In this issue of Home Design magazine, we relax with elegant summer designs and interiors. There's also decorating your bedroom, blissful bedding and creating the ultimate Outdoor room.
As another year comes to a close, it’s interesting to reflect. While it has been a year of great uncertainty in many sectors, the design industry has continued to innovate as we’ve seen from the many new releases at design shows both here and around the world. One thing I have noticed — not only from the shows but also from many conversations — is that sustainability is very much back on the agenda.
I’ve been around the design industry for more than 30 years and my interest in the environment and eco-friendly, or Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD), interior design and building was forged in the mid 1970s. Using our precious natural resources in a responsible way just made sense to me so when I started my design practice in the 1980s, designing with longevity in mind was part of my design ethos. In some circles it was seen as a bit alternative, but when people saw and realised that their projects didn’t need to look “alternative” to be eco-friendly, and performed better than expected, no convincing was required.
We don’t see many projects today where there hasn’t been some consideration for ESD, yet I feel there is still a long way to go to encourage and educate not only consumers, but design professionals to practise this way. This applies to all levels, including manufacturing.
It’s because of my passion for ESD that I have many colleagues working in this area of the design and building industries. And it’s also because of my interest in education and promotion of sustainable design that I was approached to partner with Australian Living in its Green Interior Design Awards. Hence, the Home Design Australian Living Green Interior Design Awards were launched recently and I’m delighted to be involved.
These awards are open to industry professionals and homeowners who have created interiors using “green” or eco-friendly products and systems. The awards will be judged by me, along with Daphna Tal from Australian Living and renowned interior designer and TV presenter, Shaynna Blaze, and will be announced in March 2014. For more information and entry criteria visit greeninteriorawards.com.au/how-to-enter/
To give you a taste of some of the “green” interior products available today, we asked Daphna Tal to compile an eco-friendly What’s Hot this issue. Daphna’s choices are just a small selection of what’s on offer and demonstrate that going green looks fabulous as well as being good for you and the environment.
Our story from 100% Design also highlights the growing interest in sustainable design — “focussing on the tension between developing new products and finding sustainable materials — at the right price — in an age of cutbacks and restricted budgets, and in which the buzzwords ‘upcycling’, ‘recycling’ and ‘repurposing’ are foremost.”
At the time of writing, Sydney is experiencing some extremely high temperatures and the bush fire season appears to have arrived far too early. I can smell the fires from where I’m sitting in Sydney’s inner west. It’s events such as this that make me more certain that the houses we design and construct — not only in bushfire-prone areas — must be built to withstand destructive forces and embrace positive natural elements.
While we can’t control the natural environment, we can do much to ensure we look after it so that, in turn, it looks after us today and well into the future.
Kate St James, FDIA