By Arwa Lodhi
Remember ‘sick building syndrome’? It’s still alive and well–the glue from carpets can give off toxic fumes; TVs, computers and wifi create ‘electric fog’; many old houses have lead pipes, which leach into water–and all of these glitches in your house can really hurt your health.
For this reason, health-minded property developers are promising to transform our indoor environments by placing wellness at the centre of design. Newly built, WELL-certified homes are cropping up in New York and London that feature interiors designed to take care of the health of their residents.
Luxuries such as vitamin C-infused showers, purified air and water systems and circulated aromatherapy air promise to enhance well-being. Some flats even boast posture-supportive heat reflexology flooring, and rather than jarring their owners awake with alarm clocks, “dawn simulation” circadian lighting design gently nudges them out of slumber.
In Leonardo Di Caprio’s WELL certified apartment in New York, a “wellness concierge” from Donna Karan’s Urban Zen foundation is also on hand to advise residents on how to stay in top form. But this eco-trend didn’t originate in the Big Apple; in fact, like most health-related movements, it started in Los Angeles, and you’re more likely to see such properties in super-healthy California. There, soy-based insulation, cork flooring and Himalayan salt lamps which rid homes of electro-smog and contain rejuvenating properties are all the rage–and what starts on the West coast and spreads to New York is sure to find its way to Europe shortly after.
But let’s face it–not all of us can afford the luxury of a health-orientated interior. So what can the average person do to jump on this bandwagon? It’s not as difficult as you may think.
6 Steps to a Healthier Home6
1.For starters, start by cleaning your house up of anything that may be toxic–eliminate carpeting whenever possible and replace with natural rugs, like Flokati rugs made from 100% natural wool.
2. Never use room sprays or chemical cleaners–these linger on surfaces in the kitchen and may find their way into your food; you’ll also inhale toxic droplets when you clean.
3. Also avoid chemical ‘room fresheners’ at all costs, and even shun scented candles, unless they’re 100% vegetable wax, with natural oils.
4. Try to use natural flooring materials, like naturally stained wood and cork, instead of artificial ones in your house.
5. To avoid electro smog, (yes, that’s a thing!) 6unplug any electronics you’re not using, and buy a small Himalayan rock salt lamp to place near your computer.
6. Add plants–lots of plants. Several varieties, such as orchids, snake and spider plants are particularly good at soaking up air pollution.
See? It doesn’t cost a fortune to make your flat or apartment a bit healthier–all you need is a bit of knowledge and common sense.