Make your Home and its Inhabitants Healthyby Opinion Express June 22, 2018 0 comments
When designing the interior of a home, check whether it is making you feel healthy rather than just its look.
Dark wall colours, an overload of decor, bright fixtures, heavy curtains and shoddy carpets; these are a common sight inside every house. But while visually everything is in alignment, is it in keeping with your health requirements?
Colour, texture and pattern are the three principles of interior designing. Only when these follow certain parameters, can the inhabitants hope to work effectively. It is equally important to ensure the right path for air and daylight to flow in. Anuj Srivastava, co-founder and CEO at Livspace says, “A healthy home design entails using natural materials, embracing a sustainable way of living, generating minimum waste, bringing in more greenery into the house and letting in more of natural light and ventilation. It is a conscientious effort — from construction to decor and maintenance — to ensure that a home and its inhabitants are healthy.”
Using natural materials
Natural materials should and can be easily incorporated into your home design for a more rooted, earthy feel and to ensure sustainable living, when the right materials are chosen. Srivastava says, “For the flooring, opt for travertine or terracotta tiles. There are even cheaper options like red oxide flooring. You will find that these options work for your backsplash and bathrooms too. Wood has been the conventional choice for furniture and now for flooring too. You can also explore bamboo, rattan and wicker for some stylish seating options and accessories. Rattan, sisal and jute can be used for rugs and baskets. You can also make planters with cane baskets. If you decide to go the industrial route, pick out brick and stone for exposed walls in a rustic setting.”
Priyanka Mehra, principal architect, PS Design says, “It is essential that the home should have large windows to let in as much as natural light as possible. Use nature paintings and art work in your rooms to create a feeling of outdoor living. In case natural light is not in abundance, use daylight bulbs so that your lamps can mimic daylight and give you a bright environment.”
The World Health Organisation noted in one of its studies, “Household cooking with coal or biomass-burning stoves led to 4.3 million deaths in 2012 as compared to 3.7 million deaths from outdoor air pollution” With excessive use of chemicals in paints, textiles and cleaners, indoor air pollution can be deadlier than the one outdoors. Indoor plants work wonders in such situations by infusing ample amount of positive energy. Srivastava added, “Indoor plants are pretty and low maintenance. Choose from the vastu-friendly aloe vera, the adaptable spider plant that purifies air at home, the easy-to-grow money plant, the lucky bamboo that is a natural humidifier and pretty succulents that have health benefits.” Snake plant is considered to be a healing plant for asthmatic patients.
Coming back to a fragrant home is always relaxing. With hectic lifestyles and endless meetings, a fresh smelling home can be therapeutic for a tired mind. You can recreate a luxurious fragrant hotel-feel within the comfort of your home by getting the smell right. Use incense sticks, diffusers, scented candles and air fresheners that are easily available in the market. Inhaling essentials oils stimulates the olfactory system. It aids in relaxation with its respiratory, disinfection, decongestant and psychological benefits.
Pastel colours can have a soothing effect without being overpowering. Srivastava elaborates, “The biggest advantage of delectable ice-cream colours is that it balances the interiors without look dull. When used well, they can lend a relaxed feel to your living areas and a retro twist to your kitchens and so on.” But there can be hints of brighter colours as well. Priyanka Mehra says, “Warm tones like red, yellow and oranges stimulate conversation and work well for living rooms. Greens, blues and lavenders have cooling effect and work well in the bedrooms where you want to connect with your partners.”
The two factors that you should consider while picking your fabric are the amount of sunlight you want streaming in and the mood and décor of your room. For example, heavier fabrics suit more traditional rooms while sheer fabrics work best in more minimalistic rooms.
Mehra has more tips for choosing the right curtains, “Always try and have two set of curtains. One to protect from the harsh sun and one to let in a little light in the morning. In hot weather, cottons would be ideal.”
Similarly for choosing furnishings, she said, “In hot and humid conditions, cotton and linen are the best options. They can be washed easily and are easy to maintain. If you are living in a cold climate, silks and wools are ideal.”
Srivastava further advises, “If the curtain hangs on a window that receives direct sunlight, a protective lining can make it more opaque so that they fade slower and last longer. Also, two layers — one sheer, one opaque can give you the flexibility to choose the amount of privacy and light.”
Writer: Aparna Bhalla