Allergy season is here and for those of us who suffer from hay fever and other allergies, this is not a particularly pleasant time of year for us. It can be a beautiful day with the sun gloriously shining down on us, and we'll be stood there with red puffy eyes and itching is places we really shouldn't be.
This is why some people with allergies tend to find solace indoors for the best part of the time. Which is perfectly fine, if you've created an allergy-friendly home. If you haven't you're still going to suffer indoors.
So as a fellow being blessed with allergies, I have put together a few little tips to help you create an allergy friendly home. A quick little disclaimer, these are my own opinions and tips which have worked for me. These are not supported by medical facts and should not be taken as such. This is purely from an Interior Design perspective. So here's what I've managed to come up with.
For most of us, natural fibres are known irritants. These are fibres which are produced by plants, animals and geological processes. In the world of Interior Design, natural fibres are highly regarded and most often more expensive then their synthetic counterparts. I understand the allure of natural fibres but in the case of allergies, synthetic is the way to go.
There is amazing products out there made from synthetic materials and they should not be frowned upon. The only natural material that is ideal is leather. It's easy to clean and maintain and it doesn't retain dust and pollen particles. Furniture upholstered in natural materials does retain dust and pollen.
Carpets, especially woolen carpets are highly irritable. Hardwood/laminate, vinyl and tiled flooring is a far better alternative to carpet. They are easy to clean, and do not retain dust or pollen. For added texture and warmth, easy to wash area rugs are more then ideal.
If no carpet is not an option for you, then opt for a low pile carpet, made from synthetic materials.
If you have indoor plants, take them out for the spring/summer season. Once they start to pollinate, they will spread the pollen throughout the whole house. If you want greenery in your homes, try out fake plants. There are some really good quality fake plants available to buy, and you really can't tell the difference.
Pay close attention to window treatments. The closest to the outside, curtains will always carry dust and pollen particles, especially thick heavy curtains. Opt for easy to clean blinds, or light weight curtains, which ideally should be machine washable.
Woven furniture should be avoided, glass, metal and finished hardwood is always better. You want your furniture and accessories to be easy to wipe down and dust off.
Some of the most used elements of a room, soft accents like cushions, towels, throws, blankets etc. should be made from synthetic fabrics. I know it seems restrictive, but it's better for your health in the long run. It might mean you have sacrifice on designs and styles but at the end of the day your home should be comfortable to live in.
A lot of elements in our homes are filled with some sort of filling. Sofas, chairs, cushions, pillows, duvets, mattresses etc. are filled. Make sure the filling is of the synthetic variety and not the natural one. Your body has the most contact with these elements, so due attention should be paid to these.
And lastly declutter your spaces. This one just makes your life easier. Less clutter, less spaces for dust and pollen to settle into. It will make cleaning so much more easier and you can take your favourite nik naks out for the autumn/winter period.
So there you have it, a few tips to help you spruce up your homes for allergy seasons. I know some of the changes do seem costly, so just start with the important stuff like bedding, plants and decluttering, and then work your way up.