Vegan Interior Design
Hi! In January 2020 I decided to launch an exciting new design service inspired by Veganism. We’re working on this page at the moment, but I’ve started to add some content. If you have any questions about this then please get in touch.
Claire (and the animal kingdom)
In 2020 Claire Davies Interiors introduced a Vegan interior design service. We can now create our unique and thoughtful designs for clients who follow a vegan lifestyle. There are lots of products in our homes which are made using animal products, and we wanted to put together a service that could remove the need for them for people who are Vegan, like Claire, or followed similar beliefs.
The overall process is the same, we will establish a brief, discuss design options and review visuals of how your rooms could look. This will all be done while using sustainable, ethically sourced and animal free materials.
An intro from Claire…
“I started my interior design business in 2016 and became vegan the following year when I was 26.
I spent most of my teens and 20s as a vegetarian and from a very young age I had wanted to protect animals. My decision to bring my vegan lifestyle into my business happened in 2020. I’d recently gone through a rebrand, and a lot in my life had changed in the previous 12 months. It felt like the time to be myself a little bit more in business, and the concept felt organic.
I was pleased to see that there are other like minded interior designers out there and that I was able to make some connections and gain some publicity for what I hoped would be a big part of my business for the rest of the year and years to come.
Vegan interior design could also be referred to as cruelty free design. The term cruelty free may be more relatable for non – vegans.
Essentially we avoid using animal products. I also would go on to say that the products should be animal friendly and environmentally friendly. I like how the two standards seem to be found hand in hand within products.
I would hope that one day every project I do would be free of animal products. Until then I’m going to do my best to find alternatives so I can do my bit for animal kind, while also helping my clients create happier and healthier homes through interior design.”
Vegan design. What can we use?
In Vegan interior design we avoid using anything that has come from an animal, dead or alive. Some of the more obvious animal products are Leather, Suede, Wool, Silk, Feather and Fur. However if you start digging a little deeper into what is in the items in your home, you will discover that many paints, adhesives, accessories and fabrics have been made with animal products.
If you are vegan, or vegetarian, or even just intrigued by the idea of changing what makes up your surroundings, then here are a few simple ways that you can go about swapping out pieces of your home decor to make it super vegan friendly.
What is in a Vegan House?
Let’s imagine for now that you are having a whole house refurbishment and that I am your interior designer. You tell me that you want a vegan house. I say “that’s a really cool idea and we should totally do that”. We start off by making a list of the changes we need to put in place and getting rid of what isn’t vegan in your old interiors.
As a practical approach, let’s start with the things with the largest surface area… That would be floors and walls.
Your new walls should be painted in a paint that does not include shellac, casein or ox gall. They are all ingredients commonly found in paint that come from animals. Bugs, cows and Ox bi-products. Gross. No no, instead your paints will be bound with natural plant based vegetable goodness. Most Farrow and Ball paint is vegan, and there is a brand called Auro which offer vegan suitable alternatives too.
Moving on to flooring. Although sheep are not slaughtered for their wool, there are reports of the shearing process being pretty mean. People might say that “we wouldn’t be here if we hadn’t used wool to keep warm through winter in the olden days”. That is possibly true. However things have changed since the olden days. We have bean bags that you can heat up and cuddle. We have dressing gowns made from fuzzy organic cotton. We don’t all need to do that anymore. Your new carpet could be a lovely jute, sisal or sisool.
This style of carpet gives a clean Scandinavian look to a room, and can also be made to look cosy and rustic. Woven in many different patterns and colour ways and available as a fitted option or a customisable rug over your wooden flooring.
If you do have wooden flooring, and you’d like for it to stay, then you could simply re-colour it with Farrow and Ball ‘Modern Eggshell’ paint. This paint does not have any ingredients which come from animals and is available in over 100 colours. It is also described on their website as “Eco friendly” and “safe for children”. Interestingly, they rate it is the toughest product in their range.
Lastly as another flooring option, you could go for a super soft carpet made from Polypropylene.
Soft plush carpets made from polypropylene can be manufactured in a way that makes them super soft. You may have to do some research to find ones that are more eco-friendly, but at least they do not contain wool. With carpet, it’s also worth finding out what they are backed with, just to be on the safe side.
So as the self appointed interior designer in charge of your vegan renovation, I think we should now talk about where you plan to eat your yummy vegan meals and then chill for the evening. That would be the living area. Our lounges and living spaces get the most use out of all our rooms, when we aren’t in bed.
But what’s in your sofa? Other than spare change and vegan cake crumbs? Chances are there could be feather, down, leather, suede, wool and who knows what else?
When I’m choosing your new sofa, I will be checking out the following three ingredients with potential suppliers:
- Filling – This could be natural latex from trees in managed forests, or vegan friendly foam. There is also now a vegan alternative to down filling!
- Covering – This could be a vegan leather, a vegan suede or a cotton.
- Adhesives – Vegan proud manufacturers will tell you how their sofas are put together. I’ll be looking for companies who design their sofas to be built with water based glues.
If you’re planning on having a special arm chair or an ‘occasional chair’ as they are sometimes called in interior design, then you may be pleased to know that you could use a velour or velvet, as most are synthetic. It would be a bonus to include an organic velour made from cotton as an upholstery option too. This texture can create a luxurious feel within any interior design scheme.
Speaking of luxury, how about a super king size Vegan mattress that contains no chemicals at all. That’s no animal products and zero chemicals. Some memory foam mattresses can contain 4kgs of chemicals.
Cottonsafe in Devon who make this wonderful Vegan option have said that is has “An adaptive spongy feel that is similar to memory foam without the chemicals or overheating quality”. It is made with what they call ‘purity polyester’ and has 1000 pocket springs. I can’t wait to try one of these. The largest option is listed at £1,295.00 and comes with a 40 night guarantee. Sweet!
Continuing with the bedroom design from a vegan perspective for a bit… What else can you think of in a bedroom that might not be vegan? Well there are some things but let’s concentrate for now on fabrics. Our bedding, our curtains and other soft furnishings. Wools and silks make their way into lots of mass produced fabrics. When adding these design choices to our shopping list I will be hoping to include organic cottons and linens mainly, which are made in various cool textures and dyed in an eco friendly way to give us more colour scheme choices. Investing in high thread count Egyptian cotton sheets is something you will not ever regret. The best ones out there just get better the more they are washed and are as smooth as … vegan sandwich spread.