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Redesigning a space with mindfulness

Mindfully designed bathroom with plants
Visit your local nursery to find plants that not only keep you home’s the air clean but look beautiful while doing it. (Source: Adobe Stock)

As people have been spending more time at home, many design trends have emerged about mindful decor that supports healthy living for family members of all ages.

This means not only keeping a home clean and clutter-free, but also taking into account things like air filtration, humidity and chemical residue left behind by a myriad of cleaning and sanitation products.

Address air quality. Cleaner air leads to more comfortable living for family members of all ages, and multiple factors can affect air quality in a home. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indoor particulate matter consists of visible and invisible airborne particles that can enter your nose and lungs, sometimes triggering allergies, asthma and other potential health problems. Inadequate ventilation can also increase indoor pollutant levels by not bringing in enough outdoor air to dilute emissions. 

A good ventilation system and updated windows can help make sure not only that the air inside your home is clean, but that any pollutants from the outdoors are sealed out. 

Also be sure to check air filters regularly. A good rule of thumb is to check and refresh filters every 90 days.

Control humidity levels. Humidity is a measurement of how much moisture is in the air. Too much humidity inside a closed space – like a home – can encourage the growth of bacteria and mold. Too little humidity can not only make your skin dry, but also pull out the moisture in wood furniture and floors, causing cracks or warping that may or may not be repairable. It can also generate conditions like excess static electricity. According to home improvement site Bobvila.com, most experts recommend a humidity level of 30-50% for optimal air quality. When in doubt, always call a professional to help figure out what systems will work best in your unique living space. 

Embrace greenery. Plants are nature’s air filters, so paying a visit to a local nursery is an easy way to instantly give a boost to a home’s indoor air quality without breaking the bank. Adding a few indoor plants around your living space may help improve your indoor air quality while also enhancing your home’s decor. The Missouri Botanical Garden has a list of top 10 house plants that includes well-known varieties like ponytail palms, spider plants, golden pothos and more. For those with more out-there tastes, try unique conversation-starters like Pink Princess philodendron, which is known for it’s unique dark and pink leaves with occasional white flecks.

Keep your surfaces in check. Surfaces like floors and bathroom countertops should be able to withstand a lot of water in order to not succumb to mold growth or warping down the line. Nonporous vanity tops, such as those made from quartz, hold up to being wet constantly and can help keep germs from breeding. In addition to being easy to clean, a solid-surface option like quartz never needs to be sealed or polished, making it an aesthetically pleasing and long-lasting option.

Clean green. Cleaning supplies are an important part of every home’s care routine, but unfortunately, some substances can contain concentrated chemicals that pose issues for the environment and homeowners. 

According to the EPA, these products also often include chemicals associated with eye, skin, or respiratory irritation, or other human health issues. Additionally, the concentrated formulas in some commercial cleaning products are classified as hazardous, creating potential handling, storage, and disposal issues for users. 

To make it easier for consumers to identify green cleaning products, the EPA manages its Safer Choice program, which certifies and labels products with ingredients the agency has deemed safer for human health and the environment.  In addition to the Safer Choice label, the agency’s Design for the Environment (DfE) can also be found on antimicrobial products, which includes products like surface disinfectants and hand sanitizers.

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