Home Health & Lifestyle Trends: 7 Things We Love in 2019
At Lifecore®, we’re always on the lookout for trends or products that contribute to a healthy, efficient and stylish home. With 2019 underway, we put together seven examples of things we are particularly excited about this year. Some of them are brand new, while others have been flying under the radar for the past few years. All of them, however, are on our shortlist of easy and inexpensive ways to improve your home environment in 2019.
1. Clean homes and a clean conscience.
If you’ve been reading LIFECORE’s blogs, you know two things about us; We are all about improved air quality in the home, and more than a bit obsessed with cleaning. It should come as no surprise then that natural, plant-based cleaning products would make our LOVE list.
Studies have shown that using chemically-based cleaning spray (even as little as once a week) raises the risk of developing asthma, releases toxins into the environment and can have a detrimental effect on the cleaner’s skin and eyes. And if they come in an aerosol spray, the environment suffers as well.
Once considered a pricey niche item, natural cleaning products are moving into the mainstream and are more competitively priced. Many of these products are EPA Safer Choice Certified, non-GMO, cruelty-free and have no added dyes parabens, chlorine, phosphates, or formaldehyde. Not only will the air quality in your home benefit, but it will smell truly clean and fresh. Yes, we are obsessed.
2. When it comes to flooring, let there be light.
This trend is especially close to our heart and one that we are uniquely qualified to speak to. Interior designers everywhere are saying that light-colored floors are making a comeback, thanks to a growing desire to create a more airy and open look and feel throughout the home. Paler shades are not only super chic, working in any décor, they also reflect more light to help the room appear more spacious. In other words, natural wood is not only stunning, it can also make a big impact in a small space.
Another benefit to light colored wood is its forgiving nature, as scratches, dust bunnies and general wear is less apparent on light wood than on their darker counterparts. To see what we mean, visit LIFECORE’s product gallery and check out colors like Fresh Aire, Gentling and Nature’s Path. Factor in our ZERO-ADD® formaldehyde-free technology, and you’ve got both health and beauty in one amazing floor
3. Healthier living through….lighting?
Circadian rhythm lighting has been referenced in healthy living articles for years, but products to actually improve it in your home are relatively new and very hot right now. What exactly is circadian rhythm lighting and why does it matter?
Here’s the answer in a nutshell: Thousands of years ago our DNA was trained to wake when the sun rises and sleep when it gets dark. That is what science calls circadian rhythm. Then the 20th century came along, with its artificial light, longer and more sedentary work schedules and expanding social lives.
As a result, more and more people began to experience exhaustion, sleep issues and headaches. Though it’s not so easy to reset our ancient built-in clocks, it isn’t that hard to change how those clocks respond to lighting.
There is now technology that you can easily and inexpensively install in your home to restore the circadian rhythm balance. Also called human centric or tunable lighting, these new products produce indoor illumination that closely matches natural light. Paired with smart home automation, tunable lighting adapts throughout the day with the sun cycle to ease the impact of artificial light on the body. This very subliminal change can have a big impact. Users have reported improved sleep patterns, better visual acuity (resulting in fewer headaches), increased alertness and improved moods. This tech also saves money and is good for the environment.
Human centric lighting products can be found at online retailers and ranges from light bulbs for $15.99 all the way up to more complex lighting systems in the low $100’s. That’s an investment you won’t lose sleep over.
4. Move over, exposed brick. This trend has us climbing the walls.
Till now, it was like a fairy tale existing only in the land of HGTV. You know, that one, magical design fix that quickly, easily and inexpensively transforms an ordinary room into a uniquely AMAZING space. As much as we wanted to believe it could happen at our house too, the camera-ready team of contractors and designers never knocked on our door.
Well, we’re happy to say that fairy tales can come true. We’re referring to one of the hottest design trends for 2019, engineered hardwood flooring on walls. No, we don’t mean a re-work of 1970’s paneling. Today’s trendsetters are bringing nature and texture into the room with accent walls, wainscoting and other design elements created out of beautiful, hardwood planks.
Why not try enhancing your built-in shelving or insets with wirebrushed oak? Maybe take a new spin on the kitchen backsplash with a smooth maple. Looking to make your bedroom the coolest place in the house? Create a “headboard” strip out of reclaimed wood. The possibilities are endless.
Best of all, there are no rules. With a variety of colors, finishes, textures and plank sizes, you can create an Architectural Digest-worthy effect that is uniquely yours. Mix and match different widths and lengths. Placed them horizontally or vertically. Whether your style is Rustic, Classic, Modern or BoHo, there are flooring choices that to compliment. It’s one of the simplest ways to create decor magic, and you don’t need a team or big budget to do it.
5. One home accessory that’s worth its salt.
They may look like a unique object d’ art that you picked up on an exotic vacation, but Himalayan salt lamps are one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to improve the air quality in your home. Activated by the heat of a light bulb, the hygroscopic salt crystals quietly absorb water molecules, dust, pollens, smoke and other particles in the air while emitting negative ions to reduce electromagnetic and mild radioactive substances.
The result is a more peaceful sleep, a reduction in asthma, allergy or breathing disorders, and stress free environment overall. And did we mention that the look really cool? Depending on the size and strength, they can range from $10.00 all the way up to $900 and can be found at most online retailers.
6. Cure for this uncommon cold.
For much of the country, the weather this winter has been brutal. Frigid temperatures not only take their toll on our bodies, they can also take their toll on our bank account and the environment in general when we’re forced to crank up the heat at home.
That’s why we love the new crop of small, energy-efficient plug-in heaters that can go from room to room working their safe and eco-friendly magic. Despite their size, these little dynamos emit a powerful amount of warmth that can fill the room with way less wattage than your furnace. And unlike the risky space heaters of old, most of the newer models have features to prevent overheating, even if left on for an extended amount of time. Even if they’ve been running for hours, they remain cool to the touch. More advanced models come with the added benefit of an air purifier to improve air quality while you stay toasty. Units with various features can be found at online retailers ranging from $27.99 up to the $300s.
7. Even the smartest homes need a Guru.
Home automation is one of the most rapidly growing segments in technology. In 2018, the average smart home had a minimum of three devices. That number is expected to explode in the next few years. Most of the devices are from different manufacturers and are dedicated to vastly different functions; think home security, temperature control, playing your favorite tunes and making coffee as an example of the various devices any one home could use. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to control them all from one place?
Though not a brand new concept, smart home hubs are becoming more advanced, more compatible with other systems and way more affordable. Like a universal remote for your lifestyle, hubs are one panel or device from which you can control all of your smart home tech. They start as low as a $50.00 with more elaborate control panels in the $250- $400. The more expensive ones even provide their own functions, like motion detection and acting as an intercom. It’s like they say, home is where the hub is, and if you’re going to go smart you might was well go genius.
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