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  • Writer's pictureColin Stayton

3 Topics to Start You Thinking About a Healthier Kitchen

At the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) held in Orlando in February, one of Bluebell’s designers saw her chance to learn more about the intersection of healthy interior environments and kitchen design.

“I was drawn to the topic because of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in paint,” says Michele Wood, technical designer. “I discovered that we can make a lot of smart kitchen design choices to create a healthier space for the most-used room in the house.” Here are three subjects to start you rethinking what you want in your new kitchen:

1. “Ventilation is our friend.”

Tightly constructed homes deliver greater energy efficiency but also lock us inside with any airborne toxic substances and carcinogens: potentially more than 87,000 of them. That gorgeous hood over your cooktop doesn’t just pull out the unseemly aroma of cooked broccoli—it has a critical role removing moisture that can cause toxic mold, natural gas or propane that inevitably seeps from gas cooktops and ovens, and VOCs floating undetected in your indoor air from, among other things, new products’ and materials’ off-gassing.

2. Consider lighting…

It’s a well-known fact that abundant natural light greatly improves our moods and even our physical health. But now we’re now learning how programmable artificial light can work with our body’s circadian rhythm to benefit our sleeping, waking, energy and performance. A human-centric approach to lighting encompasses not only the quality of lighting used, but also its effect on the user’s health, mood and productivity. Bluebell Kitchens’ designers have found that lighting fixtures between 2700-3000K meet our clients’ needs, while enhancing the overall atmosphere of the room.

3. Biophilic design

This increasingly popular approach seeks to connect building occupants more closely to nature. It encourages us to incorporate natural elements into the kitchens we design for families’ mental and physical wellbeing. Think indoor plantings that look serene and help clean the air, natural light from windows and doors that also open to fresh breezes, and access directly to yards, decks and porches for recreation and dining in the great outdoors.

“We spend 90% of our time inside our homes, where the air is 2 to 5 times more toxic than the air outdoors, and most of that time in recent years we’ve been together in the kitchen,” says Michele. “I see a lot of opportunity in those statistics for kitchen designers to move toward healthier environments for our clients.”

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