Sustainable Design

What on earth is sustainable design? At it's root, it's a process that considers how the things we create will impact the planet and all who live here.

What on earth is sustainable design?

Sustainable Design is an often used – but not necessarily understood – term. And it’s one of those terms that can have a very simple explanation, or a very complex one.

At it’s root, sustainable design is a process that considers how a building, product or service will impact the planet and all who live here. From the tiniest microorganism to the tallest tree. And of course, people like you and I.

In order for something to be truly sustainable, we have to consider how it will effect the environment in every stage of its existence. From its conceptualization, to its production, to what it becomes at the end of its life cycle.

A few important sustainable design principles include using materials that are renewable and have a low environmental impact. Employing manufacturing processes that use less energy and create less waste. And designing buildings and products so their parts can be reused or recycled when they outlive their original purpose.

Sounds like a lot of work, you say?

Well, it kind of is. But only if you look at it the way most of us have been taught to see the world. As something that belongs to us instead of something we are a part of.

As Canadian activist and writer Peter Denton puts it, “Good people make bad choices because they don’t think enough (or at all) about what they are choosing.”

Sustainable design is about making better choices in the things we build and the things we create.

Of Houses and Trees focuses on the things we as individuals can do to help sustainable design become the norm. From the homes we buy and build to the furniture and decor we put in them, together we can make better choices.

Find the latest posts on sustainable design below!

3 Simple + Sustainable Christmas Decor Ideas for Your Living Room

Want to create a lovely, calm space this holiday season? Here are three tips for incorporating simple and sustainable Christmas decor in your living room.It's no secret I like to keep my decor relatively simple.

And though the holiday season does amp me up a bit, I try not to let the I-must-have-all-the-things-and-do-all-the-things spirit completely take me over.

I find that one of the best ways to manage the frenetic holiday energy is to keep my seasonal decorating quite minimal.

I also tend to put up the majority of our Christmas decor in the living room instead of all over the house.

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3 Simple + Minimalist DIY Fall Decor Ideas

Looking for DIY fall decor that's easy and not too over the top? Well count your lucky pumpkins because here are three simple, minimalist fall decor ideas!Nothing like the changing of leaves and the dropping of temperatures that makes you want to cozy up inside and create some DIY fall decor. Am I right?

Normally I'm not on the ball enough to participate in home decor challenges. But when The Collection Vintage over on YouTube proposed a home challenge that consisted of creating three vignettes featuring budget fall decor, I was like - I may actually be able to do that... and I'm a-gonna do it in conjunction with creating some DIY fall decor!

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How to Create an Interior Design Mood Board - THE EASY WAY!

Learn the easiest way to create a mood board for interior design, using something you likely already have - a Pinterest account!You know those beautiful interior design mood boards you see on Pinterest? Or on the Instagram accounts of super stylish designers?

Ever wish you could make one for your own home, but without having to learn how to use programs like Photoshop or online tools like Canva?

Well, you're in luck!

I'm going to teach you the easiest way to create a mood board for interior design and decor.

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Antique + Thrifted Home Decor Tour

Raise your hand if you love antique home decor. Raised both hands? You've come to the right place! Here's a home tour featuring antique and thrifted finds.Raise your hand if you love thrifted and antique home decor!

If you raised both hands, then you've come to the right place.

Because I'm about to give you a tour of some of my favourite antique and thrifted home decor items that I own.

Most of these beauties have followed me from previous houses. Though I think our sustainable home is where they fit best since we've got kind of a minimalist meets rustic home decor style going on.

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How to Create a Woven Basket Wall - THREE WAYS!

Whether your decor style is Boho, Coastal - even Minimalist - there's a set of woven basket wall decor out there with your name on it!You know those images on Pinterest and Instagram featuring homes with stunning displays of woven basket wall decor? Wish you could create something similar in your home, but aren't sure where to start?

Start here!

I wanted to make it super simple for anyone out there drooling over photos of basket walls to select, purchase and arrange sustainably and ethically made woven baskets - creating their very own customized basket wall decor set.

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60+ Home Decor Products and Tips - ALL ECO-FRIENDLY!

If you love your home, but you also love the planet, you're in luck! Here are more than sixty tips on home decor and home design ideas.If you love your home, but you also love the planet, you're in luck! I've gathered ten Of Houses and Trees posts offering more than sixty sustainable products, tips on home decor and home design ideas.

Wondering how to decorate a room using eco-friendly decor and furniture?

Maybe you want to set up a minimalist home office? Or are you just batty for a boho bedroom? Are you looking for more specific home decor tips like how to design an eco-friendly bathroom?

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Minimalist Home Office Decor Shopping Guide

Creating a space that helps you feel peaceful and productive is the key to work-at-home success. And these home office decor items will do just that!Who says you need an office to create an office space? Once upon a time, home offices took up a lot of room with oversized desks, clunky computers and massive filing cabinets.

Thankfully, now all you really need is a laptop and an internet connection and you're good to go! Of course, not everyone can focus if they just plunk their computer down on their dining room table.

Creating a space that helps you feel peaceful and productive is the key to a successful work-at-home situation.

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Boho Bedroom Shopping Guide

Love the look of bohemian bedroom decor, but need a little guidance pulling it all together? Check out this boho bedroom shopping guide - featuring eco-conscious items from ethical marketplace Made Trade!

If you love cozy, eclectic bohemian bedroom decor, but need a little guidance in finding the perfect pieces to pull the look together - you've come to the right place! And the best part is that all the items featured below are eco-conscious and ethically made. Because if you're going to do bohemian, you better do it right. Right?

For this bedroom, I've carefully selected items from online marketplace Made Trade. Made Trade believes "we can make the world a more beautiful place by holding ourselves to a higher ethical standard."

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Building a House | Our House in the Trees | Episode 7

Ever dreamed of building a house from the ground up? Well, this family of four did it - all while trying to be as eco-conscious as possible! Watch them go from raw land to house in the trees in under 15 minutes.

You'd think after eight years of planning, five months of building, one month of moving and another month of pinching ourselves in disbelief, I'd be sick of talking about Our House in Trees. I mean, you could think that. But you'd be wrong.

As I keep saying, I feel like a decade into this journey we are just finally getting started.

Getting started living in a home we carefully designed to be the perfect size for our family and as users of solar energy and as microgenerators.

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Eco-Friendly Home Tour | Our House in the Trees | Episode 6

Our eco-friendly home is finally done and I'm so excited to show you all of its sustainable features - such as the solar panels, recycled content materials and secondhand finds!

We've moved into our eco-friendly home! Just had to get that out there.

I'm a little behind in posting about the process, but I've decided that's okay. Life is already busy when you're not building a house. You add that part in and - well - what's the word for a hundred steps past busy?

I am wordless because I am a big ball of emotions. Grateful. Excited. Overwhelmed. Exhausted.

But that's now. Want to know how I got here?

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