At the first Sustainabuild Scotland Breakfast Club we had the pleasure of meeting Alicia Storie, founder of the Edinburgh based sustainable interior design studio AdesignStorie.
Natalie Daniels, our Sustainability PR Director, caught up with Alicia to discuss exactly how she is incorporating sustainability into her interior design practices.
Tell us briefly about what you do.
I am the founder of the Edinburgh-based sustainable interior design studio AdesignStorie. I also hold the position of the Chapter Lead of Climate Designers UK Hub, where my role is to empower other designers to learn, connect, and act on climate solutions.
At AdesignStorie, we specialise in designing climate-conscious interior environments. Whether it’s a sustainable restaurant or an eco-friendly tiny house, our design ethos strives to enhance the well-being of both people and the planet.
What does the word sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability is an ongoing journey that goes beyond simply reducing harm; it’s the continuous effort to shift from ‘doing less bad’ to actively fostering positive environmental and social impacts.
Tell us about a project you’re most proud of?
A standout project would be the interior design of a series of eco houses in the highlands, where we seamlessly integrated sustainability into every touchpoint of the guest experience. This included a green-hosted website, a welcome booklet showcasing low-impact tourism, and thoughtful placement of bins for convenient composting, which is then utilized in the onsite vegetable garden.
The majority of the materials were reclaimed, from the windows and doors, all the interior decor and furniture, down to the can openers in the drawers. Our mission was to extend the lifespan of the interior design by avoiding design trends and choosing high-quality, purpose-fit materials that are both durable and easy to maintain.
The collaboration was longlisted for the Dezeen Awards in Sustainable Interior Design. We went onto win two additional sustainability awards – the Green Apple Environmental Best Practice and the Global Climate Designs Design Award.
How do you integrate sustainability into your interior design practices?
- Conscious sourcing
- Timeless design style
- User experience and planning
- Upcycling and repurposing
- Maintenance and waste management
What kind of materials should people incorporate into homes to be more eco-conscious?
For eco-conscious homes, I recommend prioritising the use of reclaimed materials and furniture whenever possible and building on what is already there.
In terms of integrating new materials, the selection varies based on the specific needs of each project. However, some low-impact materials include mycelium, hemp, natural clay plasters, marmoleum and cork.
How are you working to address throwaway culture across the UK?
We highly encourage reuse, upcycling, and refurbishment and wherever possible, we also design for disassembly, predominantly using mono materials to ensure that our designs are easily separable at the end of their lifecycle, aligning with our circular design approach.
What is one motto you live by?
Less is more. The first step is always to reduce consumption. This principle guides our commitment to minimising environmental impact throughout every stage of the design process.