With the growing concerns of the Coronavirus and protection of our health, it is understandable why homeowners want to take precautionary measures to ensure a clean environment. From caring for your elderly parents, the safety of your children, and even monitoring your own health, your living environment can have a lasting effect on your overall well-being. Therefore, the profession of interior design and the knowledge of interior designers is so important. As an interior designer, I cannot and will not underestimate the importance of health and safety. Not only is it in the code of ethics, but it’s a best practice and my moral duty to the general public. According to the Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ), the premiere certifying organization for interior design professionals, their definition of interior design is:
“Interior design is a distinct profession with specialized knowledge applied to the planning and design of interior environments that promote health, safety, and welfare while supporting and enhancing the human experience.”
Interior designers are specially trained through education and professional practice to uphold these standards. Read more on the differences between interior designers and decorators from my previous blog post HERE. The fabrics, finishes, lighting, equipment and everything in-between in the built interior environment should address the well-being and consideration of the physical, mental, and emotional needs of people. If you’re looking to make some changes to your space, here are some of the best items for a happy, healthy home:
SILESTONE QUARTZ COUNTERTOPS
Hard surfaces are prone to touch, making it an ideal place for the build-up of dirt, grime, and bacteria. If you’re building new or renovating, replacing the old granite countertops for Silestone Quartz may be a smart move. Silestone is the first and only countertop with Microban anti-microbial protection built right into the material. It helps to fight the growth of mold, mildew, and odor-causing bacteria. What I love about my Silestone countertops is the worry-free maintenance. With Quartz being one of the hardest materials found in nature, it’s no wonder why these countertops are resistant to stains, impact, scratches, and heat. It never needs sealing, polishing, or reconditioning. Unlike granite and other natural stone surfaces, it’s entirely non-porous. With the Microban protection, it offers a superior level of food-safety. Although Microban doesn’t take the place of normal cleaning practices, it’s an extra level of protection for an added piece of mind.
GE ULTRAFRESH FRONT LOAD WASHERS
Front Load washers have had a bad reputation for not eliminating water effectively. Poor water drainage could mean mold and mildew. However, with every problem comes an even better solution, and the GE Ultrafresh Front Load Washer has done just that. The Ultrafresh Vent System built-in to these washers has an odor-block that eliminates excess moisture, helping to ensure a cleaner, fresher washer. And guess what? The GE Ultrafresh Front Load Washer also comes with the Microban technology to help fight growth of bacteria for added protection. The door is easily reversible for a quality user experience, plus it has a PowerSteam, Sanitize and Allergen function. Not only does it deeply penetrate to loosen stains in fabrics, but it also kills 99% of common bacteria and allergens such as dust mites. I think we both can agree how important this is when cleaning up after a loved one or washing clothes after our kids’ big game. Now that my old washing machine is on the fritz, I know exactly what I’m purchasing next!
HYPOALLERGENIC DOWN ALTERNATIVE BEDDING
Aside from a comfortable mattress, when it comes to a sound sleep, hypoallergenic bedding is a must-have. On my anniversary cruise to the Caribbean, I learned about one of the best naturally hypoallergenic materials, bamboo. Bamboo is one of the most sustainable, renewable sources on the planet. And although a popular plant, it seems to be one of the industry’s best kept secrets. What makes it ideal is bamboo regenerates naturally without pesticides or chemicals. It also naturally repels moisture, odors, and allergens, making it a favorite for bedding. Plus, its viscose material offers a soft, luxurious feel. Like alternative down pillows, bamboo is a breathable material, that thermal-regulates the body, allowing for comfortable sleep year-long. Bamboo is organic and even purifies air quality, while down alternative reduces allergens (no more sneezing). These together make for an ideal bedding set, designed for comfort, and created for healthy living.
CRYPTON PERFORMANCE FABRICS
Fabrics and soft surfaces can be a breeding ground for mold, mildew, and stains. Especially in the outdoors where the exterior elements can wreak havoc. Outdoor furniture was primarily what performance fabrics were made for to help reduce fading from sun exposure and moisture from the great outdoors. Now, Crypton has created performance fabrics specifically for the home. Crypton’s technology was created to repel and resist liquids and oil-based spills. So, when your toddler feels like playing rocket-ship blast with the spaghetti, you have no worries of cleaning up that mess! It’s also odor resistant so that it not only reduces scents but keeps it from lingering and spreading. Whether you’re preparing for a game-day party at home with the fellas or muddy paws from your pet, this fabric is made to withstand wear and tear of some of the toughest real-life situations. You get the same great qualities, but with a softer touch as style does not waver with its extensive number of fabric options. Win win! Some of your favorite furniture pieces, like this Swivel Glider chair is already upholstered with the Crypton performance fabric.
