Sustainability has been billed as a top interior trend for 2019, we’re here to say that sustainability is not a trend, it’s something much bigger than that. The environment has become a focal point of political and social discussion in recent years, with single-use plastics and fast-fashion creating a throwaway culture that has dominated the conversation around sustainability. Sustainability isn’t solely about making small changes every day, it’s also about making long-term decisions to be kinder to our planet and that should include what we surround ourselves with in the places that we work, live and enjoy our down time.
Biophilia, sustainability and handmade pieces are three trends highlighted in interior prediction reports for 2019. Below, we’ve unpicked each trend, emphasising their importance in contributing positively towards the planet and future generations.
Sustainability isn’t the sole responsibility of manufacturers, it’s a change that can also be driven by consumers. Investing in long-term pieces that are crafted using responsibly-sourced, natural materials, is a priority for 2019. Buyer behavior needs to move away from a fast-fashion mentality, where clothes, furniture and flooring get thrown into landfill after 2 years of use.
We recently had a flood at our Cheshire Design Centre. Luckily, we have a wood floor and it was possible to reverse the damage caused. Instead of having to rip the flooring up and start again from scratch, we sanded our wood floor and refinished it. If we had carpet or vinyl it would be irreparable and ended up in landfill. Wood floors, when properly cared for, last for generations and age gracefully. Carpet, vinyl and tile deteriorate with age, if you scratch or stain carpet or vinyl the damage is often irreversible.
It’s ironic that so many man-made products from laminate, vinyl and ceramic floors now go to great lengths to copy a wood look. However, all of these floors totally miss the point of a wood floor which is that they last for generations and you do not send them to landfill when they look tired. There are very few recycling options for the plastics that are used in these products and they cannot be refurbished. We need to address the recycling credentials of man-made floor coverings – even carpets are now made out of plastics that are impossible to recycle and will take hundreds of years to breakdown. Isn’t it consoling to know that the ‘real thing’ is also the kindest to the planet?
Specifying products that are sustainably sourced and environmentally friendly should be on everyone’s agenda. It’s a direct response to protecting the world around us and is something that we have always championed.
Reclaimed wood, whether for floors, walls or ceilings, are the ultimate environmentally friendly surface covering. We’re proud of the fact that 25% of the wood we supply is now reclaimed. From floors made of new wood, 75% is from FSC certified forests while the remainder is PEFC certified or equivalent.
Biophilia has been mentioned in a number of interior trend reports for 2019, it refers to an innate tendency to seek connections with nature. Interior designers and architects have been working biophilia into their projects, using natural materials, greenery and natural light to reflect the outdoor landscape.
It’s of no surprise that we feel calmer and more relaxed in nature and most of us would pick a walk in the forest over sitting in a windowless room any day. Because of this innate desire to connect with nature, architects and designers are rethinking their approach to office space design with the view that it will improve health and wellbeing amongst employees.
Biophilia stretches beyond the realms of office space design and into the home too. Succulents, living walls and plants in general have been a prominent feature of interior design for decades. The health benefit of introducing plants to your home far outweighs the aesthetic benefit too, with plants known to lower certain pollution levels and reduce stress.
Another natural material that improves health and wellbeing is wood. When used in the bedroom, wood is scientifically proven to improve sleep, connecting you to the natural world through its smell, texture and appearance. Not all wood floors are created equal – there’s a big difference between a laminated floor and floors like ours that celebrate texture, character and movement across the board. Where each piece is unique, just as in nature.
There’s evidence that customers today are becoming dissatisfied with the same mass-produced products appearing in the same mass-produced homes. There’s certainly an appetite for more meaningful pieces, pieces that tell a story either through the material they’re made from or the craftspeople making them.
Moving away from a culture of throwaway furniture and impulsive purchases, invest in pieces that you will love for years to come. Home is more than a place, it’s a feeling and filling your home with meaningful pieces helps it tell the story you want it to.
Storytelling sits at the heart of both our handmade wood floors and our antique and reclaimed wood. From the intricate history woven into each burr and knot of our Rare Finds floors to the careful precision carried out by our craftsmen transforming lumber to plank, storytelling is an important part of what Woodworks by Ted Todd is all about.
If you are interested in working floors imbued with history and storytelling into your next project, browse through our Lookbook and order samples of your favourites.