Green by Design: Adding Sustainability to Your Home Makeovers

Green by Design: Adding Sustainability to Your Home Makeovers

The great thing about home makeovers and DIY interior projects is that they give us an opportunity to redesign our spaces just as we want them. They give us a chance to add that touch of luxury, that aesthetic you’ve recently fallen in love with, a chance to get on with the modern trends, and – a chance to be eco-conscious. With the crazy rate at which we’re watching our planet deteriorate, and its many consequences – global warming, increased pollution, increased waste generation and whatnot – it’s almost wildly irresponsible not to make environmentally friendly choices in all aspects of our lives. So, let’s address an important concern – sustainability in interior design.

Why should you care about sustainability in your home makeover?

Eco-friendly design doesn’t necessarily have to be drab and unappealing – no, it’s not the broccoli-flavored ice cream you have in mind! Sustainable design can actually be luxurious, trendy and even visually enticing. Think of that ‘Property Brothers’ episode where Jonathan transforms a decrepit space into a homeowner’s dream with nothing but reclaimed wood and energy-efficient appliances – all without compromising that wow-factor.

Sustainable design is also about long-term thinking. It means making durable choices that last you years, saving you the time, money and energy that frequent replacements demand. Sure, that exotic hardwood floor might look stunning now, but it won’t look so pretty when it warps within a couple of years, would it? Eco-friendly design choices don’t just reduce energy consumption in the long run, they’re also lighter on the wallet when it comes to your utility bills.

Scrabble Letters: Buy Less, Choose Well, Make it Last

And let’s not forget about our power as consumers. Every dollar we spend is a vote for the kind of world we want to live in. By choosing sustainable products, you can contribute your little bit to this powerful movement for change.

Today, true luxury isn’t just about the crystal chandeliers and silk curtains. It’s about thoughtful design and quality materials. It’s about a lifestyle that infuses luxury with sustainability. It’s about creating spaces that aren’t just visually appealing, but also meaningful, and what could be more meaningful than a design that respects and cherishes our shared home, our planet?

How to incorporate sustainability in your interior design choices

So you’re motivated and ready to jump on the ‘green wagon’. ‘Sustainability’ is a big word that encompasses a variety of factors - how do you get started? Here’s what you could consider.

1. Start with an efficient design

As with all good things, your sustainability journey should begin with an idea, in this case, the design. Are your ideas and plans minimal, practical and efficient, or do they demand a glut of building material, a lot of it unnecessary? Your first question about a product’s eco-friendliness should be – ‘Do I even need this?’

2. Understanding the manufacturing process

While considering a décor product, consider its life story from raw material to its finished self. Is the manufacturing process eco-friendly, or are we talking about an energy-guzzling monster? Are the materials derived from non-renewable resources? Do they use recycled material? Check with the manufacturer to understand more about the backstory – make sure it’s one you can live with.

Industrial Plant

3. Checking for transport costs

Here, the ‘costs’ isn’t just about how heavy the product is on your wallet, but also how much energy it consumes to reach your doorstep. Choosing local could drastically reduce transportation energy, which translates to fewer carbon emissions. Plus, supporting local businesses – that’s a win-win situation.

4. Exploring alternatives

Before choosing a product, consider alternatives that might offer creative and more innovative solutions to solve the same problem by consuming less energy or by providing increased durability. For example, instead of traditional drywalls, consider modular, flexible temporary walls that can adapt to your changing needs instead of ending up in the landfills every time there’s a need for a layout change. Opting for flexible design solutions can significantly increase your sustainability scorecard.

5. Assessing longevity

Not all materials age well, but those that do, reduce the need for frequent replacement. A product that has a longer lifespan doesn’t just save you the hassles and cost of replacements, but also saves energy and resources in the long run. Plus, it means reduced waste generated too.

6. Checking for robustness

Sustainable products and materials often have the added advantage of being robust and low-maintenance. Check to see if they need frequent touch-ups, or complete makeovers every now and then in order to establish how sustainable they are.

7. Energy efficiency while in use

Persons hands counting money

Products that offer better insulation, allow natural light, and reduce heating or cooling loads are your go-to options for sustainability. They not only reduce energy consumption and therefore your environmental impact but also cut down your utility bills – double bonus!

8. Reusability and recyclability

Card with the text "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle"

Remember the 3 R's of eco-friendliness – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle? Since we've already considered the ‘Reduce’ aspect, let’s talk about the other two. Is your product flexible enough to be reused when you no longer need it for what you bought it? Can it be recycled into something that might be useful? Or does it land straight in the landfill? Even in the landfill, will your product degrade gracefully, or spend an eternity, slowly spreading its toxicity?

Waste field in grey

9. Acknowledging constraints

Remember that while sustainability is key, it doesn’t exist in vacuum. Practicality, market availability, and cost are also important considerations. It’s crucial to balance these factors and find that sweet spot in the Venn diagram where functionality, aesthetics and sustainability intersect.

Venn Diagram: Aesthetics, sustainability, functionality

How environmentally sustainable are our products at Diyversify

At Diyversify, we value transparency. We’re not afraid to call a spade a spade. We want you to be able to make well-informed, environmentally conscious decisions. So, here’s how you can analyze the sustainability aspect of our products:

1. Longevity and Durability

As we spoke earlier, the lifespan of a product plays a pivotal role in its environmental impact. All our products are made of materials known for their durability and corrosion resistance. Our modular temporary walls are made of Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP), a material that can stand the test of time, unlike the traditional room divider materials like wood, that deteriorate with time. Our dividers and room separators are primarily made of Aluminum, which is also a durable and long-lasting material. The products at Diyversify reduce the need for frequent replacement, thereby subscribing to the “Reduce” principle of sustainability.

