Vegan Interior Design

 

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 it felt like the time to be myself a little bit more in business. 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.”

 

Here is a little magazine feature of ours from March 2020 about vegan 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:

  1. 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! 
  2. Covering – This could be a vegan leather, a vegan suede or a cotton.
  3. 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. 

To help with other ideas for a vegan friendly house, we have put together a list of products and suggestions which can be introduced for under £100!

Top 10 Vegan Products for Your Home under £100

In a world where there are natural disasters caused by the high demand for meat products, there is an increasing need for more and more people to transition to veganism. Moreover, this need is being met, with an estimated 600,000+ vegans in the U.K. alone. Veganism isn’t restricted to habitual diets, it can also refer to interior design, and there are small changes you can make in your home to becoming increasingly vegan. Here are our top 10 vegan products, all under £100, which can help to shift your lifestyle:

 

 10… Macramé Moon Dreamcatcher by Vanir Creations: £50.00

The details of a dreamcatcher may often go unnoticed, but their use of feathers means they definitely aren’t vegan friendly! Vanir Creations (available on Etsy) offer designs which comprise cotton, string, beads and a metal hoop; vegan, sustainable and ethical. They work perfectly in nurseries, bedrooms and bohemian style living rooms.

 

9… Dove Grey Juno Rug by Weaver Green: £67.00+

Made entirely from plastic bottles, Weaver Green’s Dove Grey Juno Rug is fully vegan as well as environmentally ethical and sustainable. Their tightly-woven build means we don’t have to compromise on important features; as these rugs are stain resistant, machine washable, claw friendly, moth resistant, outdoors-friendly, UV stable and mould and water resistant.

 8… Ombré Feature Wall using School House White, Stone Blue and Lulworth Blue paints by Farrow and Ball: £47.95+

Vegan on a budget doesn’t necessarily have to be small scale! Ombré walls have become an interesting trend in feature walls, and this effect can be done using Farrow and Ball’s vegan friendly paints. They’re eco-friendly, child-friendly and cruelty free!

To achieve an ombré effect on your walls, follow B&Q’s easy and simple guide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exMYQuCMSrI

or search ‘How to Paint an Ombre Wall’ on YouTube. 

 7… Chunky Knit Ombré Blanket by Hands on for Homemade: £53.96+

It’s often difficult to find a perfect cosy throw that’s also vegan. Substitutes have got to meet high expectations set by animal products. However, Hands on for Homemade offer a vegan chenille throw which is guaranteed to be the cosiest blanket of all time. Available on Etsy, the blanket comes in a range of sizes and is also customisable by colour and size to suit anyone!

 

6… Laurey Llama Door Stop by Fred & Ginger at John Lewis: £28.00

The cutest little door stop you could ever find is fully vegan and available to buy in two clicks! Laurey Llama is made of polyester and acrylic, yet still has the typical and friendly woolly llama appearance. Perfect for a children’s bedroom or a fun living room, Fred & Ginger have produced a functional yet fun and quirky product for everyone’s home.

 5… Juno Dove Grey Cushion by Weaver Green: £61.00+

Accessorising a bedroom or living room, cushions are a must-have. Weaver Green offer this neutral toned cushion in a heavyweight weave, meaning it can also be great for outdoor settings. However, the best part is that the cushion is made entirely from plastic bottles! The fabric is highly durable; great for pet lovers and wine lovers alike! Whilst the cushion inner, typically feathers, is also 100% recycled plastic bottles – game changer!

 4… Plaited Macramé Hanging Plant Holder by Mac and Mini Arts: £24.95

Hanging plant holders, or plant hammocks, are becoming increasingly popular. Mac and Mini show us their bohemian style plaited holder which is 100% vegan unbleached cotton, which has been designed for indoor and outdoor use.

 3… Lime, Basil and Mandarin – Uplifter, Candle by Blissful Moments Holistic Therapies: £10.00

Candles are undoubtedly a staple accessory of every room, truly turning a house into a home. Don’t compromise on such a great accessory, as Blissful Moments provides you with a soy wax candle which comes in a reusable and recyclable tin. The eco soy wax also burns cleanly for a healthy home environment.

 2… Santorini Duvet Cover by The White Company: £65.00+

When it comes to bedding, we like the highest quality sheets to snuggle up in. For high quality and high end, The White Company offer the Santorini duvet set which is 100% cotton and a luxuriously smooth 200-thread count. Looks good, high quality, great value!

 1… Cohen Dining Armchair by Cult Furniture: £99.00

Using a warm grey faux leather, Cult Furniture’s Cohen Dining Armchair is a great vegan product to incorporate in any dining room, living room or bedroom. It’s often a last thought in people’s minds to ensure their larger furniture items are vegan. However, there is a wide range of faux leather, hide and vegan fabric sofas and chairs out there.