5 Eco-friendly Design Tips

Lisa Perry from Vancouver's i3 Design gives her favourite tips for environmentally friendly interior design

Credit: Lisa Perry

Moving furniture away from the walls enhances your apartment’s view

Interior Designer Lisa Perry shows you how to create beautiful, eco-friendly interiors

As a registered interior designer with over 20 years of experience, director of interior design at Vancouver’s i3 Design Lisa Perry knows a lot about creating a space that is as good for you spiritually as it is good to live in.

Perry used eco-friendly elements for the Altitude

From penitentiaries to yachts, Perry’s career has run the gamut of design styles, so it’s no surprise her current project, the Altitude (show suites in the UniverCity community bordering Simon Fraser University) showcases the best her skills have to offer.

Perry worked with her team to develop a fresh, open look for the space with clean lines and simple detailing that wouldn’t compete with the view.

Her client, The Hungerford Group, wanted to ensure that the design took advantage of the floor-to-ceiling windows and the incredible views from the top of Burnaby Mountain. Perry says she addressed this challenge by orienting the furniture away from the walls so that rather than having to choose between the view or a movie, both could be enjoyed.

She also noted that her team needed to demonstrate how flexible the space could be and to prove to potential purchasers that they could, in fact, get everything into the space that they needed to. In this case, that included a living area, dining area and a separate dedicated workspace.


In addition, it was important that their design respect the space by using eco-friendly elements to align with the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) principles to which the building had been designed.

Luckily, the three “I’s” behind i3 Design’s philosophy are driven by three pivotal words: inspiration, intuition and innovation. The firm was able to find new products and new solutions for the client who wished to keep the design elements simple, beautiful and in line with the natural environment of the building’s location.

5 Eco-friendly Tips from Lisa Perry

Well versed in the latest eco-design trends, Perry shares her top 5 tips for creating interior spaces that make your space green without having to spend a lot of green:

1. Use what you have/don’t buy new: Display books you already own as décor items — removing the jackets will show the books’ linen at its best. Buy items in bulk (less packaging) and store them in attractive glass jars to display them as artifacts, i.e. small soaps or cotton puffs on bathroom shelves. Use grocery items as accessories — a pretty colander will make a unique container for fruit to display on a kitchen table or countertop.

2. Choose natural fibres and non-toxic dyes: Buy locally made products; a 100% wool area rug in its natural colour is very soft and easy to clean with no chemical finish required for stain resistance. Find sofas and toss cushions made of natural cotton and linen and/or DIY your own prints on wool and cotton using natural dyes.

3. Simplify your life by reducing clutter both literally and visually: The only items on your bedside table should be the book you’re reading and maybe one decorative item for colour. By keeping your visual space simple you create a stress-free environment.

4. Buy local: Support local culture and industry by purchasing art created by local artists. Visit local galleries and art fairs to find a wide range of art works.

5. Invest in dual-use furniture: Banquettes with hidden drawers are suitable for storing large items like extra blankets or holiday decorations. This type of furniture conceals visual clutter and helps to open up your space.