Interior Design can Improve Your Life with Safety in Your Home
Your environment will affect how you feel. It can also affect how safe you are. It is not just about making your home beautiful. It is also about safety. A professional designer is trained to help you with the safety of your home.
For this master bath remodel we used small tiles on the shower floor for better grip and added a seat.
These are some of the things that affect your environment and can improve your life: function, space planning, comfort, organization, color, safety, lightning, romance, personal identity and entertainment.
In this series of blogs we will discuss how each one of these can improve your environment and your life.
Designers who are professional members of ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) have gone through intensive training in home safety and must complete many CEU classes each year.
They will be able to inform you of important safety items in your home like :
A) Air quality with regards to finishes and VOC paint used in the home
B) Furniture arrangement
C) Floor safety-what types of floors will give you better traction
D) Ergonomically correct selections
E) A good lighting plan. Safe lighting for clear navigation at night
F) Safety Tips for Elderly or Disabled
A. Air Quality
Air quality is very important and everything you put in your home can affect the air that you breathe. A designer can steer you towards better manufactures who care about your environment. This will help you have healthy finishes and materials in your home.
Did you know that synthetic carpet may actually put pollutants into the air and wool carpet can take pollutants out of the air? This also effects the air you breathe. Healthy finishes and materials can also affect your home air quality.
Each room in the home presents unique safety factors to consider. For example, in a kitchen you must be sure that you have planned adequate ventilation.
B. Space Planning
Arrangement of furniture is also important. Here are some things you should NOT do.
1. Do not put furniture in upper hallways near stairs or railings where children might climb up on it. This might lead to a child falling to the floor below.
2. Do not use sharp corners at a height where small children might hurt themselves.
3. Do not choose ergonomically incorrect selections when deciding on hardware and furniture. For example, you want to choose a desk chair that is comfortable and will be ergonomically correct to use at your desk or tabletop. This will help you be physically safer.
Do not put furniture in upper hallways near stairs or railings where children might play on it.
C. Floor Safety
In the bathroom there are many safety decisions to consider. For example, did you know that smaller floor tiles give you better traction on slippery floors? Also, you should use an antimicrobial grout to prevent mold and mildew from forming between the tiles. If you use better sealers as a coating on your natural stone tiles, it will help with future cleaning.
A matte finish for the granite countertops in your kitchen looks great and also helps with the safety of the work surface by reducing glare and providing contrast.
Be sure to have path lighting to bedrooms and bathrooms to provide clear navigation at night. Having more than one lighting source adds drama and provides illuminations for simple household tasks.
D. Ergonomically Correct Selections
There are certain selections that you will make in furniture and in hardware that will help support the natural alignment of your joints and posture. When you sit at your desk it is especially important to sit in a way that is most efficient and comfortable. That is why your interior designer can take note of your body type and help you have a desk chair that is right for you.
Another suggestion is to replace your door knobs with lever-styled 1 inch handles or pulls. This type of hardware is easier to use and better on your joints. If you change your closet hardware to larger pulls, it will also make it easier to use.
Your designer can also help you with a good lighting plan with well balanced light throughout the home. It is especially important to use path lighting in dark hallways that lead to bathrooms. It is a good idea to provide clear navigation at night to bedrooms and bathrooms,especially if you have overnight guests.
Having more than one lighting source adds drama and provides illumination for simple household tasks which is especially important in the kitchen area. It is also nice to have easy switches in your home.
Home automation is becoming very important and your professional designer can also help you find the best company who can help you with this.
F. Elderly / Disabled
If this is going to be your final home you should plan for the future.
Make sure all hallways and doors are wide enough for a wheel chair.
Think about access to the house and what changes could be made in the future.
Install grab bars in the shower or at least install blocking behind the drywall and tile so you can install them at a later date.
As for bathroom safety, here are some guidelines from the NKBA that will enhance accessibility and ensure safety for all users.
1. Add a bench inside the shower.
2. Install an emergency shut-off for a whirlpool tub.
3. Use cabinet locks to prevent children from accessing household cleaners and medications.
4. Add grab bars throughout the bath–especially near the entrance of the tub. This will prevent falls.
5. Eliminate steps leading into the shower and include a tub surround or platform so you can sit down while entering or exiting the tub.
6. Be sure to install slip-resistant flooring in all areas of the bathroom.
7 Be sure to have shatterproof shower doors. Install the door so that it will open into the room instead of the shower.
As you can see, there are many ways you can use interior designers to help you with safety in your home, whether you are doing some remodeling or starting with a new home. Good interior design can help improve your life and help you stay safe in your home.