This post has been inspired by Elle Decoration’s feature on Green living in the March issue (2016) and by my recent trip to Nicaragua, which I think no one would object, if I called a country of recycled interior and exterior; this happens out of necessity for creating new things, which has to be done with the old things because of lack of funds and limited resources.

When driving south of San Juan del Sur, I spotted a few properties in the area of Playa El Coco, and one of them had a really attractive-looking garden in the front where tyres were carefully arranged to act as planters; I would normally say, ‘gosh, plants in tyres, what a horrible idea’, but they didn’t look ugly, quite the opposite, they looked really pleasant and I could tell some thoughts went into creating the whole arrangement.

The other day in the city of Leon, I spotted part of the pavement was tiled with the broken pieces of tiles, but so carefully arranged, it looked absolutely stunning, and made a really nice entrance to the property. It also reminded me of an extractor housing my father made out of pieces of broken plates in the house I was brought up in; it still makes quite a feature in the kitchen even now, despite its age…older than me 😉

The question is, can we do it in Europe, and would it suit European style? My motto is to design with innovation that puts people first, so if you want your interior to be eco-friendly, I would say definitely yes. But it doesn’t end with recycling, reupholstering etc. There are actually ways you can demonstrate your commitment to saving the environment by choosing to buy interior items from suppliers who are formally recognised as environmentally-friendly and are also committed to the same cause. These include Eco-friendly fabric makers and suppliers, furniture makers and suppliers and the list goes on.

I really like this statement from ‘Join the green crusade’ by Lucy Siegle and I fully sign under this:

“If a product is made using quality materials, has an authentic story of how it was created and is built to last, it is easier to love.”

Also, if you think about it, you would rather do small things and be part of the solution to a sustainability problem than add to the existing problems.

Wasting less and buying smarter can also be applicable when designing an interior space, so look for products that look good and do good by being sustainably and responsibly sourced and by promoting traditional crafts.

At Katie Malik Interiors we endeavour to promote green living and support suppliers who are committed to sustainability issues; whenever possible we try to support local suppliers and items made in an environmentally-friendly ways.