Category Archives: Healthy-n-Green design principle

Healthy-n-Green Bedroom Makeover:Before Video

Check out this video of the “before” walk-thru of the bedroom which will be receiving a Healthy-n-Green Makeover
You will see common problem areas which may trigger an asthmatic/allergic person.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjuqTvQRyfo

A bedroom should be one which promotes wellness!

Follow me for more tips on creating healthy-n-green interiors:  Facebook Group:  Denise Robinette – HealthyLiving Interiors – Healthy-n-Green

Asthma drug warning – prevent asthma with a healthy interior

Drugs = health risk
Healthy Interiors = healthy life

Having healthy indoor air quality in your home or office is the number one preventitive for controlling your asthma. Having the FDA issues a warning on 4 Asthma Drugs should be enough cause for concern.

Anyone taking Advair, Symbicort, Foradil or Serevent should read the article linked below from Forbes Magazine. The FDA warns that only asthmatics who can not control their asthma should take these medications,and in very short time frames, as the medicines might make the asthma worse.

Having two children with asthma, I completely understand the need for medicine. When a child can’t breathe, nothing else matters. What I have learned is that there are many natural ways to control asthma. And, it starts with the quality of air you or your child is breathing.

It is really easy to understand that if we are trying to lose weight, we can’t be going through drive-thrus before heading out to the nearest ice cream store.  It is common sense.  The same goes for someone with lung disease, whether it is asthma, COPD or even pneumonia. The air should be as free from allergens and toxins as possible.

Be aware! C.A.R.E. about your indoor air will help put the principles of a healthy-n-green space. The are:
C.   Choose healthy products
      no VOC paints, unscented products or airfresheners
A.   Air out and ventilate
      open your windows and “flush” out the built-up
      toxins …. even for a few minutes. control the
      moisture to below 60% – use exhaust fans
R.   Reduce dust and allergens
      remove carpeting if possible – replace with hard
      flooring
      use air-cleaning machines with HEPA filters
      encase bedding with dust mite protectors
     do NOT burn candles or incense inside
E.  Eliminate exposure to toxins
     do NOT smoke or perform hobbies which require
     toxic chemicals inside
     remove shoes at the door, and place large walk-off
     mats at each entrance
     use integrated pest management principles like bait,
     traps and natural deterrents to avoid pests

These are simple steps that you can make over time – or all at once.  You and your family deserve to breathe healthy indoor air  -  it starts with taking control of your health.    When we rely on medications to do it for us, we have to suffer the consequences which we may not know for decades. 

read the entire article:                                                                                      http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2010/02/21/health-us-med-asthma-drugs_7373532.html?partner=alerts

Can a smell really make your sheets “fresh”?

Can a smell really make your sheets “fresh”??

We are creatures of habit. Did you know it takes 21 days of focus to change a habit? And then, it is many more days/months of deliberate focus so we don’t go back. It is really hard to change.

I had to make some changes when my son was diagnosed with asthma, about thirteen years ago. One of the hardest was changing the products I used to clean with and make my house “smell” good. We are pretty much addicted to smells – which has a very strong emotional connection to our childhood. When these scents have good memories, you are much more likely to purchase a product.

I started with my son’s bedroom, since he spent the most time there. It was overwhelming to focus on the entire house, so I took baby steps and made sure his sleeping environment was a healthy as it could be. Many of the changes were easy – such as choosing a different product or opening the window weekly to flush out the toxins and allergens that had built up over the week. The harder changes were in things I had an emotional connection to – which is a little weird, because you don’t realize it until you go to actually “change” something.

Some my habits came from the daily marketing advertisements on the concepts that “their” product would help you to be a “good mom”. Having a clean “fresh” smelling house was a big misconception that I was lured into as “new mom”. Little did I know that clean does not have a smell – and you don’t have to put a scent on something for it to be “fresh”. And, over time, my habits became my behavior.

When I learned that there are three ways a child is exposed to a chemical: inhalation, skin absorption and ingestion; I realized that he was sleeping on sheets which were bounced around in my dryer with scented perfumes. He was being exposed in two ways – through the inhalation and while his body lay upon the clean sheets! That was one of the easiest, yet hardest things I had to do – get rid of those toxic dryer sheets. Since then (thirteen years later) there have been many studies showing the toxic chemical exposure we receive throughout the night. And since we learned in my first blog for February, that our skin is our largest organ – it only makes sense to make sure it is exposed to natural and non-toxic products.

Luckily, there are many alternatives to the traditional dryer sheet loaded with synthetic fragrances. Health food stores and
using 100% pure essential oils is a safer way to give your clothes a natural smell.

Other sources to check:

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/dinged-by-dryer-sheets.html#

http://www.naturalnews.com/002693.html

February: Healthy-n-Green®Interior Design Principle – Safe Sleeping Zone

Lights OUT for a Healthy Sleep

Lights OUT for a Healthy Sleep

The bedroom is our most important interior living space. Creating a space which promotes wellness physically and psychologically only makes sense since we spend 1/3rd of our lives there.

