Design Tips

Sustainability Tips from Experts on Interior Design


Looking at interior design through the lens of sustainability may have gotten a few nods from designers in and out of Hong Kong but Liquid Interiors’ impeccable resilience when it comes to sustaining its presence with sustainability at its core remains unmatched. More than sustainability, the interior design firm proudly presents homes that best resemble their clients’ desires realized in their own sanctuary—deeply reminiscent of places they have visited and have once made their hearts sing. Here, we give you some styling and sustainability tips Liquid Interiors stand by throughout their practice across all homes which you can do on your own to kickstart your path towards sustainability AND style in your home.

Realizing these dreams into reality in every home styling is a team effort but it all begins with knowing what you want to be in your home and how you want it to look  and feel with the styling and sustainable choices you make. What type of plants would you want to be inside your house or by the patio? What was that flooring you stepped on while you were in a vacation home one time? How did the kitchen feel in one of the rented spaces you had that you miss dearly? When you have such a personal connection to your space, you will have what is called emotional durability. If the space has meaning to you and it’s well thought out, you won’t want to renovate it again too quickly. This is another way to think of sustainability: making choices that have longevity.

Sometimes, it’s all about knowing these little things and pulling these memories together that will help you in magnifying the direction of your home styling with your chosen designer. Aside from these memories, you will also be needing the right fit of sustainable materials in your home in order to make these happen. Luckily, with Finishing Touches by Liquid Interiors, you can get these realized right after your home renovation, especially if you still find the “full-circle” moment missing. Make it happen through whole home styling and don’t hesitate to send us an email below for inquiries.

1. Use plants as decor.

While pulling these strings of memories to glue them together, in an attempt to find cohesion and order—may it be through colors, textures, and/or patterns—one of the sure ways you can amplify your space, ambiance, and even health benefits is through welcoming indoor plants in your home. There is always a way if there’s a will to make it happen and a touch of life will not hurt if it means something you can lay your weary eyes on after a long day’s work. 

Plants are, on their own, a work of art that is sustainable from top to bottom. Its lifecycle from seed or cutting to full-grown plants is renewed in form of seeds, fresh fruit harvests, or plant cuttings. While inevitable, when plants wilt, it also degrades and assimilates into the soil and essentially one less decomposing trash ending in landfills. Nothing goes to waste as long as you can maintain its integrity as its needs change through time. But, one of the many things you should consider in choosing the plant is what species of plant will you be having to complete the ‘wholeness’ of your home? It’s not only a matter of just putting whatever plants you please but knowing what plants may thrive and benefit you the most indoors.

Aside from their aesthetic and health value, plants also breathe life into your space and your small way of bringing nature into your home through pots of plants in the middle of a busy city and concrete jungle. Indoor plants also elevate your concentration and productivity while you work (now that work from home seems like a better option for most individuals) or while you read the morning paper on one hand, and a cup of coffee on the other. From your freshly brewed coffee may come the next bit of tip we have: coffee grounds as compost.

2. Use your kitchen scraps to make your plant decor flourish

Creating homemade compost is one of the ways you can maximize the life cycle of food waste—like coffee grounds—which can help your plants and fruit-bearing plants thrive more. Less negative impact on the Earth, more positive impact on your plants. Your plants also help decompose compost further and in turn, benefit them, too! One of the easiest and best ways to create your compost is through having a SmartCara that can be stored in a small corner of your kitchen or under a cupboard for easy access. Homemade compost can also be made without a SmartCara but definitely needs more time to be maintained in your sustainable home.

Another option in composting is relying on fermentation through the Japanese practice of composting called Bokashi. This method of composting will require kitchen scraps laid flat inside the tub with an external screw tap faucet right at its lower base. This requires no oxygen penetrating the fermentation process and after two weeks, juice from the anaerobic process may be extracted for use in plants. However, this method is prone to a slightly foul-smelling odour, therefore, recommended for the outdoors. Safe indicators of smell include “sweet and sour” which may seem foul for some but should be okay if that’s the case. For an additional outdoor option, relying on worms is one way of ensuring you have compost to use when you need it.

Your kitchen scraps from cooking can also be used in making your compost. These kitchen scraps can be fruit and vegetable peelings, meat discards, and eggshells used in cooking. A hearty meal feels much better to have when you know you’re able to maintain a zero-waste kitchen.

