How to decorate your bedroom if you have asthma or allergies

As the owner of an interior design firm that is service-driven and not sales-driven, I wanted to provide connection in a more meaningful way. So, earlier this month I created our very own VIP Insiders group. This group is also a way to honor my 2020 word of the year: PRESENCE.

The first few questions in the VIP Insiders group were about bedrooms. Perhaps it’s due to our rainy, gray spring? Or maybe the ‘shelter-in-place’ ordinance makes people want to curl up with a good novel?  Since we spend a third of our lives in bed, it’s best to create an environment that supports your health and wellness. This includes pollen and allergens that, unfortunately, accompany the flowers that have started to bloom in my lovely corner of Vermont.
Mug with books and reading glasses

Because I have bedrooms on my mind, here are some tips for creating a healthy sleeping environment for allergy and asthma sufferers:

Remove it

When we step out of bed on a chilly Vermont morning, our feet enjoy being greeted by a cozy carpet. But in reality carpeting is terrible for asthma and allergy sufferers. Particles like pet dander, dust mites and pollen get trapped in the carpet fibers so even regular vacuuming won’t remove them entirely. A better option is wood or laminate flooring. It allows for easy cleaning and easier breathing.

Skip it

When redecorating a space for people with respiratory problems, it’s imperative to use products with no VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and do not off-gas. Some products seem innocent but the off-gassing creates an extremely toxic environment.  VOCs shouldn’t preclude you from ordering the furniture that best fits your needs, but be sure to request low or no-emitting finishes, components, and upholstery.

Wash it

All of your bedding – from the decorative throw pillows to the duvet – should be removable and machine washable. It’s much more hygienic and cost effective than dry cleaning, especially if pets share your bedroom.  If you have an upholstered headboard or other upholstered furniture in your bedroom, consider getting slipcovers made so you can launder them. If you’re purchasing new furniture, I suggest using leather or faux leather. Leather adds warmth and texture, and will not harbor allergens like fabric.

Green and White Pillows


Switch it

The furnishings in your bedroom should be streamlined and simple.  With fewer creases and crevices in your room, there are fewer places for dust and allergens to hide.  While many clients like to add ‘glamour’ to master suites, we can achieve that without heavy furniture, fabric tufting and draperies.

Replace it

If you crave room-darkening window treatments for your bedroom, I recommend replacing heavy fabric drapery treatments with wood blinds, shutters or specialized honeycomb shades.   We carry an extensive line of window treatments that are easy to clean and environmentally friendly, including a line of insulating honeycomb shades that are made out of recycled water bottles.  You can simply wipe them clean with a cloth.

Conceal it

Invest in bedside tables that have ample interior storage.   This will allow you to store your bedside amenities like tissues, books, reading glasses and hand lotion where it is easily accessible but kept away from the dust.

My mission is, and always has been, to help our clients live better lives: to cook better, sleep better, relax better and clean less.

Have a well-designed day,



Pinterest Pin Asthma or Allergies



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