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Interior inspired by Jungle

Nature is a big inspiration for interior designers. Its patterns, prints and colors bring something beautiful into each home, they provide warmth and reunite people with nature. That is why designers love playing with natural colors and patterns and such trend that marked 2016 is still on top of the design lists. Jungle prints, with various animal patterns and colors is something that you should always opt for in your home if you like earthy undertones and calming atmosphere. So why not try this trend this year as well?

Introduce Plants

Just a few plants can greatly change the atmosphere in your home. If you add a few exotic plants, you will get the wild atmosphere with a few mesmerizing leafy accents in each room. Dining room is perfect place for introducing nature and you can start off with placing a bigger branch in some weird shape on the shelf. Also, tropical plants with big leafs will look great by the dining room window or in the corner of your living room. The best tropical plants for such decoration are TI plants, Alocasia, Colocasia, Philodendrons and other big leaf plants. 

Clash of Exotic Colors

This trend brings a lot of bold, vibrant colors and various patterns with plenty of mixing of the different materials and fabrics. The colors that dominate are orange, purple and greens mixed with materials such as bamboo and wood in order to bring nature inside. Opt for heavy and dark furniture that make a great foundation for all the vibrant colors that you can incorporate through throw pillows, carpets and different seating. Also, decorating your walls with fabrics, setting up interesting paneled silk screens and various bold lanterns will bring the spirits of the wilderness into your home and make it more dynamic and homey. 

Bring Rattan Back

Rattan has found its way back into our home décor, both on the inside and outside. This strong retro material is perfect for living room seating and it makes a nice decorative piece. Also, this material is eco-friendly and it can have many shapes and uses. Thus, you can try incorporating it into your interior design through furniture, lighting fixtures or turn it into a 3D art in some modern shapes or some more rustic, traditional styles. Nevertheless, a few chairs and a bench made of rattan and covered with some animal print throw pillow with provide the airiness and comfort your home needs. 

Go Monochromatic

Some people just don’t like their homes to be packed with dynamics of vibrant colors. That is perfectly okay, but there is way to pay respect to this trend and still make your home minimalistic. Opt for a monochrome look that isn’t too boring. Choose color palettes in the shades of beige, cream, black and brown. Play with lighter and darker shades of these colors and preserve the elegance. Add a few pops with fabrics in animal print, but stay subtle. Also, if you have a favorite zebra print, use those colors on your walls, windows or flooring. The design will still be monochromatic, but it will have a fun little twist to break the monotony. 

Animal Print Artwork

Artwork will make your home look more sophisticated, and if you do it with animal print, you will have mesmerizing elegance in the room. Introducing such artwork is perfect for people who fear that their home will look like an exaggerated African safari. What you have to do is keep the colors of your furniture and accessories in some neutral earthy colors, while your artwork can consist of various jungle patterns. Lay a few pictures above the sofa with fun animal prints, such as zebra, giraffe, tiger and leopard, and only add a few more hints of jungle through your plants or throw pillows. If you keep the rest of the colors in some neutral shades, this astonishing artwork will get all the attention while tying the whole design into a sophisticated look.

If classic modern looks are way to minimalistic for your personal preferences, you can always rely on nature. Introducing nature into our homes is a big trend of 2016 and jungles are a perfect inspiration for any professional or amateur designer. Don’t be afraid to mix, match and experiment with various prints and fabrics, and your home will have the dynamics of a forest, while preserving its comfortable atmosphere.

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Sophie Andersen

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6 Fantastical Lighting Fixtures

These 6 fantastical fixtures light the way to whimsy.

Wink sconce in rayon and iron plated in 24-karat gold by Houtique.
Lapilla magnetic wall lamp in powder-coated aluminum by Ronda Design.
Glenn, Ted, and Bert sconces in ceramic and aluminum by Moooi.
Stalagmite table lamp trio in glazed ceramic by Roche Bobois.
Conduit Incline table lamp in stoneware and brass by John Sheppard.
Owl lamp in aluminum and braided nylon by Jamie Wolfond.

Read next: Ionna Vautrin’s TGV Lamps Go from Train to Tabletop

> See more from the April 2019 issue of Interior Design

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The Intrinsic Need for Healthy and Sustainable Materials

04.08.2019

Carolyn Ames Noble

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The built environment accounts for over two-thirds of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. In the majority of the places we live, work and play, research has realized that indoor air quality is more polluted than the outdoors, even in the largest industrialized metropolitan areas. This is cause for concern because humans spend over 90% of our time indoors.

