What does it mean to design with wellness in mind?
Designing with wellness in mind involves what building materials and lighting we select along with how we integrate the outdoor-indoor space through Biophilic design and greenery incorporation as well as delivering healthy air quality. Designing with wellness in mind is not going to go out of style because it will constantly be changing to meet the needs of the users, and at the end of the day every individual wants to feel good.
This is what we want to strive for going into 2023!
The ideas of what wellness means have changed over the course of the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever in the design world we are seeing just how important wellness in interior design is and what we can do to help create a better home environment.
Materials like cork, bamboo, and rattan are all eco-friendly resources that can be used in interior spaces for flooring, furniture, and rugs selections to support renewable resource use.
A term called Biophilic Design is something we’ve been hearing about in the last couple of years, this means incorporating green spaces within the interior environment that promotes oxygen as well as bring the feelings of nature indoors. This can be achieved by simply adding live greenery into our spaces or creating greenery walls as seen above for a feature design element while being sustainable.
Nano walls are a great solution to making the indoors feel like they are a part of the outdoors. These are foldable glass doors that when closed create a seamless picture-perfect view to your backyard but when opened there is full access to the outdoors. We have seen this application done in both commercial and residential designs.
Lighting has become one of the main focuses of wellness in design as it plays a very important role in our mood. Adjustable color temperature lighting is where we are seeing the most applications of wellness-inspired lighting designs. Using LED lights ranging from 2700-3300 Kelvin for warm lighting to 3300-5300 Kelvin for cool lighting and daylight falls around 6500 Kelvin. This idea of lighting temperature variation gives the user the choice to set the lighting around their home to their preference.
Sick building syndrome (SBS) is something we are learning more and more about due to the harmful practices of building construction of the past. SBS is enhanced by air pollution, off-gassing from material selections, and poor indoor ventilation systems. We also must be aware of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). VOCs come from carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, tobacco smoke, mold, radon, as well as chemical off-gassing. They can be found in common products like paint and paint thinners, hairspray, and cleaning products. When we are specifying building materials, we want to steer clear of paints, finishes, adhesives, fire retardant furniture and fabrics that contain VOCs to help stop off-gassing. In a more commercial setting, you want to look for buildings that have certifications like LEED, BREEAM, and WELL. This signifies that the building was constructed with non-toxic building materials and maintains a healthy ventilation system for purifying the air from pollutants. Double, even triple checking that a building is safe to begin construction and possesses no concern for SBS is the first step in designing with wellness in mind. Once all other applications of a project are complete it is important to continue to keep up with good air quality control by changing out your air filters and keeping those beautiful plants alive!
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