Friday, March 15, 2013

Guest Post: Hypoallergenic Decorating Ideas

Today we are excited to have a guest post written by Mike Zook!  Mike is committed to good health through simplicity and natural living. You can find him fighting for environmental protection and reviewing spill containment systems for MPC Containment.
Do you find that your family members are actually more likely to start coughing, sneezing, and getting sick when you stay home than when you're out and about? Maybe you need to rethink the materials that you're using in your home design and decoration.
Synthetic materials tend to attract more allergens, so it's often better to find natural solutions and get a little creative. Here are several great ideas that will not only make your home look fantastic, but also keep everyone happier and healthier.
Wool rugs. Did you know that wool is naturally hypoallergenic? It's true! The same things that cause wool to build up all kinds of static electricity also makes those electrified particles naturally kill off many different kinds of bacteria. It's like having a self-defense rug! A few wool rugs around the house can do wonders for keeping nasty germs and allergens at bay.
Hard wood and tile and laminate, oh my! Carpets are breeding grounds for allergens and germs, so if you can remove some or all of the carpeting in your home, it can really help to make things healthier and more sterile for all of those allergy-sufferers in your life. Moreover, hard floors can make a home feel more open, as well as lighter and brighter - depending on the color, of course.
Slip covers. Almost all furniture has a habit of collecting dust and other allergens, and over time this can become quite problematic. Worse, things like couches aren't the easiest to clean. That's one of many reasons that slip covers are so great - you keep the worst of it from accumulating on your furniture, and the covers are incredibly easy to remove and toss in the washer. And from a design standpoint, slip covers make it simple to give your rooms a makeover by changing colors or styles.
Display cabinets. Most of us have certain items that are special to us which we like to put on display, such as awards and trophies to fine china, collectibles, or other knick knacks. Simply setting them out means they will be magnets for dust, dirt, and other allergens. But if you buy a nice cabinet with display windows, you can have the best of both worlds by showing off your wares while protecting your health.
Allergen-proof pillows. Throw pillows are wonderful little accents, but they can also retain allergens - unless you opt for ones that are specially designed to be hypoallergenic, such as Land's End Pure Loft. Beauty, comfort, and health all in one.
Blinds, not drapes. Fabric drapes suck in all kinds of nastiness, and if you're going to keep them in your home, you should make it a point to have them dry cleaned about every two months. But there's an easier solution. Instead of using fabric, opt for stylish wipe-down blinds. These days they're available in all sorts of styles, so they should fit your décor no matter what it is. Plus (as the "wipe-down" name implies), they are incredibly easy to keep clean and free of allergens.
Leather, leather everywhere. Really want to say goodbye to those annoying allergens? Choose leather sofas and chairs over the fabric variety. Sure, they tend to be a bit pricier, but you'll have far fewer allergy-causing substances piling up around the house.
If you are interested in writing a guest post that would educate and inspire our Livable Design readers, we'd love to hear from you!  Please contact us at info[at]livabledesign[dot]com!

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