The case for healthy and sustainable materials in this time of turbulent climate change is ubiquitous. Sustainable materials help reduce carbon emissions and nurture the overall health of the planet. Harmoniously, healthy materials produce meaningful eudemonia to the inhabitants of the space.


WasteBasedBrick Composition, StoneCycling

These types of holistic spaces are vital, fundamental to the health and equity of humans and to the health of the planet. There’s also an intrinsic and perhaps even a philosophical need for these materials in our dwellings. In the future, perhaps these materials should become the baseline for all building projects.

A Look at Organizations

There are many admirable organizations that support healthy and sustainable design philosophies, included and not limited to:

McLennan Leaves His Handprint on Sustainable Design

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American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), founded in 1975, champions that “design impacts lives” and uses evidence-based design and research to demonstrate how.

USGBC began its LEED program mission in 1993. Twenty-six years later, LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building, community and home project types, LEED provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings.

The International Living Future Institute (ILFI), founded in 2009, defines its mission to make communities socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative. The ILFI’s Living Product Challenge is a philosophy first, advocacy tool and product certification program that defines the most advanced measures of sustainability in product manufacturing today. The Challenge is comprised of seven performance categories called Petals:

  • Place
  • Water
  • Energy
  • Health and happiness
  • Materials
  • Equity
  • Beauty

Launched in 2014 after years of extensive research and development across disciplines, the International Well Building Institute (IWBI) strives to revolutionize the way people think about buildings. It explores how design, operations and behaviors within the places where we live, work, learn and play can be optimized to advance human-health and wellbeing. IWBI offers the WELL certification program focused on seven guiding concepts:

  • Air
  • Water
  • Nourishment
  • Light
  • Fitness
  • Comfort
  • Mind

The mission for viable buildings starts with the people, processes and products that comprise them.

The Product: A Cascade for Sustainability

Wall finish and flooring selections are fundamental on the six planes of interior selections. Paint color is appointed perfectly with coatings like Sherwin-Williams Harmony, which was a green industry-first in 2001. Harmony meets the most stringent VOC regulations and has achieved GREENGUARD Gold Certification satisfying LEED v4 v4.1 criteria. Its additional qualities of odor-eliminating and formaldehyde-reducing technologies help improve indoor air quality by reducing VOCs from possible sources such as cabinets, carpets and fabrics.

 

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Regarding color for spaces of vitality and retreat alike, Emily Kantz, interior designer at the Sherwin-Williams Company, recommends the following palettes:

“The Electric Exploration palette features the striking Rivulet, Rejuvenate and Izmir Purple. These colors bring energy and life into the space. The Off the Grid palette is a breath of fresh air with the nature inspired colors of Almond Roca, Copper Mountain and Cascades, bringing the earthy elements of the great outdoors inside to give us a sense of health and well-being.”

Mohawk Group has a suite of Living Product Challenge Petal-certified flooring including:

  • Lichen carpet plank
  • Nutopia carpet plank
  • Nutopia Matrix carpet Plank
  • Sunweave broadloom/area rug
  • Pivot Point enhanced resilient tile


Mohawk Group SmartFlower Installation, Mohawk Group

Representative of the Living Product Challenge, Sunweave’s Petal Certification aims to leave a handprint rather than a footprint. Mohawk Group engaged in a special handprinting partnership with Groundswell to install 10 SmartFlower solar systemsin underserved communities and at educational institutions with STEM programs across the U.S.

George Bandy Jr., chief sustainability officer at Mohawk Flooring North America, considers the designer’s role expanded well beyond the typical project scope to being the connector between carbon and social change. He asks, “How can the designer bring the enormity of the climate change issue to each individual client and make it personally relevant?”

He considers his own place in the design industry as CSO not as a career pinnacle, but instead part of a greater journey that began in the 1990s at the University of Texas – Houston. He served as the Chairman of the USGBC and worked alongside Ray Anderson at Interface before joining Mohawk Group three years ago.

At Mohawk, Bandy also sees himself as the connector – in his case, connecting the dots between the internal and external product creation, between the industry and the community. He envisions the product as a cascade for sustainability, utilizing sustainable practicesthroughout manufacturing, and leaving a lasting, positive social impact on the communities where Mohawk plants are located.

