January 20, 2023
To start off the new year we are setting our intentions and that begins with our health and wellness. Physically we want to maintain healthy habits that will enable us to enjoy all that life brings, mentally we will continue to engage and learn in order to elevate our industry and prepare the next generation and emotionally we will approach each day with compassion and understanding to be fully aware of everything and everyone in our presence.
Experts tell us that if we work as hard on our health as our professions, both would be extremely healthy. Life Coach, Rebecca Stockwell of The Sanctuary says “When we are connected with our mind, body and spirit our entire system comes into balance and allows for aligned health and healing.” It was then that I realized, we need to ensure that our designed projects are working to support our clients in achieving a wellness environment. Our new way of thinking considers the psychological and social dimensions as it relates to our clients health and how those play a part as we connect architecture and nature in our designs.
We understand that with intentional interior design, our clients' homes can help create and maintain healthy habits, clean eating, illness prevention, sustainable living, the feeling of safety, fitness, serenity, and more.
We know that there is a link between ease and happiness and we know wellness-focused interior design can make us happier. Today, our clients are seeking better alternatives for themselves and for their homes. There are many ways to add wellness to any space and here are a few suggestions as to how WE have improved our clients' homes and lives through design!
Whether you're remodeling your current home, building a new one or working on a commercial site...each can be a healthy and happy space. Our focus is connecting design and natural elements to create environments that foster wellness and enrich our lives.
A highly requested space in the last few years has been the Home Gym and what a better way to invite wellness into your environment than with movement. We have all heard exercise can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and maintain our weight however there are many more benefits to consider. Science tells us that regular activity releases endorphins which helps to regulate our moods. Therefore fitness has a direct connection to mental health. The result can be better sleep patterns, reduced stress and more attention to details.
Enhancing well-being with a sanctuary that improves fitness and provides a space for meditation is on high demand. Dedicating a room, an area or creating a new space that is restorative, inspirational and tranquil is key. With a wellness designed focus, your room can have a transformative feeling, giving you peace of mind and possibly eliminating aches and pains that may have been affecting your daily activities. Now, allowing you to enjoy your best life.
Improving ventilation and adding light to any space has an abundance of benefits! I have always had an affinity for nature and you will notice my designs are emphasized by ample windows, an open floor plan and the idea of bringing the outdoors in. With large windows, high ceilings, and properly placed venting, it not only improves the air quality, easing symptoms of asthma and allergies in the interior, the abundance of light also enhances good vibes and energy levels. Natural and artificial lighting directly affects our mood, appetite and various functional aspects of everyday life. A room that has poor lighting could actually contribute to deficiencies in the body and possibly even depression. Adding mirrors, for example in a Home Gym, is a great way to increase the sense of light by reflecting the sun which in turn brightens the space and creates a happy aesthetic.
Lemme tell you...beginning a workout routine was a struggle at first, but now we are loving it! Converting a small corner is all you need!! Here are some fave essentials we are calling 'home gym decor!'
As with the outside, we regulate our cycles to sleep and wake based on light and therefore our wellness design is key when making kelvin value, fixture and window covering selections. We must consider lifetime, durability, the ability to dim a light or raise a shade and the environmental benefits. With thermal comforts, such as blinds, we also will see energy savings as well as sound reduction to enhance healthy acoustics in a space. Most importantly, the surroundings should reflect and uplift the homeowners, so it is important to understand their motivators in order to create a customized and harmonious environment to foster wellness.
As we know, The Big Three, air, water and food are essential and we focus on those elements in our designs to strive for healthier and happier clients. We are what we eat as the saying says, and we have found that it is important to create defined zones to make it easy to eat healthy. With many of our wellness design plans in the kitchen we will begin by improving the preparation area and storage pantries to ensure easy access and to create purpose and functionality. Maximizing accessibility and organization inspires a pleasant environment and encourages sensible meals that can be executed quicker and easier. Of course, the feast is equally as important. Therefore, we thoughtfully design dining rooms, kitchen nooks and even island counters to exude calmness and tranquility. These eating areas are also designed as a ‘zone’ in order to do so, they could be in a separate room, adjacent or even within the kitchen. The key is that the area has a demarcation with either dim lighting, noise reduction, using rugs or drapery perhaps, or a different vibe that creates peacefulness.
Sustainability is vital to wellness-focused interior design. Being aware of toxicity is one way to improve wellness. Using Low VOC paints is a common practice in our firm, for example. Avoiding chemically treated products is key and we have created healthy environments by incorporating furnishing and decor items that are bio-based, such as wool, stone, bamboo and cork. Wool rugs are a great example, not only for their thermal benefits but also the organic and sustainable value. We also encourage reducing our footprint by recycling, repurposing and reusing items in our design wherever possible. For example, when designing a fitness center, select natural and recycled rubber options for flooring or even consider cork for the floor mats.
Within our interior design, wellness focuses on improving the health of our clients within their homes and therefore, we consider their physical, mental and emotional well-being as it relates to their project and their needs. Recently, we did just that. Read more about our recent multi functional space in the current ‘Pacific Northwest Health Perks’ issue of Bellingham Alive.
The clients wanted to create a wellness center at home that was a destination outside of the house, yet close enough to wake up to every day. The must haves included workout equipment that the couple could both easily use for cardio, a yoga studio with dim lighting, and an area for barbells for weight training. Of course, the posh powder room and mounted TV for YouTube classes were the bonuses. Plus, we added a wellness water-bottle station with cleansing filters and water-wise faucets to ensure clean water and minimize the water usage.
With this home gym, we wanted to encourage frequency, therefore it was important to reflect the homeowner's personality in the design. The vibe, while being centered around exercise, couldn’t be sterile, instead, it needed to include the comforts of home. We merged the Modern Farmhouse aesthetic with the function of buffalo check tile floors, metal railing, thoughtful art, and black and white farmhouse decor.
We loved creating various zones in this home gym, including the cardio area, yoga studio, and weight room and one of our favorites was the result of a creative idea during the process. Our clients also dreamt of having a home office. We realized that we could add a loft space due to the height of the ceiling, and make their wish come true. The clients now have an office space conveniently located in their new home gym, resulting in a healthy balance.
The biggest challenge of the project was adding so much versatility to a small space. We wanted to make sure this space offered a great deal of variety so that it would be used often and be an exciting destination to visit!
We solved this challenge by making the space feel bigger than it was with wall-to-wall mirrors. We covered two, of the four walls with mirrors giving the illusion that there was a ton of room to move. This allowed us to add three large pieces of exercise equipment without looking too crowded.
And, adding the loft, was not only visually pleasing it also represented a whole new room, again, giving the space the sense of being larger and multi-functional.
First things first, take care of YOU, mind, body & soul
Surround yourself with nature, using natural products in your furnishings & decor
Bring light & volume into your home with large windows, high ceilings and an open floor plan
Create a cozy space with appropriately placed products and air control for your goldilocks thermal comfort
Lean into a more sustainable and environmentally conscious use of water, electricity and other natural resources
Have you ever started a home project…and then didn't complete it? Second guessing your selections or frozen when trying to make the next decision? Not sure how to purchase or even where to look? We have made it easy...with several levels of design expertise. Let us provide you with a step-by-step plan of action!! It all starts with a phone call!
– Winston Churchill
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