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5 Ways To Detoxify (And Beautify) Your Home


With all of the toxins we are surrounded by on a daily basis, it is hard to not feel overwhelmed and stressed. But have no fear -  I have put together a list of my top 5 ways you can make cleaner, safer choices for the items in your home such as paint, candles, and bedding. I truly believe that you can have a home that is both beautiful and supports your health and well-being. Read on for some great tips to get you started!

1. Use Safer Paint - Paints are typically filled with Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's) which can include ethyl acetate, methylene chloride, formaldehyde, benzene, phenol, and quaternary ammonium compounds. These are all just fancy scientific ways to say that they can cause headaches, nausea, coughing, skin irritations, breathing issues, and more. Yikes! Luckily there are some great safe VOC-free paint options out there.  

Photo by Dustin Halleck, Design by Courtney Schrank Design Studio

Pro tip: My favorite no-VOC paint brands include Clare PaintThe Real Milk Paint Co., and ECOS.

Also, be sure to choose both a low/no-VOC base paint and low/no-VOC colorant.

Check out this blog post to learn more!

2. Add Plants - I know we might not all have a green thumb, but certain plants can help purify the air as well as add a fresh feel to your space (plus, many are hard to kill!). Plants like a snake plant, spider plant, Chinese evergreen, weeping fig, and certain palms are great for purifying the air. If you have kids or pets, be sure to check if your fave plant is safe for them too!

Photo by Dustin Halleck, Design by Courtney Schrank Design Studio

Pro tip: Places like The Sill and Bloomscape will deliver living plants right to your door - you can even get a plant subscription. Better yet, support your local nursery or even pick from your own garden!

Check out this blog post for a more tips on the best plants for different rooms in your home

3. Choose Safer Room Fragrances - Who doesn't love a good scented candle, especially in the fall?! Now I used to love Bath and Body Works and Yankee Candle as much as the next gal, but do you know what chemicals are lurking in your Warm Sugar Cookie candle? Traditional candles contain parabens, phthalates, and paraffin wax (made from petroleum as a by-product of making gasoline) which when burned create benzene and toluene. At the very least these chemicals and byproducts are hormone disruptors and at the worst are carcinogenic. Yikes!

Photo by Gene Yoon, Design by Courtney Schrank Design Studio

Fun fact: Many of these toxic ingredients have been banned in many countries (EU, Japan, South Korea, Canada, even China). Why not the US? Good question!

Alternatives include candles made of beeswax, soy wax, or other plant-based waxes or diffusing essential oils. There are also safe room deodorizers like Grow Fragrance you can explore.

Pro tip: Make sure your essential oils are pure (organic is ideal) and screened for toxins/contaminants. Check out candle companies like Basic Bee Candle Co.Wellness by Ari, and Welch Candle Co., for cleaner options.

Check out this blog post for more tips on how to find safer fragrances for your home.

4. Upgrade your Pillows, Throws, and Bedding -  Look for natural fabrics (think cotton, hemp, and wool). Oeko-Tex Certified, Greenguard Gold Certified, or The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified are best! If fabrics are synthetic, then look for the Oeko-Tex 100 certification which ensures it is free from 100 chemicals and pollutants that are potentially harmful to our health such as formaldehyde, heavy metals, chlorinated products, pesticides, phthalates, and more.

Design by Courtney Schrank Design Studio

Look for fabrics that haven't been treated with flame retardants, anti-wrinkle products, or stain repellents. Also be on the lookout for azo dyes which are known carcinogens. The best option overall would be GOTS and Oeko-Tex 100 certified.

Pro tip: Some of my favorite brands include Coyuchi, Under the Canopy, and Etsy. Places like West Elm, Amazon (sheets), and others will sometimes have good options as well!

Check out this blog post to learn even more about some of the certifications to look for!

5. Look for Less Toxic Area Rugs - Look for natural fabrics (think cotton, hemp, and wool). Did you know: Wool is naturally flame-retardant! Look for rugs without chemicals, un-safe dyes, or flame retardants and stain repellents. You will know if they have these chemicals in/on them, because the off-gassing is super obvious. Another fun tip is to get vintage rugs - just be sure they haven't been mold damaged and air them out if they smell musty. 

Also, be careful with rugs that are made from recycled materials or plastic bottles - they may be better for the environment but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are better for you!

Photo by: Margaret Rajic, Design by Courtney Schrank Design Studio

Pro tip: Check out Hook & Loom, Pehr, and Organic Weave

I hope you feel like you can take these tips and start detoxifying (and beautifying) your home today! If this is too much for you to handle, I offer a variety of services and resources to help make this process and painless and stress-free as possible:

Visit my website to see the ways we can work together.

Book a complimentary discovery call with me here. 

Join my email list here to get lots of low-tox goodies sent to your inbox, plus download another detox guide!

Follow along on Instagram as well!

Courtney Schrank is an interior designer that helps her clients prioritize less toxic materials and furnishings to create homes that are both beautiful and support their health and well-being, both virtually and in-person.