Wellness Interior Design
My parents always told me that goodness finds a way to grow out of chaos, and 2020 became a testing ground for that theory as COVID19 began ramping up globally. It would be an understatement to say “life has changed significantly on many fronts” and we’re not going back to “as it were before”. While this sounds a bit doom and gloom, it’s really more of a, “it’s been a long time coming” scenario! We’ve seen the writing on the wall for some time now. Books and movies have outlined this cautionary tale for decades now. But, thankfully (much like the movies), we are inherently resilient creatures! Many positive changes are settling on the horizon and one such phoenix rising from the ashes, is the concept of wellness Interior Design.
Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open.– B.K.S. Iyengar
“Wellness Interior Design” What is it?
So, what exactly is this wellness in interior design and why is it suddenly trending in 2021?
According to the Global Wellness Institute, Wellness can be defined as “the active pursuit of activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health”. In the simplest of terms, it is the soundness of any living organism.
I describe “Wellness Interior Design” as being the product of knowledge, and well-made choices. It is an understanding of how health and well-being are influenced by our surroundings. Light, air, color, sound, proper use of space, and more. Then, it is acting upon those things which can alter our quality of life and well-being. We do that by creating a living space that caters to those things which benefit our mental and physical health.
This is not really a new concept. It’s been around for nearly a decade, but mainly in the commercial design sector. A good many companies have been taking advantage of the benefits associated with the wellness movement. What has changed notably as a result of the COVID19 crisis, is the urgency to create healthier residential environments to live in. Wellness designing for the home or company is already here and its not going away.
It will become common place for all homes and businesses to be designed with our psychological and mental health in mind. It will only get better as our understanding of the body’s natural frequencies, and biological makeup become clearer. Ongoing research into how our senses interact with temperature, colors, lighting, sounds, and aromas (Indoor Environmental Quality), will help to produce new and beneficial products while reducing the monetary burden of health risks on our tax paying society.
There are literally hundreds of organizations already involved in some form or other (many are siblings of one another), with ushering in a better – more reliable future. One in which our homes and workplace play a significant role in our well-being, both physically and mentally. Some of the best-known organizations providing green building certifications are LEED, Energy Star, BREEAM, and National Green Building Standard.
In the paragraphs that follow, I will share some of the research I’ve studied on wellness. Obviously, we’re all a little bit different from one another. Hence, every space has to be adapted to fit with the tenant/s.
The good news is that as designers, we’re getting better at mimicking our natural surroundings, trying to create as pristine as an environment as we possibly can. Our senses do a great job of gauging how well we’ve done that and our holistic health responds accordingly. The better we balance everything to meet with our physical and mental makeup, the better the end results.
The human body has been designed to resist an infinite number of changes and attacks brought about by its environment. The secret of good health lies in successful adjustment to changing stresses on the body.– Harry J. Johnson
There are 5 steps to holistic health and wellness. They are as follows: physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual health. It’s understandable to me that we tend to think of the “physical” first, when thinking about our health. I believe we’re so used to all the signals pulsing throughout our bodies all day long that our response to them becomes muscle memory early on in life. Physical doesn’t present itself as an abstract, so immediate solutions appear to be more tangible for us. The more we learn about this through observation and science, the better our quality of life will become.
Look at what we’ve already gained in the way of knowledge from just the past 50 years! In this short time, we’ve expanded our comprehension, developed products, and applications that monitor our sleep cycles, our heart-rate, blood pressure, and our physical activities. Because of these advances, our life expectancy grows in stride!
Unfortunately, our emotions do not always share that same level of stability that our physical health does. Our emotions are more fragile and take more work. However, we’ve a much better understanding on how we’re affected by our immediate surroundings.
We now live in an age ( as an example) where we are more aware of how subtle or drastic the effects of color can be in altering our state of mind or well-being. Whatever the case may be, designers need to be aware of stress in a client’s environment. Therefore, we need to consider the interior design space better, making certain it provides access to therapeutic relief. This can easily encompass a spiritual or intellectual step, dependent on the personality.
A healthy social life is found only when, in the mirror of each soul, the whole community finds its reflection, and when, in the whole community, the virtue of each one is living.Rudolf Steiner
Undoubtedly, there is an important connection between family, friends, community, and happiness. This combination produces a healthy longevity. A great reason to make social space available in your design.
What have we learned from all this? Conclusion and Summary!
Our mental and physical health are closely related to the quality of our surroundings. We need to create the right harmony and balance within the space we choose to live. Educating ourselves to the effects of wellness, increases our chances of experiencing a wonderful life and sharing that with others we love.
Don’t be afraid. Change is such a beautiful thing”, said the Butterfly.Sabrina Newby
When the target becomes “Wellness Interior Design” It becomes a lot of new information take in. So much becomes dependent upon an individual personality, or a combination of them. Being an Interior designer isn’t nearly as clear cut as it once was, not in modern times. The lines have become so blurred in 2021. The need for a designer to have such a tailored ability is a lot of responsibility and pressure to carry on a design project. It becomes imperative that a lot of thought goes into choosing the right person. I suggest you hire an interior designer who is well-educated on this topic and one that you really like. Perhaps you will find it helpful reading, “How to prepare for a meeting with an interior designer“. It’s a good place to start!
A Quick Question!
Do you feel you’ve gained anything from this article? If so, what did you take away from it? If not, what could I have done better? If you have experience on this topic and can add something helpful, then please do share. I’d love to hear all about it!
BTW! Thank you for taking the time to read this article. It means the world to me. Warm Regards Jack Anthony LaBarck