Our home makes us feel safe, but is it really as safe as we believe?
Most of us are good at avoiding all those nasty chemicals in cleaning products and particular upholstery fabrics, but what about other aspects of our home? In other words, are our homes really as eco-friendly and therefore, healthy as we think they are?
Bill Ferris, president of Decor Interiors @Decor_US says: “When people typically think “green,” they don’t necessarily reflect on the items in their home. Rather, they consider installing solar panels, conserving water or reducing their use of electricity… Look for furnishings, floor coverings and architectural design elements that use renewable materials.”
Here are some interior design ideas to make sure you’re on the right track to a healthy home:
Plants, flowers and greenery in general are great for making sure the air in your home is purified. That’s because not only do plants provide oxygen, but they also filter nasty chemicals such as greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
And get a beautifully scented set of blooms, such as lilies, to double the benefit by improving the smell of your rooms. Bamboo Palm and Gerbera Daisies are two plants in particular which stand out as great air purifiers.
Choose natural fabrics
When selecting curtain material, cushions, upholstery, bedding and table linen, go for natural textiles every time. Not only are fabrics such as linen, cotton, wool, natural latex and silk chemical-free, they are also comfortable and often heat regulating because they’re breathable.
Natural fabrics often tend to be hypoallergenic (so great for those with allergies), odour-free, biodegradable, and can be recycled.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) are the chemicals we mentioned in our introduction to this article. They are what we definitely don’t want in our homes since most of them are harmful to health. None of them are natural and they react to temperature, especially heat. They can result in headaches, runny eyes, a feeling of nausea, liver damage and even cancer, in some cases.
The paint we put on our walls together with air fresheners and certain upholstery, even carpets, can all contain VOCs so it’s definitely checking what’s in everything before we bring it into our homes and our family’s lives.
Embrace the light
The right lighting can do wonders for your décor and can easily change the atmosphere in a room. And the best type of lighting is, of course, natural sunlight. So, instead of having heavy, thick drapes on your windows, opt for lighter linen curtains or roller blinds that you can fully pull up instead.
If you have double glazing, you don’t have to worry about heat escaping through your windows anyway. And don’t worry if you have small windows, floor lamps and table lamps can be an excellent way to brighten up a dark corner and add some ambience at the same time.
And always use LED bulbs. A recent report by the US Department of Energy showed LED light bulbs use around 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs. Not only that, but they last 25 times longer.