My custom title

How to Design Your Home to Minimise Bad Odours

28 May 2018

Tips & Advice

Visuals and aesthetic design might be the first and most common concerns that new homeowners have, but let’s not forget about our other senses, especially our sense of smell. A home’s scent is something that shouldn’t really be noticed, because chances are, if it is, it’s not because it smells good. Bad odours in home can come from a variety of places, but the most common offenders are lingering cooking/food aromas, pets, and simply the musty presence of human beings living together, especially if there is poor ventilation. This isn’t a difficult problem to solve, however – the trick is preventative design, so read on to find out more!

Install a kitchen door

Blk 470B Fernvale Link by Yujia Interior Design Pte Ltd

Open kitchen concepts are all the rage right now, but you should be designing your kitchen according to your cooking habits and daily needs, not by following trends that might be more suited for other types of homeowners. If you’re someone who does a lot of heavy-duty cooking or loves food with strong flavours and aromas, opt instead for a glass kitchen door that can stop any pungent food odours from escaping into your living room, even as the glass lets you keep an eye on your kids.

Install an exhaust hood for your stove

Woodlands by Northwest Interior Design Pte Ltd

This is another must-have for the enthusiastic home cook, especially if you love to fry up a storm. The exhaust hood may be a tad noisy, but you’ll be thankful for how it sucks away all the oily fumes generated by your cooking. Of course, take care to give it a good scrubbing every once in a while so oil doesn’t accumulate on it.

Designer Shawn Low from Northwest Interior Design Pte Ltd explains the design inspiration: “The house owner prefers contemporary and open space kitchen. The island cabinet makes the design and size of the exhaust hood very important. There are several quirky designs for exhaust hoods such as Downdraft System and Flush Ceiling mounted. Most exhaust hoods in Singapore come with a charcoal filter, which greatly reduces any bad odours during and after cooking.”

Get an air purifier for all rooms

Yury Stroykin /

Bad smells don’t just come from day-old food odours in home. In fact, homes can start to smell through no fault of your own, just because air gets stale over time and the natural odours of humans start to permeate the house. Just because it’s natural, however, doesn’t mean it’s desirable: freshen up your home by installing air purifiers throughout it, not just in the bathroom (though that’s definitely a place you want covered).

Ensure sufficient ventilation

Lush Acres by D’Atlaz Interior Pte Ltd

Natural ventilation is the best long-term way to get rid of lingering odours. A house that is closed off and stuffy isn’t conducive for a home that smells fresh and clean. Try to get large windows instead of grilled ones, and curtains instead of blinds, so that air can more easily move through the space. If you have a balcony, go for a sliding door that can be kept completely open if you so choose, to allow for even better air circulation.

“The balcony was designed to form a separate part of the house. Initially there were curtains put in place, but they were removed to allow more natural light into the living area. When the sliding doors are open, it provides good ventilation for the house and gets rid of any bad smells,” explained Andy Tan from D’Atlaz Interior Pte Ltd.

Looking for Interior Designers?
Let HomeRenoGuru help!

Get Free Quote Via HomeRenoGuru

Choose easily cleaned and durable fabrics for furniture

Blk 273A Bishan by Renozone Interior Design House

Besides major design changes, you can also give your home a better chance of smelling fresh by taking extra care in the furniture you choose. Especially for families with pets, and who fear that the entire house will one day stink overwhelmingly of wet dog, choosing the right upholstery for your furniture can really ease those fears. Leather is generally more expensive than your more common cotton and linen, but it’s also far easier to clean and does not absorb any smells; fret not about your pet’s furry bottom rubbing all over it, or Sunday breakfast’s bacon smoke slowly seeping into it forever. If leather is not for you, try an ultra-suede couch for something that is almost 100% stain-proof and durable.

Colin Phua of Renozone Interior Design House elaborated: “Avoid fabrics like cotton and linen as they stain easily and may catch bad smells. Look for materials like leather for your furnishings instead. The home will often smell bad after it rains, so remember to ventilate your home by allowing fresh air to enter through your windows and open areas when it is sunny. Indoor plants help to remove bad odours too.”

whataspp icon