3. Invest in timeless and reusable homeware for regular days and special occasions.

If you invest in reusables that you really love, you’re encouraged to use them all the time. Make yourself excited by using your dinnerware to create a more inviting experience when eating with your family and friends. On the other hand, single-use plastics are also bad for you financially in the long term; investing in dinnerware makes you crave that togetherness and saves you a lot in the long run. These dinnerwares last a lifetime and complement your built environment, elevating the whole experience of home-cooked meals. Dinnerware that is reminiscent of some colors and patterns in your home help in wrapping the whole home style, down to the details. 

When it comes to the details, using simple tools and materials such as baker’s twine and repurposed nameplates on holidays especially during the Christmas season makes regular dinnerware special. Using different textures in decor for your table settings adds spice and value to the food you serve your guests and stays true to your sustainability practices.

4. Add in a layer of memory into your styling.

Bring in a layer of memory into your styling through hand-me-down or repurposed decor. From pieces of furniture in your old apartment to small objects that remind you of your childhood, don’t hesitate to bring them into your space and let the ambiance breathe life into these objects. If you have items that mean a lot to you, keep them. There’s a difference between hoarding and selectively choosing what to keep. In the end, what you’re left with is a home that’s not only sustainable but also filled with memories.

When people think about ‘sustainability,’ they often think it’s only about what may seem aesthetically pleasing to the eyes that does little to no harm to the natural environment. However, sustainability is more than just what meets the eye; sustainability is a lifestyle one should maintain and practice across their daily activities, may it be in the furniture they have in your home or ways of innovating sustainable practices into their lives. With sustainability in mind comes adapting your style that is best aligned to filling your space with intention—this means not being afraid of using old and vintage pieces of furniture for your home.

When it comes to looking for these vintage fixtures, the best place to look in is in your parents’ home where some pieces of furniture are in good condition but no longer used or some items can be repurposed and still retain their personal connection to you and your family—this is what makes styling exciting and heart-warming. In incorporating these vintage items, you can add in the new and see what works and doesn’t in the space. Remember, you can still move things around whenever and however you wish.

5. Consciously style spaces while helping communities.

Filling your space with intention means being flexible on the use of furniture and space while purchasing furniture and objects that give back to communities in need. Similar to how you can adapt your child’s growing needs, utilize small trinkets and fixtures across your space in different rooms whenever you feel like moving things around. Support thriving, sustainable, and creative communities through entrepreneurs that work with and give back to the community and compensate the artisans’ effort in creating one-of-a-kind and unique pieces for your home.

Be aware and critical of the story behind each piece of furniture and object you buy for your home. Buy from small entrepreneurs who forward causes and carry advocacies that are minority people-centered, use sustainably sourced raw materials, and stay true and authentic to what they do. Considering these not only benefit your home in terms of aesthetic and style, but you also get the chance to share their story through conversations whenever people ask about these items. You also get to help in uplifting their livelihood in the long run.

Pendant Lamp by Hacienda Crafts

One of the companies Liquid Interiors works with is Hacienda Crafts Company based in the Philippines. They work with the underprivileged communities in uplifting their lives through social entrepreneurship on crafts and furniture that is truly sustainable and environment-friendly.

Aside from supporting brands that resonate with what you do, one of the things to look for in any piece of handmade craft is its usability in your space. Consider aesthetic and function in buying items; these make them twice rewarding to see in a small corner in your home while being practical with its use. For example, If you are looking for more options of storing trash while complementing your aesthetic at home, invest in reusable natural weaved baskets. These options are becoming more and more accessible and should not be an issue in helping you transition into a sustainable lifestyle.

Clearly, there are sustainable and more healthful alternatives for what you already have in your home. Now, it is all about switching to these practices that best serve your sustainability and take action with what you can manage. But if you want to make major changes in your home after a major renovation, Finishing Touches by Liquid Interiors is a whole home styling service you can have that will cover the expansive spaces of your home. Reach out to us below and let’s see how we can recreate the space that is going to make your heart sing.

“Quality is Always Sustainable”

For more information, feel free to contact Liquid Interiors, your healthy and eco conscious interior design consultants.

Rowena Gonzales

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