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Allergen-free as can be

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With more Americans than ever suffering from allergies, the Healthy House Institute offers some simple steps you can take to keep your family as allergen-free as possible — without giving up fine decorating.

  • Window treatments should be simple, writes the institute’s Lynn Marie Bower. Metal or wood blinds will hold the least dust, while 100 percent cotton blinds or linen curtains are the easiest to wash regularly.
  • All soft furniture items covered in leather can and should be wiped clean often. It’s an easy step and it’s a place where a lot of dust resides. For fabric upholstery, choose removable and washable covers.
  • Centralize your tchotchkes. Those small, decorative pieces are huge dust-catchers. Bower suggests putting them in a glass-fronted cabinet to keep them clean while still allowing them to be enjoyed.
  • If you’re allergic, it might be better for you to keep plants and flowers outside. The pollen in flowers is very allergenic, while mold can build up over time in the soil of potted plants.

Photo courtesy of Brooke Novak via Flickr