Good home maintenance leads to peace of mind

I have had a difficult time working on a topic this week as my mind and heart has been in Japan as I process the horror that has occurred.

I have dear friends who live there and who have left their home for the time being and it reminds me everyday that I have much to be thankful for.

Sometimes design can seem frivolous and trite yet it serves a much broader function than we tend to realize. Obviously we need our interiors to be finished (to what decadence degree is up to the individual) but how they are finished can have an enormous impact on our mental and emotional well-being.

I have written before about how we respond to our environments and how they affect our moods and I wanted to re-visit this topic because I feel it is very important.

We need to be aware that the function of our environment and design plays a main part of how we live our everyday lives.

To the extreme, whether we have been a victim of a natural disaster and our houses are not inhabitable to improving our living spaces with colour and updated materials, all aspects of interior design are essential to life.

If something breaks in your home, you fix it as immediately as you can. Should there be something affecting your personal health and safety you would give it the attention it deserved but consider the repairs you may not be able to see.

It isn’t always as straightforward as a broken window. Sometimes aging and heavily used items can contribute to the wear and tear of a household, even though we can’t see it. Mold and mites in carpet can affect your respiratory health as can an old furnace that has a dirty filter or inadequate humidity controls.

Mattresses, pillows and upholstery that are old and not maintained properly can house numerous allergens and can be affecting our health every day. You would be surprised to know what abides with us in our homes!

What can a person do? Simple maintenance is key as is working on worn areas of your home bit by bit as you can afford it. Try to keep a budget for carpet cleaning and painting touchups once every two years. Have your furnace ducts cleaned annually and replace your furnace filter on a regular basis. Hire someone to clean your blinds and drapery every few years – I say hire someone because it is the most tedious and boring task ever!

The more well maintained your property is, the more peace of mind you will have in your immediate living environment. This is a basic of good design, before you get to the next level of colour and customization. This is an important step in feeling good about your space and having your interior environment work for you and not against you.

As I have said in the past, my vehicle can be an indicator of the stress in my life but I’m very happy to say that I have cleaned out the clutter in my car and feel much better when driving it!

Kim Lewis is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre. Contact her at 403-343-7711 ext 227 or email her at