Meet the Healthy-n-Green Bedroom Winner!

Happy Winner!

Meet Merkiyah – the Happy Winner of the Healthy-n-Green Bedroom Makeover!  She won this bedroom makeover through the Florida Broward County Schools Asthma Management Program – AIM Program.

What a wonderful way to educate students on how to make their bedrooms a healthy safe-haven than to show them?   This was the intended mission of my partnership with Adella Earle, the Asthma Program Coordinator and the Broward Schools.  Educating and empowering our youth through real-life problem solving gives not only a long-lasting impression – but the tools to make healthier choices.

Merkiyah created a wonderful poster which showed the different triggers that a typical asthmatic faces in their daily life.   What better way to reward her efforts than a healthy bedroom?   When I met Merkiyah, she was very shy – and a little nervous about exactly what her room would look like.  I got to meet her sisters, whom she shares the bedroom with – and got their input on what they wanted to see.  No more pink and purple – but a fresh new look!

Being a Licensed Interior Designer – I look at the room from many viewpoints.  Here are a few design dilema’s we would be facing:

1. Space planning: The key to a truly functional space. The size of the bedroom was typical of a South Florida bedroom – approx.  12′ x 11′ with a window on two walls.  I would need to figure out how to spaceplan to give the girls more useable floor space – which they presently did not have.  Their bedroom is more than a sleeping space, it is place to study, read and hang out with friends.
2.  Ventilation in the room is a primary concern for asthmatics. When a space has high relative humidity (moisture) it will increase allergens such as dust mites, bacteria and off-gassing of chemicals which could be coming from furnishings, personal care products etc.   I noticed an old A/C actually see through holes in the A/C unit to the  outside!  This would be a big priority in sealing up the bedroom – which would help in electric bills as well.
3.  Choosing healthy-n-green products for the finishes would be very important to this room. Most asthmatics are triggered by harsh chemicals which sometimes off-gas for long periods of time.  Green choices in paints, flooring, window treatments, beds/bedding and furnishings would be selected.   Once  the design of the room was established – we then looked for sponsors of these products.
4. Reduction in dust mite exposure was also imperative.  90% of  asthmatics are allergic to dust mites.  Beds and pillows would be wrapped in dust mite covers and  removal of  stuffed toys would be important.
5. Natural daylighting is a very important aspect for many reasons.  Studies have shown an increase in test scores in schools which have improved their natural daylighting. It also gives a feeling of well-being.
6.  Teaching the family about healthy habits was also part of our mission.  Green cleaning was reviewed and  some green cleaners and recipes were left for the family to use.  We also discussed other behaviors which could add to asthma triggers such as using personal care products with fragrances  - so typical of girls at this age.   Copies of the educational coloring book ”Healthy-n-Green is….Healthy Indoor Air” were given to all siblings who could color!
6.  Lastly, it was very important for me as an Interior Designer to involve Merkiyah and her sisters.  Empowering them to be part of the process would teach much more than a simple re-decoration of the
In the coming blogs, I will post pictures of each item above with further discussion.  I hope you join me in the journey of this Healthy-n-Green Bedroom Makeover!
Next: Spaceplanning – how did we get MORE furniture in this room?  Smart spaceplanning is key. 

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