Nurture Nature: Eco-friendly living room ideas for a healthy habitat

NOV 16, 2015 | By Jaina Chandwany

Living in a concrete jungle can get overwhelming. If all you’d like to do is bask in a natural setting while also contributing your fair share to the planet, take a few hints from architect Fabian Ostner’s Auroville home that is equal parts low maintenance and eco-sensitive.
Start by giving concrete and glass a miss, opting instead for walls and supporting beams made of either recycled hardwood or a mix of bamboo, earth, coir and cow dung – a technique called wattle and daub. This simple earthy palette will go well with ancestral wooden furniture; just as how this informal teak sofa blends in with the earthy hues of this space.
What we really love is the coffee table made of recycled plywood propped on handy storage boxes, making for an innovative centerpiece and producing close to zero carbon footprint.
If you like abundant light and fresh air in your living room, pick Fabian’s trick of using minimum walls by merging the living and dining areas. You might also like to station floor to ceiling shelves that store and arrange the clutter at arm’s length – especially if you have children in the house.
To finish off the space, don’t forget to arrange your choice of brightly coloured curios, lamps and cushion covers as you settle down with your favourite book after a tiring day of work.
Fabian’s tips for a sustainable living room
1. Access to natural ventilation and light are key. Openness to the outside and a healthy relationship with it, is a base point for sustainable design of an ever changing space like this area
2. For the furniture, it is important to know the material source, the conditions it was made in, the energy and the consciousness that went into creating it and its reusability, among many factors.