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This article is part of a lifestyle series brought to you by RBC Echelon, a suite of private wealth management services for ultra-high-net-worth clients. Each article will explore different topics of interest for ultra-high-net-worth families, including design, travel and more.

If there is one golden rule to selecting the right look for your home, it’s this: handcrafted furniture made in timeless designs from eco-friendly materials is always a win.

Crafted from salvaged wood, handspun sisal derived from Agave plant leaves, and sustainably grown and harvested bamboo, these furnishings reflect your values when it comes to protecting the environment. They also tell a story of conservation of Earth’s natural resources, support for artisan communities around the world, and a greener tomorrow for the planet.

We’ve paired a selection of home design tips with statement pieces by notable designers and eco-friendly businesses to help you find your own sustainable style.

1. Let lighting set the tone

Our sustainable selection: Décor Interior Limited’s Podlight Floor Lamp

Subliminally establishing energy level and mood, lighting is key to setting the tone for your living space. While lights typically shine down on a room, Décor Interior Limited’s Podlight floor lamp gently exudes light in all directions, radiating coziness and style. Elegant but practical, this floor lamp will add a quiet, soothing sensibility to a study or bedroom.   

Décor Interior Limited's bespoke pieces are created exclusively in Kenya from the locally grown sisal plant. Employing more than 60 women from three local communities, this eco-friendly business offers a handcrafted line of boho chic décor that will introduce a free-spirited aura to your home.

2. Balance design with livability

Our sustainable selection: Mianzi’s Bamboo TV Cabinet

We’d love our homes to channel the sleek staging on show in Architectural Digest. Yet, in real life they’re often cluttered with the technology we need to function in today’s digital world. Cable boxes, Wi-Fi modems, and endless chargers aren’t pretty. But Mianzi's bamboo TV cabinet effortlessly harmonizes with any interior and keeps electronics out of sight but within close reach. 

Mianzi bamboo tv cabinet

Growing at a rate of almost three feet per day, bamboo is the sustainable answer tree lovers have been searching for. Deemed one of the planet’s most sustainable materials with a strength and durability that eclipses wood, bamboo grows abundantly in North-East India.  Partnering with local bamboo growers and artisans, Mianzi creates whimsical designs to elevate living spaces around the world.

3. Advances in green design mean you don’t need to compromise on personal style

Our sustainable selection: Gus* Modern’s Mid-Century Truss Chair

If your home is decked out in mid-century furnishings with clean lines and muted tones, don’t worry. Furniture makers are producing sustainable styles to suit all tastes and types of décor, such as Gus* Modern's Mid-Century Truss Chair in avant-garde Vegan Appleskin™. 

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The Canadian furniture manufacturer and eco-friendly business was awarded PETA’s 2021 Vegan Homeware Award for Innovation for its revolutionary Vegan AppleSkin™ leather. By upcycling apple cores and peels discarded by apple producers and juicing factories, Gus * Modern created a new bio-based material that echoes the look and feel of genuine leather. 

4. Personalize your space with accent pieces tailored to you

Our sustainable selection: Boulder Furniture Arts’ Shadowbox Coffee Table

Your home should be your haven, filled with pieces that hold happy memories. While family treasures are typically displayed on shelves or mantlepieces, Boulder Furniture Arts’ shadowbox coffee table adds a whole new way to showcase mementos. As a bonus, it might inspire you to keep the coffee table clear of clutter.

Since 1985, Boulder Furniture Arts’ team has been handcrafting furnishings from sustainably grown and locally salvaged wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. This green manufacturer is fanatic about process: all materials are American-made and most come from within 75 miles of the Boulder workshop, reducing waste and its carbon footprint. Artfully mapped out and crafted, these pieces are designed to become the heirlooms of future generations.

5. Make the dining table the heart of your home

Our sustainable selection: Charles Shackleton Furniture’s Naked Trestle Table

Flexibility is the name of the game when it comes to selecting a dining table. From impromptu workspaces to the scene of family game nights, dining tables are a hub for daily activity. Besides adding an element of warmth and longevity to your home, wooden tables easily adapt to style overhauls. A new set of chairs can transform the table from shabby chic to ultra-modern. Store a bench underneath for additional guest seating and play with centerpieces for a quick seasonal reboot. 

To keep the tradition of handmade furniture alive while promoting sustainability, Vermont-based Charles Shackleton Furniture launched the “Naked Table Project,” a weekend workshop that invites locals to build a dining table from locally grown and sustainably harvested Vermont sugar maple. This classic and durable design is also available for purchase online and will seamlessly fit with any décor.  

There are endless options for updating your home with eco-friendly furnishings. One thing is certain, though: sustainability is more than a trend. It’s a lifelong journey and every stride we take towards greener living is a step in the right direction.

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