Studies have shown how lack of sleep increases risk to heart disease, diabetes, being overweight and depression. Studies showing women who regularly get less than 7 hours of sleep a night have a higher risk of developing high blood pressure while other studies show without enough regular sleep, you will gain weight. Researchers found that an extra 20 minutes of sleep a night might solve the added weight issue.

Lights Out for Sea Turtles – Lights out for Humans! Sea turtles have been negatively affected by man’s light pollution. I live near a beach where the loggerhead sea turtles nest yearly. There are now laws regarding lighting for the condos along the beach, because the light was confusing the sea turtles mistaking it for the moonlight.

Artificial light also negatively affects our health. A 2001 study showed nurses working 30 or more years on night shifts had a 36% higher rate of breast cancer, compared to those who’s worked exclusively days. These studies proved that light will snuff out one of our body’s most powerful anticancer crusaders, a hormone called melatonin. During the day, breast tumors are “awake”. Melatonin, the hormone of darkness, only works in the darkness where it puts breast tumors “to sleep”. When artificial light is added to our night living environments, cancer cells become “insomniacs”.

It is vitally important to create a space in which there is complete darkness while you sleep. If you can “see” your hand after the lights are out, there is too much light. This light “re-sets” your biological clock, disrupting your sleep pattern. Remove all devices which may cause illumination, avoid turning on any lights once you have retired and install black-out blinds made from natural materials on windows to shield any outside lighting entering the room.

Thursday: Scents Make NO SENSE

February: Healthy-n-Green®Interior Design Principle – Safe Sleeping Zone

Where do YOU spend 1/3 of your LIFE?

Where do YOU spend 1/3 of your LIFE?

Your bedroom, of course! Wow – If you are a mere 30 years old, you have spent 10 years in your bedroom, and by the time you are 75 years old, you have spent 25 years there!

Many people ask me “where do I start to make my home healthy-n-green?” You can guess my answer! The bedroom should be a place of retreat from the days hustle bustle – a place to rejuvenate the spirit and relax. It is also a place where your body is filtering out the bombardment of daily toxic exposures. So, this is the first room that I advise clients to concentrate on.
What is the first thing a new parent wants to do? Decorate and make their baby’s room beautiful and healthy. We all know how important it is – but sometimes we forget to do this for ourselves! This month, my blogs will be focusing on the healthy-n-green interior design principle: Safe Sleeping Zone. I will talk about what you can do to make your bedroom a place where your body, mind and soul will get the rest you need.

I will give you some tips on:
- Eliminating toxic exposures while you sleep
- Creating a room where your nocturnal clock stays in balance
- De-cluttering – Less is MORE
- Removing noise and distractions
- Eliminating or minimizing electronic exposure
- Creating a space of peace and harmony

You deserve to retreat to a place that is your safe-haven. I will give you the fundamental principles of creating a healthy-n-green bedroom – YOU DESERVE IT!!

Wednesday: Creating a room where YOUR nocturnal clock stays in balance

February: Healthy-n-Green®Interior Design Principle – Safe Sleeping Zone

How does your home make you feel? Connected or Disconnected?

How does your home make you feel? Connected or Disconnected?

As you know, this month’s series of Healthy-n-Green®design principles focus on a Well-Designed Space.

 As in nature, our living environments are interconnected; so too is an interior.   It must not only be functional and efficient, but have balance and harmony interacting on many levels. As in nature, only the strongest survive; so too in the design of an interior. The best interiors are the ones which show the test of time:
- Does the interior reflect the “feeling” that was intended?
- Is the design dated and trendy, or timeless? How will it look in five to ten years?
- Does the space function as intended with flexibility for future change?
- Do the finishes and selections have a good life-cycle – or will they look worn after a short time?
- Is it easy to maintain? Does it promote health and wellness?                                                                                            
Again, as in nature, there are many elements working in harmony to bring tranquility and balance within a space. By combining natural materials and using a variety of textures and finishes will complement each other. Attention to detail and including unexpected accents will add an element of surprise within an interior. Can you imagine the vast ocean without the beauty of iridescent jewels of the sea? Each element depends on the other to make a symbiotic flow that creates a space that feels right, is efficient and shows the test of time – all the while being healthy, green and beautiful.                                                                                    
Take the time to plan your interior. Look through magazines to see photos that you like. You may not know why you like them, that doesn’t matter right now. As you work with an Interior Designer, she will pull the information out of you and start to dissect what your likes/dislikes and intentions are for your home. After all, that is her job!

Energy-Sucker or Energy-Booster?

 Which one describes YOUR interior? (Part II)

The flow of a space and the intent of the room are as fundamental to the interior as the foundation and roof are to the building. I learned this while attending Florida State University, School of Visual Arts (Interior Design). It wasn’t until I actually started practicing Interior Design that I understood why most of my classes were problem-solving, conceptual design and space-planning. (Kudos to FSU!!)

When baking cupcakes, the icing and sprinkles are the decorations – like the finishes, fabrics and accessories are to an interior. If the cupcake does not have the proper ingredients, it will taste bad and no one will want to eat it – no matter how good the icing and sprinkles look. How many of us are upset when the delicious looking cupcakes taste terrible?

