Robin Wilson is a nationally recognized eco-friendly and healthy space interior designer – an expert focused on allergy/asthma related issues in indoor quality. Personally, Robin suffers from asthma and allergies, which lends to her credibility and understanding of the issues that individuals/families face on a daily basis. She is the author of Clean Design, one of my favorite books that rolls out healthy living principles at home. It is hard to take the term “eco-friendly” at face value; however, Robin not only spearheaded the “clean design” movement, but continues to build upon its core values in her design approach and products. She is the first woman to license her brand to a line of eco-friendly kitchen cabinetry, sold at over 400 independent Holiday Kitchens dealers nationwide.
Tell me what Clean Design is about.
Robin: Clean Design is a book that gives homeowners and consumers an opportunity to limit, manage, or eliminate triggers in their homes that can cause asthma or allergic reactions.
Why is this book important?
Robin: According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America 1 in 5 Americans suffer from asthma, allergies or both. It is important to understand how to eliminate triggers and live a wellness life style in your home.
Where should homeowners begin?
Robin: The first thing people should do is act as though they are going to move out. Most of us don’t move our furniture and dust gathers. Room by room move everything to one side of the room and vacuum, then do the same to the other side. This may take you 6 weeks or 10 weeks depending on how many rooms are in your home. Also give things away that you haven’t used in 5 years. This will make you feel like your whole house is clearing out a little bit more.
Most folks wait for “spring cleaning” for the deep cleanse.
Robin: That’s daunting! It’s much more manageable to do one room a month even.
In my house we don’t wear shoes; does it really make a difference?
Robin: There’s a lot of toxins on the bottoms of your shoes that don’t need to be anywhere past your front door. Take off your shoes and carry them to your closet.
As a food and lifestyle person, I slowly incorporate healthy living into our daily routine without overwhelming my family. How can one integrate a lifestyle change without resistance?
Robin: Clean Design book gives simple tools and check lists from free things to more expensive things. Free things are taking your shoes off, closing the toilet lid, and cleaning your room. Allow people to take the baby steps first then they feel more empowered.
Now that the weather is nice we’re spending more time outside. What are some asthma friendly guidelines that you offer in Clean Design?
Robin: There is a whole section on outdoor living that talks about pollen and food that you might not want to eat that mimics pollen. There are a lot of foods that have the same pollen structure. If possible, stay inside, wash your hair or even use a blow dryer to blow pollen out.
My kitchen is the center of action, what are the simple things people can do today to detoxify their kitchen?
Robin: Remove everything off your counter and clean. Move your counter top appliances and clean under everything. Second, pull every single dish out of your cabinet and clean your cabinets. Do this once a year. No need to have clean dishes and dusty cabinets. Third, you should change your drip pan in your refrigerator, there could be mold growing. Put bleach or white vinegar in there and clean it out. Fourth, run a cycle of your dishwasher with white vinegar. Also, when you wash your dishes in the dishwasher, take them out right away. Don’t leave them sitting—Mold can form.
In your book, you say don’t buy a built in refrigerator, and pass on extended warrantee. Why?
Robin: You’re actually wasting money by buying extended warrantees. The likely hood of something actually breaking is very low. Companies are very concerned with their reputation and there are constantly new technologies coming out.
When should you replace your refrigerator? What if it still keeps everything fresh after ten years?
Robin: If it still works great, but if its 10 years old today replace it. A new refrigerator will be more efficient.
Is there a “best” temperature your refrigerator should be set on?
Robin: Follow the manufacturer recommendation. Every refrigerator is different.
Is it safe as in “healthy” to keep a refrigerator in your garage or in basement?
Robin: Only if the basement is finished. But, if it’s 100 degrees, the refrigerator is using too much energy to stay cool. You’re just burning energy.
Let’s talk about other rooms in your home. How long should you keep your pillows?
Robin: Every 3 years replace the pillow. Every 3 months wash the pillow. Every 3 weeks wash your pillow zipper protector. The average time people keep the same pillow is 6 years or even longer.
Tell me about your lifestyle brand Robin Wilson Home.
Robin: This is our 15th Anniversary. All of our products are hypoallergenic and affordable. We’re available at Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohl’s, JC Penny, Nest Home, Bon-Ton, and Hershberger’s. We have bedding, lighting, and cabinetry that are sold at 400 dealers nationwide. We are currently moving into the baby market.
Where can people learn more about the Robin Wilson brand?
Robin: The book is available now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The website for the book is www.cleandesignbook.com. And, our website www.robinwilsonhome.com.
For her book signings, go to: http://www.flor.com/Robin-Wilson-Clean-Design-Events