The Ultimate (but easy) Guide to Eco House Designs

A totally green home takes more than just fitting it with good insulation. Here are some easy-to-implement ideas for interior eco house designs.

eco house designs

It’s obviously very important to fit your home with energy efficient insulation and to build your home with eco-friendly materials if you’re committing to a self-build, but you shouldn’t stop there. There are a few eco house designs which you can implement inside that minimise the impact your house has on the environment and your health. Just as important in a home is the wellbeing of the people inside it, and it’s fully possible to prioritise this without compromising on eco-friendliness.

The following six ideas for interior eco house designs include a range of design features which create a healthier, greener atmosphere. Once you’ve finished reading, you’ll have seen just how incredibly easy it can be to bring eco house designs to life.

1. Have lightly coloured walls in addition to large, south-facing windows

We all know the health benefits of living and working in a naturally-lit environment, but as well as having south-facing windows which take advantage of the sun’s journey from east to west you should keep your interior paintwork quite light. You won’t need your lights on for as long because the light paintwork will act much like the moon does and project the sun’s light around each room more effectively than what darkly coloured walls do. You’ll save on your electricity bills and your home’s CO² emissions will decrease. Consider also fitting a skylight. The more natural light you have pouring in, the more you’ll be exploiting nature without destroying it. Eco house designs have never been so cost-effective!

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2. Don’t underestimate the effects of plants in eco house designs

Plants offer many more benefits than standard decorations. Without trees and plants, we wouldn’t have very much oxygen to breathe! By placing various plants around the house you’ll be less likely to need an expensive-to-run air purifier or rely as much on an air conditioning system. As well as providing obvious health benefits, their needs are simple and affordable and they give rooms a more natural appearance. Eco house designs which prominently involve plants are invaluable to your green effort.

3. Use energy efficient lighting for all light fittings

For many modern designs, it’s tempting to have lighting where there are multiple bulbs stemming from one fitting in a stylish, artistic way.

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This can look great, but it’s not conducive to a green home. Occasionally some people say that energy saving bulbs just don’t look as aesthetically pleasing as traditional bulbs. But is it really worth spending out loads more each month on electricity bills because traditional bulbs look a bit more appealing? With energy saving bulbs, you’ll save on energy (obviously), money in both the short and long term, and your carbon footprint.

4. Research products which have a low VOC content

VOC stands for ‘Volatile Organic Compounds’. You may have noticed various products at your local DIY store which have a warning on them about high VOC content or a label stating that they have a low emissivity level. Products which contain high levels of VOC are dangerous for humans to breathe in for long periods of time. For any larger rooms (or all rooms for that matter) you should buy paint and any other required products which have a low VOC content. This is especially applicable if anyone in your home has asthma or a similar respiratory condition. This isn’t the only reason they can’t be included in eco house designs – they’re bad for the environment as well as humans.

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5. Source furniture that’s made from pure, natural woods

Again, this will contribute to your home having a more natural ambience. You can also be 100% sure of what materials have been used in its production and you should hopefully be able to find out where it came from. Engineered woods, often used in flat-pack furniture, aren’t as strong and durable as natural woods. They are more likely to warp as a result of direct sunlight and dampness and are less flexible when it comes to shaping and designing them for multiple uses.

As long the wood comes from a sustainable deforestation project you shouldn’t have anything to worry about in terms of your eco house designs being possible.

6. Consider using recycled materials for both your house structure and for decoration

On top of using sustainable building materials and traditional eco-friendly decorations and designs, why not be ultra creative and use your own recycled products? Things like old bottles and newspapers can be used to make alternative decorative items. It’s possible to use recycled building materials rather than ones which have been newly created. Just because something has been finished with, doesn’t mean that it can’t be used again if it isn’t damaged beyond repair or reuse.

When it comes to eco home designs you can be as subtle or as open with them as you want. Making your interior design eco-friendly is simple, no matter how you want it to look.

Images: Urbanmkr, Lesley, Geordie Barker, Ben & Laura

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