By Amelia Skin from Semper Interiors
Amelia Skin is the creative director and owner of sustainability focused interior design studio, Semper Interiors. Struggling to balance her love of design with the wasteful approach of the construction industry, Amelia created Semper Interiors with the intention of creating thoughtful, soulful spaces. All Semper Interiors projects are created with a slow fashion approach, with Amelia designing and curating for longevity in both quality and aesthetic, and supporting local tradespeople, artisans and suppliers. Inspired by Amelia’s unparalleled eye, we reached out for her advice on how to style a sustainable interior space.
Creating a beautiful and conscious space at home or at work can be a simple task if you make considered choices in the furniture and lighting you use. Below, I’ve created a short but considered list of how I make my spaces more environmentally conscious and sustainable.
Buying furniture that is designed and manufactured in Australia not only supports local businesses (especially during the current pandemic), it also cuts down on transport emissions and excess packaging required to ship furniture long distances. I prefer to specify local Australian designers as their processes are more transparent, and most of them will tell you exactly where their materials are sourced from. The best part of buying local is you can find completely original pieces you can cherish forever!
For pretty much my whole life, my approach to purchasing anything has been either buying quality, something I can have for a lifetime, second hand and vintage items, but best of all, all of the above. I also apply the same ethos to furniture. There are an increasing number of amazing vintage furniture stores popping up all over Australia.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times when furniture just gets to the end of its life. However, if you have followed my previous advice to buy local and vintage furniture, you will generally have bought far better quality products than some of their flat-packed counterparts. This means when they start to look worn and tired, a lot of the time they can be re-upholstered, painted or varnished, and will end up reinvigorated, looking like a whole new piece.
A company doing some amazing stuff in creating pieces from recycled construction material is Five Mile Radius (Brisbane).
There are a few easy ways to light your space in a sustainable way:
You can also purchase from sustainable vendors. Many local vendors will provide sustainable options and buying from them, once again, means supporting small business. One of my favourites is Marz Designs. They not only use gorgeous timbers and natural materials, but they are also members of the One Tree Planted program – which means a tree is planted with every purchase made.
If you are considering doing more than a cosmetic face lift, not all finishes are created equal. Materials like cork and bamboo are great sustainable solutions for hard surfaces such as flooring and joinery. There are some lesser known sustainable options for fabrics and upholstery and, if you are wanting to re-upholster your current couch, chair or cushions, I recommend looking into Piñatex leather which is a vegan leather alternative made from waste pineapple leaf fibre. Another fabric company doing some amazing work in sustainable innovation is Kvadrat.
I’ve really struggled keeping this list concise and honestly could speak about conscious interiors ad nauseum. However, I’ve had to be brief in this introductory guide to making your space kinder to the planet. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope I’ve encouraged you to transform your own space!
Good things only delivered to your inbox every fortnight, with tips for self-care and sustainable living.