Four Healthy Living Design Tips

Let the Light In

Sunlight is a vital part of our health. It provides us Vitamin D, it is a natural disinfectant, and it maintains our circadian rhythm. A part of our circadian rhythm is our sleep/wake cycle.

Blackout shades are necessary for most homes that are surrounded by light pollution. Most of these shades contain PVC, fiberglass, polyester, or acrylic.

To opt for a more natural option combine shades and curtains made of natural materials in bedrooms. Shades can be an investment, so if it is not the right time for you to make a purchase, make sure to open your blinds/curtains daily and let the light in.


“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” -Leonardo da Vinci

The EPA suggests that indoor air quality is typically 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air and Americans spend 85-95% of their time indoors.

Opening your windows in the summer may be easier, but opening them from time to time throughout the year enhances your indoor air quality. Pick a nicer day and open the windows a crack. Clean your air ducts every three to five years, especially after a dusty renovation.  The EPA tested kitchen ranges and found that 51% produced CO concentrations in the room above EPA standards. Use your range hood when cooking on the stove.

Add plants to most rooms in your home. Even if “you are not good with plants” it is well worth the small investment. Do not get hung up on keeping them perfect. They are real and natural has imperfections. Find low maintenance plants, making sure to properly cover them during colder months.

Buy a Healthy Mattress the Next Time Around.

You spend an average of 33 years or one-third of your life on your mattress. Look for organic materials like: 100% natural latex mattress and organic cotton. These options are double the cost of a standard mattress, but they are also known to last 3-5 times longer. If you cannot afford natural latex, polyethylene foam is considered a “safer” option and does not contain BPAs.

If you do decide to purchase polyurethane or memory foam, look for an Oeko-Tex Standard 100 or Greenguard Gold certification. Verify there are no added chemical flame retardants, fragrance or antimicrobials, and no PVC or vinyl. These materials give off Volatile Organic Compounds that are linked to respiratory problems. Fire-retardant chemicals are linked to cancer and hormone disruption. PVC and vinyl can damage reproductive health.

 Less Can Be Better

“Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

William Morris

Minimalism is back and trendsetters like Marie Kondo are asking if you do not have a personal connection to it and if it does not have a purpose, why is it there? Not everyone enjoys the Minimalist look, but you can take small steps to purge the excess you have in your home. Marie Kondo is not the first to recommend this and the benefits are freeing. It is less to clean, easier to clean….which equals healthier. It also improves mental health. You have less visual stress, less to maintain, and less to buy.

Written by:

Amy Hillegass

December 19, 2019