As the summer months start to fade away and the days get colder, we naturally spend more time indoors. It's important to create a home that is clean, cosy, stylish and kind to the environment. New Zealanders of all ages are becoming more aware of how what they buy affects the planet. There are plenty of design and technological innovations on the market today that help create an ecologically sound and stylish home. From bringing nature indoors to re-using older materials or the latest developments in the internet of things, here are four key trends for 2018.
Grow your own
One of the most enduring eco trends is also the simplest: plants. Even if you live in a top floor apartment, there are ways to incorporate plants into your home. Not only do they look great, plants help purify the air and you can eat some of them. For the complete novice, mint and rocket are both incredibly easy to grow and useful for cooking. If you are more ambitious, a living wall or green roof is a modern and cool garden addition in a smaller space. Another option that looks great and works for smaller apartments is a terrarium, which can contain cacti and bonsai trees. If you are based in Auckland, Bioattic on Ponsonby road is a perfect place to look for inspiration.
Cleaner indoor air
Keeping your home clean and safe should be at the top of anyone's interior wish list and that can start with something as basic as the paint you use. Choosing a paint that is low in volatile solvents means fewer fumes when painting, and cleaner air. Look for paints that are free from formaldehyde, benzene, fungicide and insecticides.
Using less gas in our homes is another way to make them kinder to the planet. If you can, go for an electric stove top and heat pump.
Solar panels are another smart home investment, they help reduce your power bills and add value to your home. The price of solar panels has dropped steadily over the years and now average between $8,000 and $12,000 after installation.
The internet of things
Using modern technology to create a smart home is a big trend in building and interiors. These days there are all sorts of systems to remotely control your home appliances, saving time and money and helping the environment. One example is remotely controlling the temperature of your home with systems like Nest, or controlling your lightbulbs using your phone.
Reusing salvaged and recycled fittings
If you are renovating your home then minimising the waste involved and the amount you spend are important considerations. One way to do this is by finding materials that are ripe for re-use. Most carpenters will be able to help add character by using old materials in a new way. One example could be to buy a vintage set of drawers and incorporate them into a fitted wardrobe. You could re-enamel your existing bath rather than buying a new one. When it comes to interiors, vintage pieces look great in modern environments and if you can nab a hand me down, even better! Old lamps can be rewired, vintage curtains made into cushion covers and dark wood sanded down and painted. Look out for mid-century design gems or classic Persian rugs that hold their value and add individuality and comfort to your home.
Once the design and tech elements are in place, keeping your home clean is where ecostore comes in. ecostore cleaning products are free of harmful chemicals and microbeads, and are made using plant and mineral-based formulas. You can minimise plastic use and save money by opting for their bulk size cleaning products.