Because I have bedrooms on my mind, here are some tips for creating a healthy sleeping environment for allergy and asthma sufferers:
When we step out of bed on a chilly Vermont morning, our feet enjoy being greeted by a cozy carpet. But in reality carpeting is terrible for asthma and allergy sufferers. Particles like pet dander, dust mites and pollen get trapped in the carpet fibers so even regular vacuuming won’t remove them entirely. A better option is wood or laminate flooring. It allows for easy cleaning and easier breathing.
When redecorating a space for people with respiratory problems, it’s imperative to use products with no VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and do not off-gas. Some products seem innocent but the off-gassing creates an extremely toxic environment. VOCs shouldn’t preclude you from ordering the furniture that best fits your needs, but be sure to request low or no-emitting finishes, components, and upholstery.
All of your bedding – from the decorative throw pillows to the duvet – should be removable and machine washable. It’s much more hygienic and cost effective than dry cleaning, especially if pets share your bedroom. If you have an upholstered headboard or other upholstered furniture in your bedroom, consider getting slipcovers made so you can launder them. If you’re purchasing new furniture, I suggest using leather or faux leather. Leather adds warmth and texture, and will not harbor allergens like fabric.
The furnishings in your bedroom should be streamlined and simple. With fewer creases and crevices in your room, there are fewer places for dust and allergens to hide. While many clients like to add ‘glamour’ to master suites, we can achieve that without heavy furniture, fabric tufting and draperies.
If you crave room-darkening window treatments for your bedroom, I recommend replacing heavy fabric drapery treatments with wood blinds, shutters or specialized honeycomb shades. We carry an extensive line of window treatments that are easy to clean and environmentally friendly, including a line of insulating honeycomb shades that are made out of recycled water bottles. You can simply wipe them clean with a cloth.
Invest in bedside tables that have ample interior storage. This will allow you to store your bedside amenities like tissues, books, reading glasses and hand lotion where it is easily accessible but kept away from the dust.
My mission is, and always has been, to help our clients live better lives: to cook better, sleep better, relax better and clean less.
Have a well-designed day,