We are excited to share with you a truly one of a kind project designed by our Friends at Walsh Design Group.
Designed for a family in Minnetonka, whom four of the members have MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity). MCS is a chronic medical condition characterized by symptoms that the affected person attributes to low-level chemical exposure. Commonly accused substances include smoke, pesticides, plastics, synthetic fabrics, scented products, petroleum products, and paint fumes. Symptoms are usually vague and non-specific such as nausea, fatigue and headaches.
Walsh designed a “clean room” addition above the garage to allow the family members with MCS, a safe environment to gather and create memories with friends and family.
- What was the most challenging aspect of the project
- The most challenging aspect was finding building materials, interior finishes, and furniture that met the homeowners chemical sensitivity requirements, style and quality standards. The homeowner had a traditional style and lots of great ideas of what she wanted the addition to look like.
- Choosing materials and furnishings from our standard resources would have been easy is it wasn’t for needing them to be made of 100% natural products with no preservatives, pesticides or finishes. While there are many “green” products on the market, many of these still did not meet the safety guidelines for the project.
- What was the most rewarding aspect of the project
- Creating a safe space that the homeowner has been able to enjoy with her family and friends that is not causing allergic reactions for her and her children.
- Which type of materials were used
- The homeowner consulted with a chemical specialist to identify materials that should be safe for the family. The structure began with a hospitality HVAC system, specialty lumber and plywood and zero VOC paint. Every building material and all of the furniture and accessories were chosen of the purist natural materials.
- Which type of furnishings did you use
- All of the fabrics were natural: wool, silk and cotton. We researched how the fabrics were stored and had them washed in a special detergent to remove all foreign materials they may have come in contact with. Rugs and carpets were not only made of specific wool, but the wool had to come from specific sheep. Sheep that were raised in their own buildings away from other sheep that were treated with pesticides, moth repellent and flame retardants. This wool was pure. Once made the rugs and furniture ere shipping in special packing materials and allowed to off gas for months before they were delivered to the new clean room. Much of the furniture was bench made locally by custom workrooms.
- Does this family have special lifestyle constrains due to allergies and sensitivities
- Yes, the family will experience ” allergic like” reactions to many environments. They cannot be comfortable outside the clean room for too many hours per day. Traveling and hotel stays have always been a big challenge.
- How long has the project been complete. Have you maintained contact with them regarding the health and wellness of the family.
- The family has been living in the clean room for about two years. Their quality of life has improved remarkably since their new space was completed. Careful selection of the building materials, fixtures and furnishing have created a space that for the first time in many years the family can enjoy safety and comfortably.