If anyone in your family suffers from allergies, you may feel overwhelmed at all the allergens around. But you can reduce the number and prevalence of allergens in your home by doing some strategic redecorating.
Here are some ideas.
1. Take Up the Carpet
The wall-to-wall carpet in your home is probably the biggest collector of allergens. The
fibers hold all kinds of microscopic culprits, from pet dander to dust. These particles remain after vacuuming. The carpet itself can also be a source of allergies. The synthetic dyes and glues used to affix the carpet can cause allergies in some people. Also, the chemical stain guards that are sprayed on or incorporated into the carpet fibers can be a major trigger in sensitive individuals.
So rip out your carpet and, if you have hardwood floors underneath, lucky you! A simple DIY refinish is likely all that’s necessary. If you do not have hardwood under your carpets, consider natural flooring options like linoleum, bamboo flooring, or other eco-friendly materials.
2. Use Green Paint
For many people, redecorating begins with painting. But the fumes from conventional paint can cause headaches and respiratory problems even for people who do not normally suffer from allergies. Look for paints that are low in or free from volatile organic compounds (VOCs). If possible, go for water-based paints that have natural pigments as well.
To reduce allergies in your home, give away the plush, sinking-soft chairs and couch and replace them with natural wood furniture. Most plush furniture is treated with some kind of stain guard, which can cause allergic reactions in itself. Even without the stain guard, the stuffing in couches and chairs becomes full of dust and pet dander over time. Another allergy-reducing option is natural leather-covered furniture.
Mattresses, pillows and comforters can all harbor allergens. When you redecorate your bedroom, replace fluffy comforters with natural wool and cotton quilts and blankets. Go for undyed, organic cotton sheets and pillow cases. Go ahead and replace your pillows with ones that are filled with natural fibers like cotton. There are even pillows filled with buckwheat, which are said to be good for those with neck and upper back problems.
If you can, replace your mattress with a natural, organic one. Natural rubber, organic cotton, and wool are used to make comfortable mattresses that do not have synthetic chemicals.
Regardless of your bedding choices, use an allergy-reducing cover on your mattress and pillows.
5. Window Treatments
If you have fluffy, elaborate window treatments and flowing, thick curtains, remove these and replace them with simple, natural window treatments. Having many folds and loops of fabric harbors dust and dirt, whereas simple window treatments do not collect allergens. In addition, they can be taken down and washed easily.