Fuelled by hiking, yoga, beaches, rain forests, travel, nature and veggie juices. Passionate about natural interior design, healthy home design and chemical free living. Inspired by all things natural, eclectic, recycled and handmade.
25 Years Industry Experience.
BA Hons Interior Design.
AdvDip Building Biology (student).
Hi, my name is Lisa Coulburn and welcome to natural modern interiors!
I help busy families, parents-to-be, home owners, renters, DIYers, and owner builders create natural, chemical free, mould free, healthy homes. I also work with architects, building designers, day care centres, pre schools and educational facilities to help create healthier buildings and interiors.
I am an interior designer and interior architect with over 25 years experience, a healthy home designer and a student building biologist.
I understand all too well about mould and chemical sensitivities and know from first hand experience that homes and buildings can make us very sick!
This is why I approach projects holistically from four different points of view; design solutions, your design style; function and purpose; your health and the health of the occupants.
On a day-to-day basis I can be found either working with clients designing their homes, interiors, bathrooms and kitchens; providing healthy home advice; coaching or teaching. When I am not designing I love travelling, camping, climbing mountains, hiking through rainforests, walking along beaches and just being outdoors with nature.
I am passionate about creating unique, natural, healthier, chemical free homes and empowering you with the knowledge to create a healthier home for you and your family.
I believe that a home or any other indoor environment should be a natural, healthy environment and a place that reflects your lifestyle, personality and individuality. How you renovate or decorate can have a huge influence on the quality of the air within your indoor environment and how you feel when you are relaxing, entertaining or working.
While I am sourcing furniture, products and materials or creating designs for my clients I support the following principles:
Why? Materials such as paints, stains, varnishes, carpets, new furniture and kitchen cabinets can off-gas Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), as well as formaldehyde and benzene, producing poor air quality in your home. This can continue for years after the products and materials are initially installed.
By selecting products that are natural, non-toxic or no VOCs you are improving the quality of your air within your home and reducing the effects of poor air quality on your health. Learn more about air quality & Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
Why? If you think that indoor mould growth is not harmful to your health, think again. Mould will grow in a indoor environment if there is excess moisture from condensation, a water leak, flooding and within air-conditioning systems. Mycotoxins from moulds are carcinogenic to humans and exposure to mould can cause mild to dangerous health conditions.
Unfortunately up to 50% of buildings have mould of dampness and building standards and construction methods do not always protect us against excessive moisture levels and condensation in our buildings. With clever building design, the right choice of materials and by creating good air flow we can reduce the risk of mould growth.
Why? We spend 90% or more of their time indoors! In recent years, comparative risk studies performed by the US EPA and its Science Advisory Board have consistently ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to public health!
Building Biology is a growing area of building science that explores the indoor environment for its negative and positive effects on human health.
The principles of Building Biology are centred on creating a sustainable and healthy building and can be applied while planning the construction, renovation or upgrade of a home. Read more…
Why? Most furniture, decor items and building materials are now mass produced overseas. Furniture is now thought of like clothing, something we through away every few years when trends change!
By recycling we reduce the need for consuming more raw materials which in turn helps towards; slowing the rate of deforestation and habitat destruction; reducing energy consumption which is needed for raw materials; and reducing harmful chemicals and greenhouse gases released from landfill sites.
By up-cycling we also create a unique look, one you can you can get when you reupholster old furniture, re-use old timber flooring or up-cycle an old table into a new bathroom vanity.
Why? By buying furniture and homewares made in Australia we are; supporting local Australian businesses and communities; maintaining skills; reducing exposure to nasty chemicals found in our imported furniture; reducing energy consumption and green house gas emissions by avoiding overseas transportation.
If we do not support Australian made products, demand will reduce, companies will just go out of business and the Australian made products will just not be available!
Why? By buying Ethically sourced materials we ensure that they are; a sustainable material; waterways are protected; wildlife habitat and species are protected; conservation forests are preserved; pesticides are rarely used; respecting workers and indigenous rights; and are economically viable.
By buying Fairtrade certified products we are supporting farmers, their families and communities in developing countries by receiving more stable and secure incomes, a fair price for their products, security of long-term contracts, environmental sustainable farming methods and improved working conditions.
