Tips & Trends in Sustainable Interior and Garden Design

In this era where climate change is one of our greatest threats, members of the design community can play a part in promoting sustainable interior and garden design, to reduce energy consumption, pollution and waste and to focus on the future of the planet by selecting products and materials which minimise a negative impact on our environment.

Sash Window Workshop
Replacing and draught-proofing timber windows and doors in period homes in London and the South. The Sash Window Workshop also supply secondary glazing for listed properties.

How can we reduce a negative impact on the environment with sustainable design?

Interior designers and architects are recommending energy from renewable sources and helping to reduce heat loss in the home by installing energy-efficient doors and windows, interlined curtains and blinds and promoting low-energy light sources.

Carpets with natural felt or eco-engineered plastic underlay provide thermal and sound insulation with reduction of up to 10% heat loss in rooms.

Crucial Trading
Crucial Trading: Natural flooring from wool to sisals, jute, coir and seagrass. Featured: Sisool Rock in ‘Clay’ colourway.

How can we avoid toxic materials in the home to protect our health?

Search out paints which emit low VOC (volatile organic compounds) or air pollutants.

Paint & Paper Library
Paint & Paper Library: Paints are manufactured and distributed in the UK, using the highest quality eco-friendly ingredients which emit minimum VOCs.

If you are specifying wallpapers, use non-toxic wallpaper adhesives.

Natural plaster wall finishes, Venetian polished plaster, is made from fired limestone and water (lime plaster). This surface is antibacterial and fire-resistant and also provides additional insulation for walls.

Perucchetti Plastering hand-painted a Japanese Blossom design on Venetian Polished Plaster in a project for interior designer Annabella Nasetti.

Plants are natural air filters which are decorative additions to every room in the home.

Expose your home to natural light and fresh air throughout the seasons.

How can we shop sustainably?

Specify wood flooring and furniture made from timbers with an FSC label (Forest Stewardship Council) from sustainable sources, such as bamboo.

Maitland & Poate
Maitland & Poate: Specialists in reclaimed encaustic cement tiles, terracotta tiles and hand-painted cement tiles reproduced to provide the authentic ambience of an original floor. They also supply eco-friendly VOC and solvent-free lime paints.

Natural stone, porcelain or ceramic tile, terrazzo, poured concrete and leather floor tiles are all sustainable choices for floor and wall finishes.

Invest in fabrics made from renewable materials for soft furnishings and window treatments; include those made from green plant fibres, natural organic cotton and linen, silk, wool, cashmere and alpaca.

Retrouvius shares their experience of integrating salvaged materials into design projects and inspiring their re-use in the ‘Reuse In Action’ section of their website.

Take a creative approach to interior design exemplified by Retrouvius, a company that provided the inspiration for innovative recycling, repurposing and upcycling products since 1993, promoting a ‘make do and mend’ ethos in interior design.

When shopping, think quality over quantity. Buy furnishings that are easy to clean and maintain, durable and classic in design – think long-term investment rather than short term trend. Introduce antiques and vintage design to contemporary schemes.

Hypnos are credited with a pioneering approach to sustainability in manufacturing beds; they use only natural and sustainable materials and no synthetic foams and are the first carbon neutral bed maker in the world.

Consider the process of manufacturing involved in every item you buy from beginning to end. Hypnos Beds won the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development. Mattresses and beds are recyclable and made in 100% biodegradable, anti-allergenic natural products. Hypnos worked with Red Tractor’s assured farms to source completely traceable and certified British wool and the Better Cotton Initiative, which traces cotton supply and works to support sustainable sourcing of cotton. All Hypnos bed bases are made in FSC timbers.

Urban Front
Urban Front: Natural hardwood contemporary, steel reinforced doors, hand-crafted in Britain with high insulation properties.

The journey to sustainable interior and garden design begins with awareness; where and how items are sourced; the individual elements that become the finished product; the longevity of each item you select, denying a throw-away culture – a creative consciousness about how decorating your home has an impact on the future of the environment.

Sustainable Sourcebook

Antique Furniture & Accessories

Appley Hoare

Decorative Collective

Guinevere Antiques

Julia Boston

Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler Antiques

Antique Lighting

Alison Carroll Antique Chandeliers

The English Lamp Company

O’Keeffe Antiques

Norfolk Decorative Antiques

Antique Rugs & Textiles

Francois Gilles

The Rug Studio

Architectural Salvage


Westland London


Hypnos Beds

Natural Bed Company

Bed Linen

Chalk Pink Bed Linen

Carpets & Rugs

Alternative Flooring

Anta Scotland


Crucial Trading

Fleetwood Fox

Gideon Hatch



Roger Oates Design

Sinclair Till Flooring


Veedon Fleece

Doors & Windows

Ayrton Bespoke

Broadleaf Timber

The Sash Window Workshop

Urban Front

Floor & Wall Tiles

Habibi Moroccan Tiles & Interiors


Mandarin Stone

Maitland & Poate

Garden Antiques

Architectural Heritage


Garden Furniture


Leather Floor Tiles

Benson Studios

LED Candles


Low VOC Paint

Edward Bulmer Natural Paint

Paint & Paper Library

Maitland & Poate (lime paints)

Restored Antique Bathroom Products

Water Monopoly

Salvaged Furniture & Fireplaces

Westland London


Venetian Polished Plaster

Perucchetti Studio

Vintage/Upcycled Furniture & Accessories

AU Bespoke

Derwent House Living

Fiona McDonald

Hoarde Vintage

Turner & Cox

Wood Flooring

Broadleaf Timber


Solid Floor

Click here to read more inspiring and informative blog posts from our members. Read about Tips for Health and Wellness at Home.

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