With Halloween almost upon us, I thought it an opportune moment to ask the question… how scary is your home?
Does your home fill you with dread as soon as you walk in the door? Are you frightened to let others into your personal space? Are you disappointed that your space is a let down and doesn’t support your healthy lifestyle?
This is an ideal time of year to HEALTH CHECK YOUR HOME.
With all of the coughs and colds surfacing at this time of year it’s time to take a fresh look at your home to create not only a stylish home but also a healthy home… just in time for Christmas.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been blogging about clutter and hopefully you can appreciate that it’s an important aspect to keep under control to prevent injury and diseases in your home. But what else do you need to consider in order to create a healthy home?
Here’s an overview of my HEALTHY HOME CHECKER… with some interesting health facts
“Poor design or construction of homes is the cause of most home accidents. In some European countries, home accidents kill more people than road accidents.” (read more)
To reduce the risk of injury in your home, the furniture should be organised so that it’s easy to move around, even in the darkness. When planning your space, consider carefully what you’re going to use the room for because this will determine the type of furniture you’ll need in the space.
For example, a couple who love to entertain and dance the tango in their open plan kitchen/lounge/diner, they need a large dining table and flexible furniture that can be moved around to create a dance floor. Whereas, a bedroom for a young child would require a single bed, toy storage, low level furniture with rounded edges, and a bean bag to sit and read or roll around on like a caterpillar.
Once you have a list of the furniture you want in your room, the next thing to consider is the doors and the pathways in your room. You then position the furniture so that it’s not in the thoroughfare or congested areas.
Once you’ve positioned the furniture for the different activities in your room, you’ll then have a greater understanding of what type of lighting you need and where specific light needs to be positioned for each activity.
“A good night’s sleep could prevent Alzheimer’s disease. The sleep hormone, melatonin, works by breaking down the body’s active and energetic hormones which slows brain activity and aids sleep but it is also believed that the antioxidant abilities could help reduce the severity of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The hormone can only be produced in darkness.” (read more)
Light is particularly important for a healthy home because it can stimulate the mind. The correct amount of light in your room will help you feel energised and invigorated, which is great in a living room where you entertain and want to encourage energy.
However, in a bedroom too much light could prevent you from sleeping soundly. As was highlighted above, the sleep hormone ‘melatonin’ can only be produced in darkness.
When assessing light in your room, firstly write down how you want the room to feel (light, open, bright, spacious, cosy, tranquil) and then write down how it feels at the moment (dull, dark, dismal, energising, bright, light). If your words are consistent with each other then that’s fab. If your words don’t compliment each other then you should consider adjusting the light levels in your room.
For example, if your bedroom is bright and sunny but you want it to be dark and cosy then you could incorporate curtains made with a heavy fabric and blackout lining. If you want your bedroom even darker then you could balance the curtains with a dark blackout roller blind. If you want your room even darker still then you could choose a dark and mysterious paint colour for the walls (Farrow & Ball: drawing room blue, down pipe grey, green smoke).
If, however, your room is dark and you want it to feel bright and spacious then I recommend that your curtains or blinds are tailored so that they maximise the amount of natural light from the window. If you don’t have enough natural light then you could consider using artificial light (ceiling, floor, table lamps). If this doesn’t make your room feel brighter then you can look at using pale paint colours (Farrow & Ball: strong white, pavilion grey, pale powder blue, green ground) alongside reflective surfaces to maximise the amount of light in your room.
“Indoor pollution and mould can lead to asthma, allergies or respiratory diseases.” (read more)
Cookers, heaters, stoves and open fires can release pollutants into your home. Once these pollutants are in your home, it’s essential to bring in fresh air from the outside to dilute and remove them because inhaling any smoke can be harmful.
Even in winter it’s wise to open a window at least once a week to draw in the fresh air and remove any pollutants. It’s particularly important to do this in the kitchen and the bathroom which are more susceptible to air pollutants and mould.
“About every tenth lung cancer case results from radon in the home.” (read more)
Radon is a colourless, odourless, radioactive gas. Radon gas in the soil and rock can move into the air in houses and other buildings, as well as in water from underground sources such as well water. For both adults and children, most exposure to radon comes from being indoors in homes, offices, schools, and other buildings. The levels of radon in homes and other buildings depend on the characteristics of the rock and soil in the area we live. (read more)
In most cases radon levels are very low, but in a few instances there may be significant exposure to radon. Check if your property is in the radon affected area… find out more
“People who complained their old bed was uncomfortable slept nearly one hour less than those who were happy with their old bed. Also, ergonomic studies have shown that couples sleep better in a bigger bed. Before trials only 15% said they would buy a larger than standard bed while afterwards, 50% said they would.” (read more)
Why do you think couples sleep better in a bigger bed? Firstly, it’s because they have more room to move about so are less affected by the movements of the other person. Secondly, having room in the bed will help you regulate your own body temperature which will help you sleep more soundly.
Something to remember though is to choose bedding (quilt or blankets) that’s one size larger than your bed because otherwise you can get cold and chilly if your partner rolls over and hogs the covers?
“The handle of your kitchen tap has approximately 13,227 bacteria. On average, it takes only 10 bacteria to make you ill.” (read more)
If you’re the type of person who loves to clean then this is something that will have you pulling on your marigolds with a smile and spraying cleaning products with glee.
For others, the thought of cleaning is a bind and a chore. You know you have to do it to keep your home and your family healthy but how can you make it easier on yourself? How can you make it less stressful and how can you make it less time consuming?
The answer… style your home so that it’s simple and sleek. Now that’s not to say that it’s bare and lacks character. The items you choose for your home are still stylish and appealing but they’re less fussy and intricate.
For example, instead of having a traditional tap with intricate handles, choose a modern tap with straight simple lines because it’s easier to clean with less lumps and bumps. Instead of having a fluffy carpet, choose wooden flooring where you can see the dirt that needs to be cleaned. If you want to reduce dust in your room, instead of traditional curtains with pleated headings, choose eyelet curtains or roman blinds that have less material and simple folds.
A modern and contemporary styled room with paired down décor is usually less dusty and easier to keep clean than a traditional styled room that has a mountain of furnishings and accessories.
By taking all of these elements into consideration, you’ll be able to create not only your stylish home but also a healthy space for you and those around you.
If you’re worried about the health of your home then just get in touch and we can have a chat about how to make small changes with maximum impact.
BIID Interior Designer
House Doctor Consultant
Mindful Home Expert
Radio, Conference & Event Speaker
(m) 07841 519802