Healthy design in all of your spaces is a win-win for all occupants, and can make the most impact on children. Children are:
a) closer to the ground than adults
b) spend more time on the floor (playing, lying down, watching TV…)
c) are still developing physically
Keeping these 3 things in mind when (re) designing a child’s space, making a “healthier” design choice is a ‘no-brainer.’ Our homes can be a chemical cocktail when you take into consideration household cleaners, textiles, wall & floor coverings.
Textiles and the impact our fabric choices (curtains, upholstered furniture, pillows, bedding…) can have on our health, specifically on the upper respiratory system. Even if you consciously purchase ORGANIC and/or a natural fiber (cotton, wool, silk, linen, jute, bamboo) you have to take into consideration the DYE/coloring process and finishing agents (anti-flame retardants, anti-wrinkle) that all go into the manufacturing process. READ the label & be aware of what you are bringing into your space.
You also need to think about SAFETY when designing a child’s space. No sharp edges or corners, non-skid rugs and safety locks/latches on toy chests. It also helps to remember the HEIGHT difference so you place hooks, shelves and cubbies on the level of the child. You can yell all you want for them to “put their stuff away” but if they CAN’T reach where item goes, it will all be for naught & you’ll only add to your’s AND the child’s frustration. (I’ve gotten down on my knees and crawled around at the child’s level on some of the bedrooms I’ve designed to get a feeling from THEIR perspective!).
Lastly, let me briefly discuss the importance of proper lighting. There are four levels of lighting that needs to be implemented in each room: general, task, ambient & accent. Examples of these layers are: general is an overhead light such as a ceiling fan, task can be a reading lamp/desk lamp, ambient would be puck or pin lights on a bookshelf or curio cabinet & accent lights would be a small lamp on a dresser or track lighting to highlight trophies/awards.
This is merely an introduction into healthy home design & how your environment can impact your health & well-being, particularly for kids. My hope is that these tips brought awareness to your next design decisions, and how you view your interior space(s).
- DeAnna Radaj, owner of Bante Design LLC, can enter a space and help to tweak (or remodel, re-design) the space to work better to suit its function AND the lifestyle of the occupants of the space. Using Integrative Lifestyle Design, life quality can be increased AND be supportive to any transitions occurring, lifestyle changes or health challenges. She is an “Eco-Shui” designer, writer & consultant who helps those who are looking to lead a more healthy, balanced & proactive lifestyle.
To find out more about DeAnna & her publications, view her author’s page on Amazon.com.