IKEA GUNRID CURTAINS
Furniture isn’t the only place where you can find performance fabrics. IKEA has made an innovative move by creating a performance curtain. The IKEA GUNRID curtains mineral-based coating helps to purify the air. What makes this curtain extra special is it uses the energy from natural light to transform volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into clean air. Talk about a filter system! No need for air purifiers when you have a magic curtain like this. All you need is a mild detergent to wash and it’s just like new. With these curtains you can let the sunshine in but leave the bad air out. When allergy or cold & flu season rolls around, I’m certain you’ll notice a huge difference.
TOTO WASHLET BIDET
Ok, we’re about to get up-close and personal for a second here. We understand the importance of being fresh and clean in the nether regions. That means having the right tools (or plumbing) to do the job. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been using wet wipes to ensure my little ones were getting a fresh clean. So, I never understood why as adults, we switched from water (or water-based products) to dry paper to clean. When it comes to your health and the function of the home, a bidet has found to be very beneficial. They’re septic friendly, therapeutic for the skin, and drastically reduces the spread of germs. What I love about the Toto Washlet Bidet is you get this, plus the added benefits of its built-in adjustable warm water cleansing, heated seat, dryer, and deodorizer. You can reduce paper waste and a comfortable seating. If interior design is about ensuring an enhanced human experience, I’m sure this gets close!
HANDS-FREE SOAP PUMP
As we all know, one of the best ways to stop the spread of germs is by washing your hands. We all love the added benefit of touch-free soap pumps. You can get the convenience and cleanliness of a hands-free soap dispenser right in your home. With its waterproof feature and stainless-steel design, you’re sure to get the level of high-quality cleanliness you desire. All it takes is a simple motion of the hand and you’re on your way to being dirt and grime free.
BRIZO TOUCHLESS FAUCET
If you’re like me, you probably hate having to touch a faucet with dirty hands. I try to use my elbow or even my wrist to lift the handle if it meant keeping cake batter off. One of the most common ways of maintaining cleanliness is by washing hands with touchless faucets. Brizo touchless faucets are both functional and fabulous, like this Jason Wu faucet. The TempID is a temperature sensing LED display to indicate temperature settings. Great to keep from irritating little and sensitive hands. Plus, the SmartTouchPlus technology allows for an option of touch or hands-free water activation. Paired with the hands-free soap pump, this combination makes for fashionable, innovative design that’s also functional.
VOICE COMMAND ELECTRONICS
When I bought my first home, I had no idea how smart it could be. My husband and I were dazzled by all the features of a smart home, but I was thinking of the benefits of the voice activated electronics. With just a command to Amazon Alexa paired with my voice command electronics, I can turn off my television, dim my lights, or set a timer on my window shades. Legrand dimmers, switches, and other electronics are aesthetically pleasing and get the job done. Think of the added energy savings of dimmable light fixtures and window shades. Or the convenience of turning off electronics when you’re snuggled in bed. How about the piece of mind of being able to set your home alarm system or ability to call for help in the event of a fall? That is the powerful opportunities afforded with today’s technology, voice command electronics, and smart homes. With a simple voice command, or the touch of a button from an app, you can have the added security that your home and loved ones have safety as a top priority.
DETOXIFYING INFRARED SAUNA
Once you’ve done all the hard work of detoxifying your home, it’s time to relax, relate, and release in a detoxifying infrared sauna. When you get a common cold or even the flu, the doctor always says to get rest and drink plenty of fluids. We’ve even heard to sweat out the toxins by working it out in the gym, or better yet, detoxify in a sauna. Sweating is the body’s most natural way of eliminating toxins. Aside from helping you break a sweat, infrared saunas help to relieve pain, increase circulation and purify the skin without the extreme heat. Unlike traditional saunas, infrared saunas heat your body directly without warming the air around you. They even help to boost the immune system, which a positive benefit given the health scares we face daily. A good steam shower can often do the trick, but if you have the space, you may want to invest in an infrared sauna.
It’s always best to stay indoors if you feel you are getting sick. Plants and a well-designed interior help to speed up the recovery process. If you’re caring for a loved one or simply wanting to improve your interior environment, but want to reduce in-person interaction, our e-design service is the perfect solution to help you meet your needs. Our online interior design package has been a service we’ve always provided for our clients as an alternative to full-service design. It’s a convenient process that offers the expertise from me as your professional designer, with a personalized design to help meet your needs. We’re happy to step in to provide the tools you need to craft a happy, healthy home. Learn more about or Online Interior Design Services or contact us for more details with our FREE Discovery Call.
The DVS editorial team highlights a curated selection of product recommendations for your consideration; clicking a link to the retailer that sells the product may earn us a small commission.
Veronica Sanders, an award-winning interior designer here to offer quality design at your finger tips.