Sustainability: the new kid on the block when it comes to interior design

As the climate change issue continues to worsen and temperatures continue to rise, industries of all kinds are reinventing themselves to become more environmentally friendly and lower their carbon footprint – with interior design being no exception. 

The creativity that is utilised to turn a room of white walls into a stunning and functional space is now also being used to make best use of more sustainable innovative and cutting-edge materials. Locally owned and operated design agency, Abode, is one such business that specialises in creating bespoke, eco-friendly designs.

With Dandara being their key housebuilder client, the agency’s sustainable designs are integrated across its show homes across the UK, complementing Dandara’s mission which aims to embed ESG related aspects into our practices and procedures and ensure the homes are future proofed for generations to come.

Joanne Davies-Jones, Abode’s Sales Director, who works directly with Dandara, said that the Dandara’s commitment to using environmentally friendly designs sets them apart from others in the industry.

“It is great to see Dandara so committed to eco-friendly designs and embedding sustainability at the heart of its projects” she adds.

Abode has a range of methods for incorporating sustainable materials in their designs, focusing on using predominantly British-sourced vendors for everything from paint to upholstery.

Joanne Davies-Jones continues to explain that Abode has worked with faux marble made out of recycled yoghurt pots, which results in a durable, stunning and environmentally friendly material. The pots are melted down to create a white, marble-like surface, and the foil lids add hints of gold and silver throughout the material that mimic the streaks in natural marble.

Design Director and Agency Founder Jon Pilling said Abode has a standard set of products such as diffusers, hand soaps and bath salts that go into every design, each of which comes from companies committed to reducing plastic and locally sourced. 

“We try to work with UK suppliers that are doing interesting things,” he comments. “Our bespoke furniture comes from two furniture makers – one in Mansfield and one in Warwick. They create unique pieces that have the added bonus of being made completely out of local timber and materials.”

Much of that furniture is either reused in other projects or sold; Abode has a partnership with a local takeaway company that sells the bespoke pieces to first-time buyers, ensuring the quality pieces do not go to waste after view homes sell.

“It really gives these pieces a second life, providing furniture to people who really need it and is a much more circular approach to designing,” Jon adds.

Abode is in the process of receiving a B Corporation certification, which is given to companies that meet a set of high standards of social and environmental performance and transparency. The accreditation report also measures the agency’s carbon footprint, allowing Abode to directly measure their environmental impact and report this to sustainability-focused clients like Dandara.

“It’s an ongoing process,” Jon said. “We’ll continue to be monitored even after receiving the accreditation, which means that transparency and sustainability will always be central to our business practices.”

Joanne Davies-Jones said working at Abode has been “Massively educational. Learning about sustainable design and figuring out how to explain it to clients – it’s like learning a new language,” she said. “Not only am I discovering new things, but the client is also getting to experience new products and new innovative solutions as well as learning things are sourced and what options are available.”

Abode’s designs can be seen in Dandara show homes at developments throughout the UK, which feature sustainable construction materials, PV panels and energy-efficient solutions and technologies. Dandara is also focused on building healthy and sustainable communities, working with the developments’ unique local environment to ensure the sites promote biodiversity and protect the local species.  

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