sustainable interiors | small spaces
/ this post contains gifted items from Desenio
As I’m sure you’ll know if you follow me on Twitter, a couple of weeks ago I made the very exciting move from one apartment to another. To some people, this would be a chore, but as a lover of everything interior styling-related, I was incredibly hyped for the opportunity to use newly-purchased-in-anticipation home decor to create a space that motivates, inspires, and relaxes me.
As I haven’t won the lottery yet and therefore am not at the point of decorating and filling a yacht-sized penthouse right now, I’ve been learning how to make the most of a small space when styling it, and I’m assuming you’re in the same (little) boat.
There are various low budget stores out there that create homeware and furniture for small spaces, but it’s really important to me to take into account the sustainability-based values of the brands – this determines whether I’m going to buy from them.
With the number of tips and tricks I’ve picked up on since the move, I hope that I can inspire you to try something new interior-styling-wise or rethink how you use your space in a way that doesn’t damage (and might even support) our gorgeous planet.
When renowned prints store Desenio got in touch with me to collaborate on an interiors-focused blog post, I was so excited to work with a brand that shares my values – they actually plant two new trees for every tree used in the production of their posters.
They’re also supporters of VI Agroforestry, as explained on their website:
Desenio cares about the environment and, because we endeavour to reduce our climate footprint, we are now a proud support company of Vi Agroforestry. The organisation was founded in 1983, and since then has planted over 120 million trees. By planting trees, Vi Agroforestry combats both climate change and poverty in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania, which is where the trees are planted.
TREES COMBAT BOTH CLIMATE THREATS AND POVERTY
Agroforestry, the combination of agriculture, animal husbandry and forestry, is the core principle of Vi Agroforestry. Agroforestry entails the planting of trees among crops and in areas where cattle graze in order to create a balanced ecosystem which is able to withstand climate changes and contribute to increased biodiversity.
Having ordered a couple of prints from Desenio prior to our collaboration, I was already in love with pretty much every product on their site. They very kindly asked me to choose some prints to add to my new apartment, and with a love for gallery walls I was thrilled to have the opportunity to complete my own.
Wall prints are a fantastic way to add personality to a small space without adding clutter. Even if you’re putting thirty prints on a wall, you’ve still got the same amount of room but with a whole lot more personality and style! If you’d like to create your own gallery wall, Desenio are giving you lovely lot 25% off their posters* until the 25th October when you enter the code NATICREATES at checkout!
*except for frames and handpicked-/collaboration posters
Here are the names of my chosen prints!**
Change Your Thoughts
Naked Lines No1
London Pink Door
Helter Skelter Brighton
**I picked up the plant print with pink tiles at an independent store in Shoreditch.
When it comes to displaying your prints, Desenio have the perfectly-sized frame for each one, which is a guaranteed way to save time (and money) looking for the right ones! If you’re in a rented apartment like me, however, hammering nails into a newly painted white wall just isn’t doable. As much as I’d love to incorporate the metallic frames on their website (they compliment each print so beautifully!), I’ve settled for second best by sticking them up with a short strip of white matte washi tape on each corner. I’m not a huge fan of the way brightly coloured and/or printed washi tape looks as I want the sole focus to be on the print itself, and I find using neutral, matte tape that matches the wall is the most subtle way to display them.
Make sure to leave some height above the top line of your prints to add height to the room!
Storage as Decor
This is one which hadn’t occurred to me until my recent move. Think about it: when you buy something – in particular clothing – part of what seals the deal is what it looks like. Whether it’s the colours, patterns, material or style of the item, you’re extremely likely to admire its aesthetics as well as its use.
Well, how about taking it one step further?
Opt for open storage so that you’ve got a place where each item belongs, but you’re doubling its use by creating a little shelf or collection of designs you enjoy. This also doesn’t present you with the age old dilemma of filling up empty shelves with pointless decor like a gold pineapple that serves no function other than gathering dust (I still don’t understand the hype around those).
One popular way to do this is with a clothing rail, but alas I don’t have that kind of space, so I’m using open shoe storage as a way to store (and adore) my go-to pairs for that season.
Yeah, there’s a lot of leopard print. At least those of you that follow me on Instagram are used to it!
Take It Slow
This is a general tip when it comes to interior styling simply on an aesthetic basis and honing in on your taste, but it’s one which I wish I’d employed earlier for the sake of the environment.
The rate at which we consume homeware, gadgets and dust-gatherers is the result of the overwhelming convenience of a city centre TK Maxx and many years worth of marketing that tells us having that vase will make us a better, successful person.
Furthermore, the price that comes with it is genius. By making things so affordable, so many stores make us feel great about our money and like we can buy anything…so we do. Consequently, we (obviously) have less money than we began with and more plant pots that are actually worth around 4p.
Don’t fall into the trap like I have pretty much my whole life, until recently when I took time to educate myself on the fast fashion industry’s impact on the environment and on those who actually create our clothing.
I’ve been talking about this topic to friends since I’ve taken time to actively learn about what I can do day-to-day, and it’s heartbreaking to realise how little knowledge is out there on the topic.
Fashion is the second biggest polluter on our planet, and I doubt interior decor styling and items alike are far behind. We’ve got to support for companies like Desenio that give back.