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This pandemic has affected every industry, and our industry is no different. The reality is that as interior designers we are often challenged to create spaces that are not only beautiful but also functional.  That translates to “easy to maintain and easy to keep clean.”   Moving forward, we anticipate that we may be asked to provide surface options for kitchens, bathrooms and flooring that are durable and easy to clean but also inherently antimicrobial, meaning they either kill or stop the growth of pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, mildew and mold.  As we all look to our homes to provide safe haven for our families we realize that washing our hands frequently and maintaining social distancing is the safest and most effective way to reduce the spread of airborne contagions such as the COVID 19 virus.

If you are contemplating a renovation or a new build, and want to lean into the idea of choosing healthy and beautiful surfaces as a foundation of the design then take a look at some of the fabulous antimicrobial selections we recommend below. 


Here are some materials that we love to incorporate in our designs to create a healthy home:

Quartz is an antimicrobial material. That means it is a non-porous surface, so bacteria, mold, and mildew can’t get in. Food and drink spills can be wiped away with soap and water without staining the quartz. This keeps it sanitary, easy to clean, and stain free! We love the variety of colors and patterns you have to choose from.

Quartz countertops in a bathroom designed by Susan Victor of Nandina Home – Aiken

Cork Backsplash by Fenix and birch kitchen with spacer panels by Plykea

We love cork for its warm look and soft feel underfoot, but also because it is completely natural and also antibacterial.

Cork can be refinished, and it is easy to install and maintain. We also love it for its sustainability!

Gold cabinets, Carrara marble backsplash, countertops, and tiled floor by top interior designer, Jean Louis Deniot.

Copper is another natural antimicrobial surface that has no off-gasses and ages with a beautiful patina over time. Copper surfaces kill 97 percent of bacteria that can cause infections.

Brass, which is an alloy of copper, has made a big comeback in recent years. Brass is a great choice for hardware and other surfaces that get touched regularly, as it is antimicrobial, and doesn’t harbor viruses for long. healthy


We love that ceramic tile’s hard surfaces don’t give germs place to hide, and it’s easily cleaned with a broom or light water-only mopping. In recent years, large format tile has become the trend, and with fewer grout lines to worry about, this makes tile an even cleaner, healthier choice. There are tons of looks to choose from, including wood-plank, marble, and subway tile.


Beautiful quartz countertops in a bathroom designed by Sue Shannon of Nandina Home – Aiken

We love the antimicrobial properties of this sculptural tin bathtub with porcelain insert in a bathroom designed by Jessie LaFalce of Nandina Home – Atlanta

Beautiful tile backsplash in a kitchen designed by Jessie LaFalce of Nandina Home – Atlanta

The quartz countertops and tile backsplash in this kitchen designed by Susan Victor of Nandina Home – Aiken are easy to clean and maintain!

The wood plank tiles in this family room designed by John Ishmael of Nandina Home – Atlanta endure the wear and tear of small children while providing a natural, easy to clean antimicrobial surface.