Sustainable Interiors: Kelling Designs, part two

We caught up with Emma Deterding, Founder and Creative Director of Kelling Designs to talk about the importance of sustainability in interior design.

Like us, Kelling Designs strive to respect the environment and incorporate sustainable principles into their everyday practices and projects. They also positively encourage dialogue and discussion within the industry to help create a harmonious relationship between the love of design and our natural world – Kelling Designs, we salute you!

This blog is part two of our spotlight interview with Emma Deterding, Founder and Creative Director of Kelling Designs – to read part one, click here

With more and more companies placing sustainability at the heart of their business, what does the word sustainable mean to you?

For me it means hope, that at long last we may all recognise that we have to reuse. Gone are the days when we rip out entire houses and brand-new kitchens. We must learn to alter, adapt and be flexible, whether it’s through using sustainably sourced materials, or reusing and upcycling existing and second-hand pieces to give them a new lease of life.

How would you describe your design style?

Our design style is classic, colourful, and ebullient. For us it’s about creating a scheme that is timeless but filled with colour pattern and things that really make you happy. 

How do you think designers can be more sustainable?

I have long been a proponent of car boot sales, Etsy and upcycling and very rarely do we do a job without reusing clients existing furniture. We have had some real triumphs, taking tatty old pieces, restoring, reupholstering, repainting, and adjusting. This is the way it should be moving forward as the quality and craftsmanship of older furniture is amazing – it just takes a little bit of creativity, vision, and determination.

Do you think there is anything that could be done to speed up change in the interior design industry?

It’s obviously difficult as this is an industry built on the new, with hundreds of companies deriving their livelihood from selling new. But more emphasis and effort needs to be put into these companies being more environmentally conscious. The amount of packaging and plastic at the end of jobs is terrifying and we all need to work on how best to change and adapt this practice.

Sustainable design is a trend and a lifestyle that is going from strength to strength and is something that everyone should factor into their design schemes.

We wondered if you’d mind sharing with us what the last product was that you bought for yourself or a client? And we wondered if sustainability or the environment played a part in your purchasing choice?

The last items we bought were from Julian Chichester. We work closely with Julian Chichester on many projects, and we know that they provide the quality that will last for many years – buy once and buy well. They have a strong sustainability policy which is improving every year. Buy once, buy well!

There may still be a long way to go to save the planet, but we’d love to know what Kelling Designs have planned for the next steps of your sustainability journey?

I don’t have a particular favourite as every floor is suitable for each individual project. There is a floor for every situation, and really, what’s not to like about that?

In 2019 we employed 2 interns with an interest in sustainability to invest in our journey. Consequently, we have all learnt a lot and our trip has begun. Like everything, this is a global effort, and we all need to adjust our thinking and attitudes to how we design and decorate houses. My hope is that with encouragement, people will learn and adapt to use the precious resources more carefully in the future.

Images c/o Kelling Designs