Most people never even think about a vegan lifestyle with regards to their home. In fact, when I mention vegan interior design, the answer I get…“Is there such a thing?” You might be wondering, what does it really mean?
A popular misconception is that being vegan is just a dietary choice. That is true since most vegans that I know, start with the choice to remove animal products from their diet. However, being vegan really means a person who does not eat or use animal products. This is where interior design comes in. From the furniture to the finishes, you are creating a beautiful sanctuary to live in. At the same time, you are refraining from the use of animal and animal by-products. Vegan interior design is all about designing and decorating in a sustainable way without getting rid of the functionality, comfort and luxury feel of your home.
Understanding Interior Design
Interior design is a part of your daily life. It serves functionality that is suited to your personal needs and lifestyle, according to MODSY’s Interior Design 101. It is the way you experience spaces. Also, interior design is how you carefully design and aesthetically decorate rooms or buildings. For instance, space, line, form, light, color, texture and pattern are all elements that work together. They either enhance or hide the features of your living space.
Benefits of Vegan Interior Design
What’s so special about vegan interior design? Veganism is the practice of excluding all forms of abuse, exploitation, and killing of innocent animals and puts a strong emphasis on sustainability. As a result, it reduces our carbon footprint. For example, our daily activities commonly use livestock which produces an excessive amount of greenhouse gases that harm the environment. According to Vegan Interior Design by Aline Dürr, did you know that one single sheep can produce as much as 30 liters of methane each day? A standard 9’x12’ wool rug requires the wool from roughly 18 sheep. Finding alternatives that eliminate animal exploitation and reduce waste of Earth’s resources are intrinsically linked in vegan interior design.
Vegan interior design can improve your health. For example, leather or fur use chemicals or preservatives to create longevity and durability. This results in allergies, asthma and even hormonal imbalances. Using non-animal products reduces the amount of chemicals and preservatives in the materials used in your home. Veganism may seem overwhelming, but with conscious practice, you can naturally integrate this lifestyle in your space.
Alternative Vegan Materials and Products
What alternatives can you choose that are sustainable and cruelty-free? Common non-vegan materials include leather, wool and fur. There are many simple alternatives that you can incorporate into your home. Faux leathers can replace natural leather. Innovations in plant-based materials are growing. They are becoming more accessible, such as pineapple or cactus leather. Organic cotton can replace wool. It is a softer material that can make your home more comfortable and cozy. Carpeting alternatives are commonly replaced with soybean fiber or bamboo. The most popular replacement for fur is faux fur. This feels and looks like the animal version, but it is cruelty-free. Other vegan materials are linen, polyester, hemp and microfiber material. Check the material composition of the products you have selected to use in your home. Often they are a blend of different fibers.
When it comes to textiles and flooring, it is important to use alternatives that still embrace the natural feel of the home, building or public space. Cork, rubber, linoleum, bamboo, concrete and reclaimed hardwood are just a few of the options for vegan flooring. Many options are vegan, but it is still important to check the chemicals used in preserving the textiles. They can have a huge impact on your health and how long a product lasts for. Some of the finishing ingredients come from animal by-products but are not known or understood as such. My motto is to keep asking questions to make sure what you are purchasing is animal-free.
Progress, Not Perfect!
This brief overview of vegan interior design is to show some of the benefits of welcoming cruelty-free energy into your home. Choosing vegan interior design creates change. Vegan alternatives produce results without compromising style, function, enjoyment and health while respecting animals and the Earth. Want to learn more? Check out our Youtube channel for more information from Risha Walden, the founder of Walden Interiors!
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