Ditch the feather duster, because it just moves dust around.


What do great decor and allergies have to do with each other?


Quite a bit, as it turns out. The design team is increasingly being asked to design with the sniffly allergy sufferer in mind. And believe us, the result doesn’t have to be a sterile-looking design crime. It can be super stylish!

Basically, the non-allergenic look is one that would look great in any house — it’s uncluttered, with clean lines and a contemporary feel. Fussy, elaborately textured surfaces are out, and a simple, open, airy feel is in. We love the look, whether it’s meant for those with allergies or not.

However, there are a few decor tips that we keep in mind especially for those who suffer from allergies to airborne particles. Since ordinary household dust and particles (such as dust mites and their wastes, mould spores, and pet dander) are the main culprits that cause allergic reactions, we always pay attention to using surfaces in the home that are easy to clean.

The fewer items you have that can act as dust collectors, the better! For example, sofas and armchairs upholstered in fabric can produce a place for dust to collect. If you have pets that sleep on your furniture, beware of pet dander that settles down into the fabric. (And you wonder why you kept sneezing after you took a snooze on the sofa!) The same goes for wicker or cane furniture — avoid it because it is hard to clean. Go for upholstered furniture covered in leather or impervious synthetic material, which is beautiful and easy to clean.

Carpets, especially the wall-to-wall kind, can be a dust magnet. Opt instead for beautiful hard floors (hardwood or ceramic). They should be damp mopped weekly to carry off any dust. If you must have something soft and fuzzy underfoot, go for a lovely smaller rug with a low pile that can be easily cleaned. No shag carpets, please! At the very least, vacuum rugs weekly with the best vacuum cleaner you can afford — preferably a HEPA (high efficiency particulate) type.

Window treatments such as curtains or draperies should be able to be easily laundered or cleaned regularly to eliminate dust buildup. Avoid narrow Venetian blinds, as they are difficult to clean. When you buy throws or throw pillows, they must be washable, and they should be laundered regularly. The same goes for bed linens in the bedroom. Also use washable, air-tight covers for mattresses, pillows and box springs.

And speaking of cleaning, make it easy on yourself — get rid of clutter and objects that collect dust. Surfaces should be smooth, and they should be dusted regularly. And remember to use a damp cloth that picks up dust, rather than feather dusters, which just move dust around.


Ikea’s Billy bookcase is now available with plain or decorative glass doors, which cut down on the dust that books attract.

In addition, put china, books and any collection you have behind a closed door, perhaps a china cabinet or a lovely closed bookcase.

Books and magazines stored in open bookcases or files are notorious collectors of dust, so keep these in closed containers, or eliminate them altogether.

So, you can see that great decor and keeping household allergies under control naturally go together. You can choose surfaces for your home that are both beautiful and reduce allergies. No one will suspect you had any reason for your great new design other than a desire for pure, unadulterated style!

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