Air purifying house plants

Survival experts apply the rules of three when it comes to surviving without life essentials. You can live for: three weeks without food; three days without water; three minutes without air.

We breathe in and out between 17,000 and 30,000 times per day. That’s 6.3 to 8.4 million breaths a year…. That’s a lot of air! Of course how we breathe, and what quality of air we breathe is of vital importance and yet outside of yoga and discussions about pollution, it is rarely discussed.

Have you ever realised the more stressed you are, the shallower your breathing?

Take a full breath in for a count of 5, hold for 5 and release for 5. Repeat 5 times. Do this morning and evening, and any time you feel stress. I am reminded of the airline advice that “In the event of an emergency, fit your own oxygen mask before attempting to help others”. Taking care of ourself and staying calm in a crisis helps us to be able to care for others.

Practicing breathing control when we don’t need it, helps us use the technique when we do, and generally helps us feels good too. It is an essential skill to help with anxiety and stress. Efficient breathing promotes oxygen levels, which enables clearer thoughts and a reduced heart rate, especially important in this time of worldwide concern.

As the coronavirus (Covid-19) spreads, rapidly, many people are being advised to self isolate, and often stay within the confines of their home. Knowing the importance of fresh air not only to survival but also in regulating our physiological responses, and knowing that there may be extended periods where we or our loved ones are confined to our homes, I wanted to share a simple action we can take to improve the quality of indoor air we breathe.

Grow your own fresh air

Though you wouldn’t necessarily associate NASA with indoor plants, the research institute did a study in the late ’80s on plant abilities to purify the air. NASA’s Clean Air Study was undertaken to establish the impact of the air-purifying quality of plant in addressing “sick building syndrome” and found which are the best indoor plants at removing benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and ammonia from our surroundings – chemicals that have been linked to adverse health effects like headaches, dizziness, eye irritation, and others.

Dr. B. C. Wolverton led the study, and according to its results, The Florist’s Chrysanthemum and Peace Lily are the best plants for purifying the air. NASA also recommended to have at least one plant per 100 square feet (10 square meters), and although this research is quite old, it is still regarded by many as the most comprehensive and accurate to date.

So my advice is quick and easy: where you can’t get outdoors to fresh air, improve the quality of your indoor air. Breathe deeply and get your calm on. Make conscious decisions, and help others where you can.

Scroll down below to check out the downloadable infographic on air purifying plants, go to your nearest garden centre and grow yourself some fresh air.



Further reading: Nasa clean-air plant study, Neurophysiological study of the effects of breathing on the brain

Happily finished pre-lockdown, my clients get to e Happily finished pre-lockdown, my clients get to enjoy their wonderful finished home a LOT now! 
Sneak peek of a recently finished home in Prinsted for hands down the #bestclientsever. This wood floor is brand new but so expertly laid by my favourite @justwoodflooring looks like it is original to the property. 
Complete trust from my clients allowed for some amazing interior details options to open up, like curved corners to the walls (SO worth the effort). All to create a modern ‘old’ home. 
Architect: @helyer_davies 
Architectural Interior Design: @ableandhardie 
Flooring: @justwoodflooring 
Paint: @benjaminmoore 
A bit of a side step from my normal appreciation, A bit of a side step from my normal appreciation, but for architecture, and for the love of horses, I couldn’t let this pass. Designed by @matiaszegers, this stable has the maximum daylight pouring in through its cleverly envisaged roof. 
I want to come back as one of these horses...
In retrospect, thinking that lockdown would enable In retrospect, thinking that lockdown would enable me to do that great big clear out I’ve been promising to do for years, may have been a bit ambitious. Especially as all the charity shops are closed (yes, and the dump). I am pretty heartless with ‘stuff’, being a believer in the old William Morris adage that if you do not know something to be useful or believe it to be beautiful, it has no place in your home. 
And yet... Two households becoming one (over a decade ago, how long as I going to use that excuse for?!), having children, and part-modifying our dream house (pending phase2) leaves me in ‘stuff’ limbo sometimes. Do you know what I mean? The stuckness of indecision; should I, shouldn’t I keep this? 
And a niggling worry that as soon as I throw something out, I’ll need to use it 😳! When lockdown is over, I’ll be ready to release my wares for another person to benefit from. Until then, I am taking time to make peace with what I have, to remember that I once chose it.