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Designing Wellness at Home

Updated: Feb 22

So what does it mean to design for 'wellness' and 'mindfulness' at home?

Although there are many different ways to answer that question, and I won't go into the #WELLBuildingStandard for now (that will be an upcoming post), these are some of the key aspects I've identified and am implementing into my design practice:

  • Optimizing the spaces in your home for your health and well-being mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually (if that is important to you).

The initial phase when a client tells the designer what he/she/they need is what we usually call programming. This would be the ideal phase to tell your designer your wellness goals and if you have any specific needs or concerns for each space.

For example, if you struggle with sleeping in your master bedroom the designer might then want to do some detective work in the room for environmental cues that might be contributing to this (such as lighting, loud sounds nearby, temperature, location of AC vents, mattress comfort, etc.) and then propose some design suggestions to help improve these conditions.

  • Designing spaces that encourage mindfulness and awareness.

This can be done in many ways by using environmental psychology so for example activating touch by choosing warm wood floors can help you feel more at ease in a space and gives an opportunity for connecting to your body by walking barefoot.

Another simple idea is to introduce mirrors at key moments in the house so you would have several 'encounters' with yourself as you circulate your home.

Of course all of these interventions require a conscious awareness in you to choose to engage and come back to the present moment. The environment can only provide opportunities but the idea is to layer them in to the design so they feel natural and you discover them over time.

  • Creating a design process that is mindful and caring in each encounter with our clients as well as consultants/vendors/contractors.

This includes an empathetic approach, active listening and choosing to work with people that are in alignment with my values and work ethic because I find the project itself and collaborative efforts flow much better when we're each in our zone of genius and are feeling appreciated, respected and heard.

  • Consider the environmental and social impact of the design decisions we are making.

This entails consciously choosing specific vendors or materials over others because they not only meet the project parameters but also make a better impact on people and the environment.

That means I still prioritize my client's best interests and the project criteria but when given a choice between two great products with similar pricing I will support the more responsible one because I've done the homework to know the difference.

So lastly this also means taking time between projects to learn about the latest and most responsible design solutions, vendors and products on the market to make more informed decisions.

  • A designer can set you up for success but the rest is up to you .

So the creation of your home for you and your family's wellness, begins with the design but continues much past that with the care and intention you bring into your home, the habits you create and how you use the spaces in your home.

There are a series of healthy habits that can contribute to wellness at home that are within your control. Some are as simple as opening the windows and letting in sunlight and fresh air from time to time. We all have heard about the benefits of organization, decluttering and keeping a clean house. Also, biophilia is a REAL thing so just cultivating your own mini indoor forest can do great things for your health.

Since I'm a designer I'm more focused on some of the first key points but I think the collaboration between the designer and the homeowner is what ultimately makes the dream work.

Thank you for reading.

#designforwellness, #wellnessathome, #mindfuldesign, #mindfulhome, #mindfulinteriors, #sustainableluxury, #sustainableliving, #sustainablehome

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