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Decorating for Clients with Asthma or Allergies

Updated May 2024

Spring allergies are here! Since we spend a third of our lives in bed, it’s best to create a sleeping environment that supports our health and wellness. This includes minimizing pollen and allergens that, unfortunately, accompany spring’s arrival. 

Here are some tips for creating a healthy sleeping environment for allergy and asthma sufferers:

REMOVE IT

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.

SKIP IT

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.

WASH IT

All of your bedding – from the decorative throw pillows to the duvet – should be removable and machine washable to mitigate allergies. 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.

SWITCH IT

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 primary suites, we can achieve that without heavy furniture, fabric tufting and draperies.

REPLACE IT

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 recently installed honeycomb shades that are easy to clean and environmentally friendly because they were made from recycled water bottles.  You simply wipe them clean with a cloth.

CONCEAL IT

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,

If you’re suffering from allergies and you’re ready to revamp your bedroom, add our RETAIL ROLODEX to your cart!  As an interior designer, I know that the key to creating stunning, well-designed spaces lies in the sources you have available.  I’ve curated this Rolodex with sources I trust for my own home, and now they’re at your fingertips. Whether you’re furnishing, decorating, or renovating, you’ll find everything you need, all vetted through an interior designer.

Bedroom with fresh flowers on bedside table
You’re invited to join the Design Digest, a bi-monthly digital diary offering an exclusive glimpse into the world of interior design. Whether you are a design enthusiast, homeowner, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of well-curated spaces, our Design Digest is for you. Our digest is your exclusive passport to a world of creativity, where we share inspiration, curated shopping guides, intimate designer Q&A’s, and so much more.
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If you’re a design enthusiast, homeowner, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of well-curated spaces – I invite you to join the Design Digest, a bi-monthly digital diary offering an exclusive glimpse into the world of interior design.

Our digest is your passport to a world of creativity, where I share inspiration, curated shopping guides, intimate designer Q&A’s, and so much more.