: an in-counter compost bucket! This bucket is discreet (and scent-free).

So, there ya have it, folks! What sustainable design choices will you be implementing this year in your designs? What about in your offices or homes? I’m excited to learn more from Julieta about this trend and see more of our Zenith remodel projects with these solutions implemented!!

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