Modular Wall Panels, and how they are attached

2. Robustness and Low Maintenance

As a fundamental concept, our products are designed to make your life easy. So they’re inherently not just strong, but also easy to maintain. They don’t require protective treatments like painting or varnishing, saving you not only additional costs but also reducing environmental harm from chemical treatment.

3.  Adaptability and flexibility

Modular Partition Wall Panels being assembled by two people

This is perhaps our strongest sustainability claim, and something we’re most proud of at Diyversify. Designed with a DIY spirit, our modular temporary walls and room dividers can be assembled, disassembled, and reused according to your changing needs. Unlike their traditional counterparts like drywall partitions, which crumble at the thought of a makeover, our temporary walls adapt to your changing needs. They can be reused and reconfigured, which means less waste and more “Reuse”.

Temporary Home Office or Guest Bedroom made from temporary partition walls with doors

4.  Energy Efficiency

Our FRP products offer inherent thermal and acoustic insulation. By filling in the gaps of the wall with additional insulation materials, you can further increase energy efficiency and reduce heating and cooling loads. Our studio room dividers are also designed such that they divide your spaces without blocking out the natural light, therefore reducing lighting loads. Less energy consumption means more money for you and less greenhouse emissions for the planet!

Room Dividers that let light through

5. Manufacturing process

Most of our room separators and dividers are made of 75% recyclable aluminum frames. But here’s a full disclosure- FRP – the material of our temporary partition walls – isn’t the most environmentally friendly as far as manufacturing is concerned. Manufacturing FRP is energy-intensive and it can sometimes involve resins derived from non-renewable resources. However, we’re committed to continuous improvement, exploring ways to lower the environmental impact of our manufacturing process without compromising our product quality.

6. Recyclability

While the aluminum used in our room dividers is 100% recyclable, the FRP in our temporary partition walls with doors, admittedly isn’t as recyclable. However, because our products are designed for longevity and reusability, they significantly reduce the frequency of waste generation. We’re also actively researching ways to incorporate recyclable FRP and bio-resins in our products, and aiming to make them as circular as possible.

Street art saying: Recycling and giving back

Comparing environmental sustainability of different materials in home makeovers

Let’s do a head-to-head comparison between FRP and the other common alternatives used in temporary partition walls and room dividers: drywall, wood, steel and glass. It’s important to note here that these are only general observations and can vary based on specific product types, manufacturing methods, and use cases. Our recommendation? It’s best to check with the product supplier for the most accurate information.






Longevity and Durability

FRP is highly durable and resistant to corrosion, giving it a long lifespan.

Drywall can deteriorate over time, especially with water exposure, and may need replacement.

Wood's longevity can vary greatly depending on the type and treatment, but generally requires intense care to last long.

Steel is extremely durable and has a very long lifespan.

Glass, unless physically broken, can last indefinitely.

Robustness and Maintenance

FRP requires little maintenance, and is resistant to damage from impacts. It’s resistant to moisture corrosion.

Drywall can get easily damaged (think holes and dents), and needs regular painting.

Wood can require maintenance like painting, varnishing or sealing, but is robust against physical damage.

Steel is very robust, but may require treatments to prevent rust.

Glass is robust but needs regular cleaning and is extremely fragile and breakable.

Adaptability and Flexibility

FRP, due to its modular design, allows for easy changes and reconfiguration.

Drywall isn't adaptable; once it's installed, changing the layout can be a major task.

Wood, while not as flexible as FRP, can be reworked to a certain extent.

Steel isn't easily adjustable but can be reworked with the right equipment.

Glass, similar to drywall, is not easily adaptable.

Energy Efficiency in Daily Use

FRP offers some insulation which can help with energy efficiency.

Drywall offers good insulation but can lead to thermal bridging which reduces its efficiency.

Wood is a natural insulator and can help keep a space warm in winter and cool in summer.

Steel conducts heat, making it less energy efficient.

Glass's efficiency varies based on treatment; for example, double-glazed glass can offer good insulation.

Manufacturing Process

The manufacturing of FRP is somewhat energy-intensive and can involve non-renewable resources.

Drywall production involves significant energy use and can generate waste

Wood's environmental impact depends largely on how it's sourced; deforestation and habitat loss can be significant issues.

Steel production is very energy-intensive and involves mining, making it environmentally challenging.

Glass production is energy-intensive and involves non-renewable resources like silica sand.


FRP isn't currently very recyclable, but it generates less waste due to its reusability and durability.

Drywall often ends up in landfills and isn't typically recycled.

Wood is highly recyclable and biodegradable, and can often be repurposed.

Steel is highly recyclable and is often reused.

Glass is widely recyclable and can be reused multiple times without loss of quality.

Sustainability begins at home

As we face the daunting challenge of climate change, it’s important to understand and accept that we all have a role to play in making sustainable choices. The path to a greener world begins at home, quite literally. With the right information and choices, you can design your interior spaces to be eco-friendly and stylish. The perfect balance of sustainability and style is not just possible but easier than you think!