In 2013 my life took a complete u-turn, I went from hiking mountains to bedridden within a few months and for the first time in my life unable to work!
I had asthma-like symptoms, severe chronic fatigue, post-exercise malaise, flu like symptoms, chest pain, vertigo, light & sound sensitive, tingling, constant respiratory illness, anxiety, rapid heart beats, watery eyes, brain fog, poor memory, abdominal pain, static shocks, excessive first, sensitive to smells, chemical sensitivity and a myriad of other symptoms. Oh and I had lost 25kilos over 5 months! And not in a good way!
I had been a fit outdoor type all my life and an Interior Designer and Interior Architect for nearly 20 years. The year before I had been climbing mountains in Nepal, Borneo and Japan. What was going on? What had changed? My main change was moving to a new home.
Finally, after nearly a year of investigations, I got a diagnosis. Mould poisoning? From hidden mould in my home!
Finally, after nearly a year of investigations, I got a diagnosis. Mould poisoning? From hidden mould in my home. I was suffering a Biotoxin illness in my own home which had resulted in Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS). I was also treated for an Aspergillus infection.
Unbeknown to me rain had been coming in from the roof, down inside the walls and across under a carpet to the room above my home office. I could not see it or smell it! Air cell testing should that mould mycotoxin levels were 370 times normal levels! My body was passing high levels of Trichothecenes, the T-2 mycotoxins which was used as a chemical warfare agent!.
I was told to leave that home immediately, leave everything behind to reduce cross contamination issues with belongings and find a mould free place to live!
None of our belongings had signs of mould but instead were contaminated by invisible mould spores. We had all our contents decontaminated and placed in storage. I throw our mattress, cushions, pillows, blankets and anything that was fluffy or could trap dust easily.
Why was it that only I got sick and not my family?
“24% of humans, or 1 in 4 of us, do not have the genes to make the appropriate antibodies to clear biotoxins from mould and water damaged buildings.”
I spent most of my day and night at home. One of the water damaged rooms was my office. More importantly, I found out that I am in genetically one of the 24% of humans that get sick quickly from mould and biotoxin exposure from water damaged buildings.
For me to recover my Dr ordered:
I wanted my health back, so I obeyed!
I live in a sub tropical environment; known for floods and water damaged homes; high humidity; air conditioning; town water supply only; coal dust and lots of insects and bugs! How on earth can I live without air conditioning, mould free, chemical free, bug free in these sub-tropical conditions?
I had so much to research and so many questions? Where should I live to avoid mould? How do I find a mould free home? How do I check for mould and previous water leaks? What’s the best type of bed and bedding for someone with chemical sensitivities? What’s the best type of home for someone with chemical sensitivities? What’s the best type of water filter to buy? What’s the healthiest cookware? How can I kill bugs without an aerosol spray? The list goes on…
Answers to these questions are pretty hard to find.
Making changes was not a problem for me, to better my health was my incentive!
Finding a mould free home and reliable, unbiased information was my hurdle.
Then finding a mould free home was by far the hardest challenge! Water damage can be hidden away, easily covered up or painted over and not disclosed by sellers or agents.
I quickly realised that to make changes I needed unbiased, science backed information, to make an informed decision. So I started studying ‘Building Biology’ which explains the science behind ‘why buildings make us sick’ and what to avoid, what to look out for and how to create a healthier home.
It took time, much research and further studies… but, step by step, I made the changes to my home, my air, my food, my water and my health improved! It took a long time, ‘Rome was not built in a day’. I stuck with it, my gut healed and I started to put some weight back on, in a good way!
I have changed! I now place my health and the health of my family above everything. The cost of prevention is by far cheaper than cure or treatment. Not to mention the emotional and financial stress that comes with chronic illness, time off from work and medical expenses.
I did not changed everything in one go… Just one thing at a time!
The best bit is ~What I learned for my own situation can be applied to other homes.
Whether you just want to create a healthier home or have been diagnosed with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS), Asthma, mould poisoning, Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) or Electromagnetic sensitivities. The same principles and changes apply!
Would you like to understand what changes I made and how I made them?
YES? Then come & join me on my new eCourse below!