Same concept for an interior –order and function bring a psychological balance to our lives. Everyone wants their home to reflect their personality and lifestyle, while providing a safe-haven from the chaos of our world. And, when our house has balance and is well-designed – it gives us an energy boost and the psychological calmness we all strive for.

Cupcakes anyone?

January Healthy-n-Green® design principles: Well-Designed Space

Energy-Sucker or Energy Booster?

 

Energy-Sucker or Energy-Booster?

Which one describes YOUR interior?   (Part I)

How does your home make you feel? Does it flow with ease, or does it feel chaotic, unorganized and cluttered?

Even though my house has a “place for everything” – not everything is always in its place. I call this “clutter. My office = clutter. Seems like I have at least 5 projects going on at a time – each paper in a semi-strategic place to get to ‘in a little while’. When I am in “work-mode” it can’t be pristinely organized. Maybe it is the creative mind – not sure. But, I do know that I can clean it up and everything does have a place to go. (eventually) This usually happens when company is coming over – or I feel that my energy being depleted…..

To make your space flexible, you need to assess what your current needs are, and project what your future needs may be. Example: Your den may change into a playroom which may later be a combination guest room/play-room/den. Designing flexible spaces will guarantee the rooms will actually be used. Have you ever been to a home where there is a guest room used maybe two weeks out of the year? (maybe you were the guest!)

The phrases “less is more” and “form follows function” should be applied to designing your interior. Start by taking a good look at the inventory of your specific needs or function of each space. Do you have an area to keep your “things” organized? Books, hobbies, collectibles, etc. can be concealed in furniture or closets, or proudly displayed. What do you need in the room? A desk, sofa or reading chair?

January Healthy-n-Green® design principles: Well-Designed Space

 

Friday, Read Part II                                                                                   

Energy-Sucker or Energy-Booster? Which one describes YOUR interior?

What does EVERYONE need to survive?

You can survive one month without food, a week without water – but how long without AIR?? Most of us take our air for granted, but we can only survive for 5 minutes without it. We don’t really think that much about breathing – that is, unless are having some difficulty. I know too well about this subject because I have two children with asthma.
As a mother of asthmatics, I learned very quickly how important our indoor air quality was. Being a licensed Interior Designer – I knew how to make a space “beautiful and functional” , but it wasn’t until I had children who were so easily triggered by indoor air pollution that I learned what could make our space healthy or“unhealthy”. Our interiors are environments which will either promote health and wellness, or potentially make your ill.
Healthy-n-Green® January Tip: The focus of January is about Awareness.


Be aware: C.A.R.E. about your indoor air:


C.    Choose healthy products:
        Use NO-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints – Ask for Green Labeled Paint
        Use cleaning products that are unscented, contain no phosphates or petroleum, and are         

        environmentally safe
       Use only pure essential oils for aroma with no-phosphates
A.    Air out and ventilate
        Open the windows at least once a week to flush out toxins
        Change the air conditioning filters monthly
        Control the moisture to below 60% by fixing leaks and regular maintenance of air conditioner.             

       Use exhaust fans when bathing and cooking.

R.    Reduce dust and allergens

        Remove carpeting and replace with hard flooring
        Use air cleaning machine with HEPA filter
        Encase bedding with dust mite protectors
       Vacuum with HEPA filter and damp wipe surfaces
       Do not burn candles or incense

 

E.   Eliminate exposure to toxins

        Do not use chemical perfumes in air fresheners or beauty products
        Use integrated pest management principles such as bait, traps and natural deterrents to prevent 

         pest’ access to food, water and shelter
        Remove your shoes at the door and place walk-off mats at each door entrance
        Do not smoke or perform hobbies which require the use of toxic chemicals inside a closed space

Help! My new sofa doesn’t fit my living room!

Help! My new sofa doesn’t fit in my living room!

How many of us have tried to squeeze an oversized sofa into a small living room? It doesn’t work. Many times, we buy furniture on impulse because it looks great in a showroom, only to find out it sticks out like a sore thumb in our home.   We don’t take the time to measure our space – including doorways, windows and traffic area – and end up wasting a lot of money and feeling frustrated.
      If you ever worked with a professional Interior Designer, the first thing she (or he:) will do before making any selection is create a floor plan – to scale. “To scale” is a key word here – because just winging it is “guessing”. If you have a floor plan, make sure it is correct…often times there are slight changes in the construction process and the floor plan is not completely accurate.
      I have to admit that most clients are so excited about looking at the bells and whistles in the finishes– beautiful fabrics, style of furniture and accent pieces, that they do not understand how critical it is to narrow down what works in the space. How many homes or offices have you visited where the furniture looked too large, too small or just didn’t feel right?
      A well-designed space is an integral step to create a good foundation. That foundation includes balance, harmony and proper scale. If this core principal is skipped, you may be making a costly mistake. So, roll out those plans, measure your room and start the process which will lead to a space you will love to live in!

January Healthy-n-Green® design principle: Well-Designed Space