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Our five tips for creating a more sustainable home

March 12, 2023

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Designing a sustainable home is central to our ethos here at Hygge and Cwtch. Our passion for creating ‘healthy’ homes – evoking the five senses and enabling a positive lifestyle – is driven by our love and connection to nature. The use of natural materials and our relationships with suppliers and crafters who are mindful of our planet and the environmental impact is high on our agenda.

Does this resonates with you? Would you like to live a more mindful lifestyle in a more sustainable home? Then read on to hear some of the simple steps we take when approach a house design, which can work for you too.

Repurpose before buying new

Of course it’s lovely to have new items in your home after remodelling or decorating. But we always encourage our clients to start by looking at what they already have. Repurposing a piece of furniture can give it a whole new lease of life.

Old and beautiful, adding character to a new space in our Heolgerrig project.
Photography credit: Diana Oliveira

The benefits of repurposing are not only good for the environment, but the process of ‘shopping the home’ – or even scouring the second hand shops for someone else’s old treasure – can form new habits which break that cycle of always buying new as a default.

There is something beautiful about holding on to pieces which have sentimental value. Not necessarily fitting in 100% with a ‘scheme’ but adding bags of character to a home. Prioritising those treasured, meaningful possessions over newness is what brings a real, hearty quality into any home, old or new.  

A treasured possession in our Beach Road project.
Photography credit: Kathryn Taylor
Where old meets new in our Beach Road project.
Photography credit: Kathryn Taylor

Here at Hygge & Cwtch, we don’t only apply this thinking to furniture or items, but to the space itself. With ‘sustainable home’ in mind, we always help our clients look at the space they have as a blank canvas. Consider whether the existing footprint can be ‘repurposed’ and used to greater effect before we go down the route of extending. Potentially saving on time, money and the environmental impact. Sometimes, it’s not about how much room you have but how well you use it.

Making the best use of the existing space at our 33 Wingfield project.
Photography credit: Emily Brittain Delgado

Good design and craftsmanship

If we are buying new pieces, we always try to be mindful of the suppliers we’re using and their approach to sustainability. Brands who pair amazing design with a sense of duty to our planet. Norr11 is one of those brands who don’t compromise on either the aesthetic or functionality but who strive for a zero waste policy in their production. Their products are built to last. Their Mammoth chair takes pride of place in the snug in our 39 St Cadoc project.

The Norr11 Mammoth chair in our 39 St Cadoc project.
Photography credit: Emily Brittain Delgado

We’ve used Tom Raffield lighting in a number of our projects, who describe sustainability as their ‘calling’. While Weaver Green are our go-to brand for their recycled rugs, blending ‘style, comfort and practicality for the eco-minded customer’.

Tom Raffield lighting in our Trenance project.

So what’s the real benefit of working with this kind of supplier and maker? It’s that their use of natural materials, quality craftsmanship and expert design produces pieces have minimal environmental impact and are made to last. No quick fixes or replacements within a couple of years. These are the items that we want our clients to treasure and pass down through the generations.

Weaver Green rugs made from recycled plastic bottles.
Image credit: Weaver Green

Support suppliers with all the right credentials

When we’re looking out for new designers or makers to feature in our client’s homes, we keep one eye out for their credentials. This can be a big clue as to how sustainable and ethical they are as a business. We’d prioritise working with them where we can to do our little bit in helping to create a more sustainable world through each home that we work on.

Welsh Otter cushions.
Photography credit: Kier Adams for Hygge & Cwtch Design Studio

The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and Fair Trade are two certifications which ensure positive ethics through both the manufacturing process and the treatment of its people. We worked with local business Welsh Otter, who are working towards these certified statuses, on our West Grove project for some of their beautiful hand crafted pieces. Their local, sustainable, mindful approach is one that we admire and relate to. Read more about them on our blog.

A more recent one added to our list is a credential which supports the people in an organisation – BCorp. A brand with BCorp credentials shows that they look after their staff. This should be a given but as we all know, it’s not always the way.

Visualisation of our Lahaina project using Low Salt by COAT Paints

We recently used Low Salt by COAT Paints in our St Ives holiday home project (watch this space), who are not only one of the companies who strive to minimise the environmental impact and create quality, sustainable products, but they also happen to be a BCorp, which puts them up there as one of our top brands to work with.

Natural materials at the core of design

Drawing inspiration from nature and biophilic design is at the heart of our brand, so the use of natural materials leads the way in all of our work. Not only in the furniture and accessories, but the core of the design, the walls and floors.

Flooring is one of those areas that we believe should be made to withstand the use of daily life for years to come. Beautiful and durable limestone flooring is an example of our choice for floor tiles. While wooden flooring is almost always part of our plans, giving that natural, rustic but warm feeling to any home, especially when layered with rugs.

Durable limestone in our Trenance project.
Photography credit:

If carpet is needed we try to go for natural wool where it suits. Practicality needs to be a factor of course, but when possible we go natural to reap the sustainability benefits, both for the client and the environment.

Natural wood flooring and eco-friendly Atelier Ellis paint by Atelier Ellis in our Grosvenor project.
Photography credit: Aga Hosking

As mentioned earlier, using an environmentally friendly and sustainable paint brand is easy to do now with so many brilliant brands on the market who focus on making great quality paint while doing as little harm as possible to the planet. Atelier Ellis and COAT are our go-to brands when paint is on the agenda, and their wide ranges of stunning shades usually makes it easy to find what we need.

Plants, plants, plants!

It wouldn’t be a Hygge & Cwtch blog post without us drawing on biophilic inspiration and shouting from the rooftops about the benefits of plants in the home. It can’t be underestimated how much of a positive impact the use of plants can have on both the environment and on the homeowner’s health and wellbeing. Filling your space with greenery could be your first step into creating a more sustainable home and a mindful way of life.

panelled hallway
Our Heolgerrig project.
Photography credit: Diana Oliveira
Our 39 St Cadoc project.
Photography credit: Emily Brittain Delgado
Our Beach Road project.
Photography credit: Kathryn Taylor

If you’d like to take your sustainable home to the next level and would like some help in getting it there, this is our thing, we can help! Get in touch for a chat, we can’t wait to hear from you.

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