Waste Reimagined

Striving for a circular economy, designers have reimagined, repurposed and reused what was supposed to be waste. A category of new and innovative composites from plastics and other discarded materials has been invented. Foresso is such a composite: a sheet material composed of timber and wood waste from sawmills.

Conor Taylor, creative director at Foresso, says, “We consider ourselves very lucky to get to work with timber every day, the richness of wood adds warmth to interiors and can make any space more welcoming. Nowadays it is hugely important to consider the sustainability of our work so we endeavor to use every part of the tree in Foresso and hope that by doing so we can encourage others to make the most of this incredible material.”


Foresso Charcoal Mono Detail, Foresso

Tom van Soest and Ward Massa founded StoneCycling in the Netherlands in 2013, their shared vision that the need for reimagined waste products was also the opportunity. They created a building material whose main input is the waste output from construction sites, which massively pollute the earth. Their product, WasteBasedBricks, which as an early prototype was conceived in a homemade industrial blender, has evolved – and their circular and sustainable products are being used across Europe and the U.S.


Ward Massa + Tom van Soest, StoneCycling

Also a product of the Netherlands, the tulip may be the single most iconic image from the region. In fact, 77% of the world’s tulips come from this small country of 12 provinces, comprising for roughly two billion tulips. “Strangely, the most beautiful part of the flower, the head, has no economic value except being a coveted photo object of many a tourist,” says Tjeerd Veenhoven of Studio Tjeerd Veenhoven. By a process of extraction from what would be the waste residual of the dried flower head, pigment is distilled. Color is a wonder in this artisanal process, and applications range from uses in finger paint to biological plastics.


Tulip Pigments, Studio Tjeerd Veenhoven

Mother Nature Engineered

In the quest to save Mother Nature, nature itself is investigated and replicated. Bolt Threads developed Microsilk after studying the silk spun by spiders and produced their own protein. Whereas 60% of fabric fibers are petroleum based, Microsilk is generated mostly of sugar. Bolt Threads has partnered with iconic brands such Patagonia and Stella McCartney. The company currently doesn’t have any specific plans for the interior design material industry, though the brand is excited about what the future holds and will continue to introduce new materials for a more sustainable world.


Bolt Threads Necktie, Bolt Threads

Renee Hytry Derrington, vice president and global design lead at Formica Corporation, reports of the company that the past several years, Formica has introduced a suite of sustainability décor-based products including Reclaimed Denim Fiber and Paper Terrazzo patterns. Reclaimed Denim Fiber is real reclaimed denim fiber made from post-production waste collected at cloth production mills, embedded in paper. No one sheet is alike due to the natural papermaking process, which will be seen as a slight linear direction to the laminate sheet. Paper Terrazzo utilizes small fragments of post-production solid color paper that would otherwise have gone to waste. These paper chips are re-used to create a new paper sheet that is 30 percent reclaimed material. This paper technique uses small-batch craft production so that each sheet is unique and natural.

Bio-based plastics are forecasted to be a $35B business by 2022. Corn starch, sugar, cooking oil and even waste avocado stones are re-engineered for use in this material category. Algae and fungi-created materials will continue to bloom in use and scale. And designers continue seeking solutions reimaging the ultimate waste product – carbon – itself.

“In the future, healthy and sustainability materials will be considered the standard and not called out as special or unique. This will be the result of product designers reusing and reducing waste, considering the human interface and thinking about the environment during the design process,” predicts Hytry Derrington.

Next Up: Creating Unique Glass Lighting Fixtures | NCAA Final “Floor” for the Final Four Revealed

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Why Upper Kitchen Cabinets Aren’t Actually Necessary

No matter how svelte, how knobless, how blindingly white they are painted, upper kitchen cabinets take up a whole lot of head space in a room that benefits hugely from cleanliness and fresh air. So why not get rid of them? Traditionalists will, of course, object—then where do you want me to store all my glasses and plates?—but the fact is that many designers are doing just that, designing kitchens as open and airy at eye level as any other room in the house. Sure, deciding against (or ripping out) upper kitchen cabinets might require some paring down of your kitchenwares—take Marie Kondo’s best tips to heart, if you go the purge route—but reluctant maximalists can surely find other places to store the overflow: a shelving unit or hutch beside the breakfast table or even a freestanding plate-rack, for starters. The move might not be for everyone (we see you, tiny kitchens, and we know you need whatever storage you can get!) but if you have a little room to play, consider ditching your upper kitchen cabinets altogether—and then running with one of these alternatives on the walls of your newly opened-up space.

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