Healthy-n-Green Bedroom Makeover

When I was asked if I would provide a “Healthy-n-Green Bedroom Makeover” to the winner of an asthma poster contest for the Broward County Public Schools Asthma Program I answered with an emphatic “YES”! Then, when I was asked how much I would charge….. I had a choice to make – give a price and possibly risk losing this opportunity to educate the community on the growing problem of asthma. So….. I said I would do it “for nothing”; they would have no reason to say no! My only condition would be that I could take pictures and video, and use this information to educate others on some very simple easy solutions to make a bedroom healthy AND green. My plan was to get sponsors who would gladly support this project. I believe you get what you give – so how hard would it be to get donations to one bedroom?

I am writing this in “past tense” because I had to devote all my energy and focus into getting this room done. After committing myself – I realized I only had a few months to make it happen. This was the first project I would be doing with the Broward Schools in an asthma program funded by the Center for Disease Control Division of Adolescent and School Health on managing asthma… I knew it was a project that had to be successful – from many different angels.

First, from the aspect of a “healthy” interior – it had to be an example of an asthma-friendly room. That is, after all the reason for the project = to educate and inform on how we can make our children’s bedrooms asthma friendly. This in turn would promote wellness and show easy and effective ways of allergen and chemical controls; imperative to managing asthma. I knew the room had to do several things: eliminate and minimize asthma triggers which may include: Control the moisture to control the mold – Reducing dust mite exposure – Renovate with healthy products – Use proper maintenance – eliminate scented products and change behaviors which may contribute to problems.

Then, the room choices had to be “green” since this is fundamental in my design philosophy. To have the opportunity to promote green choices to help protect our health and the health of the planet is very important to the overall message of a Healthy-n-Green Bedroom. It was and is my mission to show how important our choices are in products and lifestyle and most importantly that it is easy, inexpensive and empowering.

And, lastly the project needed to be successful using fundamental principles of good Interior Design. After all, I am a licensed Interior Designer, who not only wants to create healthy-n-green interiors, but ones which are functional, efficient and of course beautiful. Everyone wants to love the spaces where they spend their time, and it can be done with some planning. A child spends more than 1/3rd of their life in their bedroom and this should be a safe haven that promotes wellness, inspires creativity and is a sanctuary to reinvigorate while sleeping.

I had no idea what was to come in the weeks and months to come. What child would get selected? What would the specific needs of the space be? Who would sponsor this project?

This is the first blog of a series to take you through the process: to show you how I got sponsors, the problems and solutions of asthma management, design dilemmas and my choices from my perspective being a child environmental health advocate and mother of two asthmatics.   I knew this would test my abilities as a negotiator in attaining sponsors who had never worked with me before on a project that had never been done before. My attitude was (and still is) “hey, it is only one bedroom… hard can it be?” I just had time – and the economy – working a little against me.

Next: Meet the winner of the bedroom; see before pictures and review of room

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