The Design Commission: Interior design with more than the surface in mind

The Design Commission

The Design Commission
The Design Commission: Kenzai, Coogee

Core to environmentally friendly interior design is sourcing sustainable materials that serve multiple functions.

That’s the view of interior designer Jacqueline Bosscher from The Design Commission. Jacqueline works hard researching suitable products that don’t break the bank.

In the past, many products came from overseas, but these days it’s getting easier to source sustainable products in Australia. You can now find high quality, sustainably produced tiles, for instance, at a good price point when previously there were none.

Jacqueline’s story is one of passion. She retrained as an interior designer after a career in the contemporary arts, and quickly noticed the curriculum failed to mention sustainable materials.

“We learnt passive design principles, but we weren’t talking about the indoor air quality or where the materials were coming from and how they were produced,” she says.

This is largely why she set out to start her own sustainability-focused interior design practice, straight after training.

For Jacqueline, using materials with low environmental impact is a priority. But clients also benefit from a home that’s rich in natural materials and free of pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds.

“The smell in a new home of new carpets, paint and joinery, like the smell inside a new car, is created by VOCs. What we are breathing in is chemicals,” she says.

Jacqueline favours natural products such as timber, linen, stone and wool, as well as products made from recycled materials with no VOCs. Restoring features inside a home, rather than replacing them, also helps to reduce embodied energy, waste and cost.

She prefers materials with multifunctioning potential. Paint should be more than a layer of colour, for instance. The right VOC free paint can absorb CO2, resist moisture and create a soft internal light. Jacqueline specifies products and materials that work hard to deliver more than one solution or outcome.

Design inspired by natural processes and forms, known as biophilia, also guides Jacqueline’s practice and results in beautiful, relatable and comfortable spaces. This is the most meaningful way to “bring the outside in”, which is applicable as well as popular in Australia. And she is forever seeking new ways to apply these design and sustainability principles with her varied clientele.

The Design Commission

Designer | Australia