News – Eco Interiors

A housebuilder thinks eco-credentials should be more than skin deep

Lorna Blackwood
From 2016 all new homes must be zero carbon – but what about the interiors? Housebuilders are going to great lengths to achieve government targets, but all too often their contribution to green living ends once the property has been built.

So Berkeley Homes has decked out the show apartment at its Kingsbrook Park development, in Canterbury, using entirely “eco” products. The company has worked with Love Interiors to create a show apartment, pictured above, filled with eye-catching pieces with eco-credentials. They hope to influence the buying habits of visitors.

For the bigger pieces, the company chose locally produced furniture, cutting down the carbon footprint. “We’re also keen on customising existing pieces of furniture,” explains Jo Love, of Love Interiors. “It harks back to the 1950s attitude of ‘mend and make do’, which also results in bespoke one-off items.”

The artwork is all on unbleached, organic hessian fabric. Organic cotton bed linen, sustainably sourced wooden coat hangers and hand-blown glass vases using recycled materials are other green highlights.

This trend for eco-interiors is also popping up elsewhere among housebuilders, an industry increasingly mindful of its contribution to the UK’s carbon emissions. The Environment Trust in Sheffield kitted out the show flat in the Bright Green Homes Scheme with bargains from websites such as eBay and the Freecycle internet network. At Hillside Hub, an affordable housing scheme in Harlesden, northwest London, the developer Real has commissioned One Eco Home, a specialist interior design firm, to show how ethical, environmentally friendly materials are within reach of even the most cash-strapped of first-time buyers.