Article in collaboration with Houzz and Tarkett
I was invited by the website for decorating, styling and home renovating Houzz, to answer some questions about a healthy home. At the same time as fellow bloggers Aurélie Aoudia, of the Blueberry Home blog, Virginie Zerbib of Un nouveau regard and Cécile Guarino-Scailliérez of Misc Webzine, I expressed some of my personal ideas and opinions on improving things to create a sain environment in my own home.
I invite french readers to check out the article Une maison saine pour un mode de vie plus sain , that Houzz published in collaboration with the parquet – and soft floor producer Tarkett, which includes some of the observations and opinions of the four blogger interviews.
Nannette, why is it important to create a sain interior?
Although it may seem almost a trend, health is becoming a priority for all of us. I think it’s part of a general desire to find well-being. Fortunately, for the interior too, we aim for well-being. The quality of the air, as well as the quality of life and also in decorating.
How can we make our interiors healthier?
I think that everyone does what he can and fortunately there is more and more information to find on the subject. Since it’s been discovered that the air inside our homes is often more polluted than outside, we’re returning to the traditional ways of opening the doors and windows to let in “fresh air”.
Also, there are certain pollutants that can be avoided, such as cigarettes, too many cleaning products, open fireplaces, furniture produced in a certain way, moist, etc.
And then there are air purifiers, either in the form of machines or much better yet, the ones provided by nature, plants.
What is your personal ritual (daily/weekly/monthly) for a healthier, wellness-oriented lifestyle at home?
I think I can summarize my humble contribution to a healthier life inside my home in four ways.
First, I try to open the window every day for at least 10 to 15 minutes (as much in the living room, the kitchen as the bedrooms). It was an advice that came from my mom a long time ago and I try to honor it as much as I can. I confess that in winter, I sometimes find it difficult, cause I’m the ‘shivery’ type.
I’m not too fond of particleboard products and other fibreboard furniture, I prefer “real” wood. And so I’m reassured thinking that by not buying those I’m avoiding too many chemical solvents in our home.
Something else I try to avoid (as much as I can) is the very chemical cleaning products. We bought a steam cleaner and it’s really quite efficient. I must admit that I don’t use it every week, but when I do, I’m quite pleased with what I achieve, along with some vinegar and baking soda.
And last but not least, I love plants! I’m convinced that plants contribute to a healthier environment in an interior. For example, I put the easy maintainable Sansevierias in most bedrooms, .
Did you know that determining what floor finish you choose can have an impact on the air quality of an interior?
I didn’t know that, but I find it rather reassuring. I imagine that it’s a little similar to other interior design elements, such as furniture, textiles, etc. The good quality of the floor production process necessarily improves the impact of the floor on the air quality.
According to you, what difference can flooring make in terms of well-being at home?
A floor does a lot for the interior and takes an important place in the general style of decorating. As a result, I’m sure flooring can make all the difference!
For me, interior design creative and – blogger, there are two factors that seem important.
The first one is the way a floor has to be maintened and its durability in time. That’s why I’m less fond of carpeting, which seems harder to clean and wears out relatively fast. Te fact that a floor is easy to maintain is really important for the feeling of well-being, I find.
And then there is also a more psychological factor. For me, interior design has great importance for a sens of well-being in the home. It’s important that you feel well, comfortable and really “at home” in an interior. So it’s a very personal feeling. And where one person feels really well and happy on a floor with beautiful tiling, another might find it cold or unpleasant.
Have you renovated your floors in this way? What floor finishes did you choose in your own home?
We bought our home with a Salernes tile floor (terracotta, NDLR) in the living room and other tiles in other rooms. For me personally, it felt like bad luck, because I’m just not a big fan of tiles. And despite the admiration and even jealousy of family and friends for this ‘gorgeous’ Salernes tiling, I never reconciled with this floor. At the moment we are slowly planning some renovations for our home that include a new floor (yay!) and we’ve narrowed it down to either an old wooden floor or a concrete floor. But nothing is decided yet.
What other changes/improvements have you made for a more environmentally friendly interior?
I arranged our interior with plants because I’m really convinced by the effects they have on the air quality . And also with plants, there’s this earlier mentionned sens of well-being provided by interior decorating that suits the people that live in a home.
As a plus, I only use paint that has an eco-label. Whether it’s to paint walls, furniture and even floors. Because yes, I painted a floor, a laminate floor in a bedroom because it was sky blue.
What solutions would you particularly recommend, that have worked well for you at home?
I would say the old-fashioned cleaning methods, that is to say without chemicals! I don’t pretend to do only that, but I’m glad to see that we use a lot less cleaning products than some years ago.
What do you still intend to do ideally or soon to improve the air quality in your home?
Soon, as I sad we’re thinking of renovating and, since the new floor will be part of it, I think it’s important to find out as much as we can about the different finishing possibilities.
What do you do to make your home a healthier environment?
I’m open to all suggestions!