Over the past two years, we’ve been given the chance to assess and re-assess our collective understanding of hygiene. While this has definitely changed how much hand sanitizer we have on us at any given time, it’s also seriously influencing our home design.
“Hygiene-conscious homes are becoming more common,” say Moen design experts Danielle DeBoe Harper and Jessie Birchfield. “Health and wellness remain top of mind for consumers when making style choices. Where consumers may have made design decisions solely based on their favorite colors and textures before, now more than ever, they want their home to be a clean, relaxing escape.”
What Is Hygiene Consciousness?
In design, hygiene consciousness is the concept of incorporating easy-to-clean fixtures and other features that increase cleanliness into their homes. Hygiene-conscious features can include touchless faucets, wipeable, non-porous surfaces, and similar details.
There are many different ways to practice hygiene-conscious design, from the large (like replacing all the high-touch fixtures in your homes with naturally antimicrobial or easier to clean finishes) to the small (taking simple steps to improve air quality). Here, experts offer tips for practicing hygiene consciousness at home.
Transform Your Space Into a Wellness-Focused Sanctuary
As we all look toward more hygiene-conscious homes, DeBoe Harper and Birchfield are encouraging people to transform their spaces into wellness-focused sanctuaries. But to do that, we need to take some steps to ease the transition to a better home.
“If homeowners are looking for a way into the trend of home holistic wellness, they should begin by taking an objective look around their home,” the Moen experts say. “Special attention should be paid to commonly used rooms, like the kitchen and bathroom. By analyzing a space and noting which areas of a room make you feel slightly more anxious than others or causes a more crowded, less visually clean feel, it naturally gives you a starting point for the design.”
Start With the Kitchen and Bathroom
If you're not sure where to start, DeBoe Harper and Birchfield agree that the kitchen and bathrooms come first: “Kitchens and bathrooms are a top priority when implementing hygiene-conscious design. With food prep, guests coming in and out, and frequent uses during the day, these high-traffic rooms are in need of the most attention when it comes to maintaining a clean space.”
Minimize Clutter, Maximize Neutrals
Another key step to creating a more peaceful, balanced, and hygiene-conscious home is by reducing clutter.
“Starting small by simply minimizing clutter with organizational design elements is a great way to dip your toe into the trend,” say DeBoe Harper and Birchfield. “And so is brightening spaces with a more neutral color palette through paint.”
While warm whites and bright neutrals have become exceedingly trendy in the design world, using this palette has added benefits when it comes to wellbeing. “Leaning into whites and neutrals paired with more minimalist styling provides a visual cleanliness that offers a sense of calm and luxe tranquility that can help offset the stresses of everyday life,” says the Moen team.
Small Changes Can Benefit the Wider World
Along with minimal clutter and more neutral spaces, the Moen team also suggests upgrading household fixtures to items that are easier to clean, or items with a sleeker, cleaner design.
Along with the personal benefits, designing your home with hygiene consciousness in mind can benefit the planet, too. An active reduction in clutter and excess naturally leads to less waste, and the use of certain products—like water filters, eco-friendly cleaning products, and sustainably sourced materials—can benefit your wellbeing as much as they can the earth.
“By exploring products like the Nebia by Moen Quattro, consumers can bring a spa-like effect into their own home. [Plus, this particular fixture] offers 50 percent water savings," DeBoe Harper and Birchfield say.
Less Stuff, Less to Clean
“Whether you are a homeowner or renter, there are easy ways to focus on hygiene,” says the Moen team. “Reducing the number of home accents, such as throw pillows or blankets, and incorporating greenery like plants throughout the space can create a soothing aesthetic."
Connect With Nature
DeBoe Harper and Birchfield have noticed a rise in our connection to nature, particularly through design. “Large picture windows are becoming more popular,” they say. “With a focus on the indoor/outdoor lifestyle, connecting homeowners more to nature and leveraging biophilia can create a greater sense of harmony in their lives.”
Consider Air Purification
Along with incorporating more plants and larger windows, Suzy Kwiecien, Head of Brand and Product Marketing for Blueair North America, encourages people to consider air quality when designing hygiene-conscious homes. While houseplants are key to helping a home feel fresh, there's more you can do.
“Poor air quality is often overlooked and hard to detect,” Kwiecien says. “Indoor air [can be] more polluted than outdoor air. Daily household activities like cleaning, playing with your pet, and cooking all release pollutants into the air and can contribute to poor air quality.”
"Air purifiers can remove 99 percent of airborne particles," she adds. "As cold and flu season approaches and consumers spend more time inside, [purifiers like] Blueair remove germs and other particles."
Live More Naturally
Along with an air purifier, Kwiecien has other suggestions for ways we can promote indoor air quality. Plants, of course, are at the top of the list.
But there are other things you can do, too. “A few other tips we recommend to promote indoor air quality include throwing out all scented candles and incense. [Also,] avoid unnecessary chemicals and use natural cleaning products," Kwiecien suggests. "Remove carpets, which trap particles such as dirt, fungi, and dust mites. Regularly wash beddings, curtains, and other textiles to rid your house of dust and mites. And [lastly], throw away cosmetics, soaps, and toothpaste containing microbeads, which release tiny microplastics."
Streamlining your home design to be more hygiene conscious might not be easy, but as the benefits add up, you'll find that it's definitely worth it.