Updated: Dec 10, 2020
I am not going to lie, it’s been challenging trying to live and work while a major pandemic is happening around us. As a working designer, I have been putting my education to good use by trying to reconfigure spaces for safe distancing and researching materials that would do well and clean well during these anxious times.
With so many people out of work and taking in less income, you have to think proactively on how to create safe spaces in the home and in your businesses.
I found in my research and what I know as a designer about which fabrics, finishes, and functional furnishings can make your space safe and family-friendly. I found that most items that are used in commercial and even hospital spaces can be used in residential spaces.
Everyone knows about social distancing, keeping six feet apart but what about surfacing? The typical countertop in the home is made of granite or quartz. I looked at how long bacteria and germs stay on surfaces.
Metal Examples: doorknobs, jewelry, and silverware: 5 days
Wood Examples: furniture, and decking: 5 days
Stainless steel Examples: refrigerators, pots and pans, sinks, and some water bottles: 2 to 3 days
Other hard surfaces including granite and quartz: to 5 days
Credit: CDC and WebMD
So if you have kids and teens doing school from home, think about metal tables or desks with rounded corners. You can even have a customized stainless steel table or purchase a restaurant table and use butcher or art paper on top. Chairs can be made of galvanized metal. They come in so many colors and fun shapes, why not use it?
Soon as you get home from work, the store, or school if you are going you need to strip down put your clothes in the washer and take a hot shower daily. Far as fabrics on furniture, Crypton, and other fabric treatments normally used in commercial and hospital environments, can be used in a residential setting if someone is autoimmune.
I love the option of carpet tiles and my favorite vendor is Flor. So many options another vendor I like to use is Mohawk flooring, they offer commercial floor tiles and carpet for commercial and high traffic flooring for residential settings. I love the carpet tiles because they can be pulled up and washed, then put back down. Area rugs and other carpets should be professionally cleaned or get a steamer to clean.
I know various paint vendors have new additives that help protect walls against germs, mold, and mildew. Options like microban, paint shield are ones that need to be considered when remaking spaces during this pandemic. It’s also a good idea if you are in the market for a home especially if it’s older, to have an inspection for mold and asbestos. Once you are in the clear use a primer and microbial enhanced paint for your surfaces.
Cork flooring has excellent thermal and acoustical properties. It's beautiful, lightweight, warm to the touch, hypoallergenic, fire and insect resistant, moisture resistant, and maintains just like hardwood floors. Cork flooring is eco-friendly and affordable.
Purifying Fans and UV tools for Tech:
The markets for these are growing so fast and it’s worth the investment for your health and peace of mind. The purifying fans and humidifiers help clean and clear the air of gases and 99.97% of allergens and pollutants as small as 0.3 microns. (Credit: Dyson) They come in varying sizes and styles to suit your home.
Be sure to think about space planning and smart storage and UV charging stations to make your space functional and safe. All of these options can be implemented in nursing homes, daycares, and yes even in residential settings. In offices, partitions and shields can be implemented.
So there you have it, ways and methods to make your home and commercial space cleaner, more functional and looking great during these challenging times.
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