Scandinavian homes are renowned for their minimalist design, textured woods, and comfortable couches. Scandinavians love to spend big on their houses, too. Norwegians hold the European record for spending on renovations and invest NOK 85 million per annum on kitchen upgrades and new bathrooms. Here are some tips on Enhancing Your Scandinavian Home with Green Upgrades.
As the world approaches climate catastrophe, more people are choosing to reduce their carbon footprint by installing green upgrades. Green upgrades, like insulation and native plant landscaping, suit the Scandinavian aesthetic perfectly and can help reduce energy bills too.
Easy Upgrades to Make this Month
Most people assume that green upgrades are expensive renovations that require months of planning and preparation. Contrary to popular belief, you can implement most green upgrades at a minimal cost. If you’re new to sustainability — or are working on a tight budget — consider quick, cost-effective renovations like:
- Swap traditional bulbs for LED lights. LED bulbs suit the minimalist Scandi-style perfectly and will reduce your energy bill.
- Buy reclaimed furniture to freshen up your interior design while removing waste from landfill sites.
- Install low-flow showerheads to minimize water waste and keep some extra cash in your wallet.
These upgrades have a minimal impact on your interior design and can help you save for larger renovations. Some green upgrades, like renovating old couches, can do the world a heap of good. Making a few small upgrades can give you the motivation to start budgeting for a larger Scandinavian home renovation, too.
Bringing in the Pros
Minor renovations can significantly reduce your carbon footprint. However, you will eventually need to invest in some big-ticket items if you want to enhance your Scandinavian Home with Green Upgrades. You do not want to make a mistake when replacing skylights or insulating wood-paneled flooring. Instead, bring in a professional for renovation projects like:
- Installing energy-efficient windows;
- Insulation removal/installation;
- Wall removal;
- Wood flooring refinishing;
- HVAC installation.
Article continues below image.
By clicking the image below you can read a related article by Ainsley Lawrence: Preparing for a Scandinavian-Style Home Renovation.
When working with a professional, choose someone who understands the Scandinavian tradition of sustainability. Eco-friendly contractors will always opt for natural materials and will bring an innovative approach to home upgrades. This is particularly important if you want to retain the Scandinavian aesthetic, as some builders may want to work with non-natural materials that will skew your interior design and disrupt your home’s neutral color palette.
Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian homes are inherently sustainable by design. Scandinavian home design privileges energy efficiency to help lower energy bills and keep the cold at bay during the winter months.
If you are interested in green upgrades, consider spending a little more and opting for sustainably sourced materials. For example, if you want to add more wood fiber insulation to your home, try to source fibers from companies that are members of Södra. Södra plants three trees for every one it cuts down and finds a use for every part of the tree.
Article continues below image.
By clicking the image below you can read a related article by Ainsley Lawrence: Tips for Achieving a Sustainable Scandinavian-Inspired Home.
When upgrading your house, make sustainable design choices that maximize the existing features in your home. For example, rather than buying extra lighting, consider bringing natural light into your house by installing large energy-efficient windows.
If you are doing a much larger-scale renovation, such as adding an extra room or building a space from the ground up, you can use this opportunity to use sustainable construction materials from the very start. Make use of mass timber, bamboo, or even bricks made out of mycelium. When you do start tearing down walls, try to reclaim as much timber as possible and use the salvaged wood as furniture pieces and paneling.
Eco-friendly home upgrades can extend beyond the confines of interior design. Some of the best alterations you can make involve landscaping and gardening. If you have some outdoor space, consider sustainable backyard improvements like:
- Use Organic Materials: When you need to replace your planters or shed, consider opting for renewable materials like bamboo, cork, or rattan. Use natural paints to make the installation your own and add a rustic charm to your garden.
- Natural Pools and Ponds: Natural swimming pools do not require harsh chemicals and can help bees cool off. You will need a solar-powered filter, though, and should regularly test the water to ensure that it is safe.
- Rain Barrels: Climate change reduces annual precipitation and puts a strain on our waterworks. Do your part by collecting water in barrels during the wet months. Use the water you collect to hydrate your garden and complete tasks like washing the car.
Consider starting a vegetable patch if you want to minimize your carbon footprint. Use a plant hardiness map to figure out which crops will grow well in your garden and opt for peat-free compost when feeding your patch. This will reduce your waste and ensure that you have a healthy yield in the summer and autumn months.
Enhancing Your Scandinavian Home with Green Upgrades – Conclusion
Scandinavian homes are innately sustainable. As a homeowner, you can maximize the eco-friendly roots of Scandi-design by opting for green upgrades. Even simple changes — like switching to an LED bulb — can significantly reduce your energy use. Just be sure to use sustainable materials when possible, as some green renovation projects can have a high carbon footprint during installation.
Enhancing Your Scandinavian Home with Green Upgrades, written dedicatedly for Daily Scandinavian by Ainsley Lawrence. Ainsley is a regular contributor to Daily Scandinavian. She is a freelance writer from the Pacific Northwest. Ainsley is interested in better living through technology and education. She is frequently lost in a good book.