Design Impact on Wellness
How your space influence your health.
Welcome to my blog. I never consider myself a writer, therefore I never imagine myself creating a blog. I primarily use this website for professional use, as I showcase my work and CV; but I don't know where the idea of writing things I like in a blog came from, but here I am, and if you clicked, therefore here you are too and I really hope you like it.
Since March 2020 the world basically stopped and we were forced to remain home. Following Covid-19 pandemic there are many businesses that basically disappeared as some people started to notice that these weren't "vital" on their daily basis, and that let me thinking: are we Interior Designers vital or are we going to go out of business too?
The answer for this is NO, we are not vital but we sure are necessary, not just to make a space "look pretty" but for wellness and well being too. The term HEALTH is really trending nowadays, therefore everything related to it is getting more impact now. But, where do we designers come in terms of health?
How well do you feel in your room right now?
I've been reading a lot, researching and going online watching live videos and posts of many architecture & design experts talking about how this pandemic has already changed or will change the way we design. One thing that stuck with me the most is how one architect stated that people in the working industry are out of their homes for 8-12 hours a day and only used their homes to basically go to sleep. Now, they are stuck in their houses 24/7 and realizing how important is design and how their home interiors are impacting them. Houses are now been transformed into classrooms, offices, gyms. Basically, everything you used to do elsewhere now you are doing it in your house, and many of them where not prepared for it. Whether it is by a lack of space or a bad layout, we are analyzing how this will change the way we will be designing a living space.
Our mission as architects and designers is to create a functional yet comforting space, giving the desired emotion that will impact the user when entering the project. So talking about residential (as we are stuck home) is where the term wellness in design will and must come in.
Optimizing the space in which we live has an enormous influence in our mood and the way we behave, that is why things such as theory and psychology of color exist and is a must-apply when designing.
Another factor of well-being in design can be adding natural light and a connection with nature. For architects and designers natural light is a general rule, and we all know, sunlight provides free vitamin D, but there is so much more to that as it has many physical and psychological benefits; like for example, just imagine living without a window and the impact that this will cause stress-wise, to the immune system, to your skin, to your bones and many other things.
So, quick design tips to get the most of your natural light source in your home:
1. Be color savvy, choose colors that will reflect the light entering in the space.
2. Mirrors, put mirrors where you have less sunlight so it will redirect the entering
light where you desire.
3. Beware of the floor, as they are prone to receive the less amount of light from
the source (if the window in your house isn't quite big and you add furniture in
the way it will tend to make the floor darker) so choose a light color to reflect the
entering light. But if you chosen to use a darker color to your floor, give it a pop
of reflectiveness with a high gloss finish.
4. Choose accessories for the room with reflective properties such as metal, glass,
Continuing with the wellness talk, the connection with outdoors and with nature itself is super important. Plants play a big role in design, but not only for the aesthetics but it has many health benefits as they help provide cleaner air inside. Specialists recommend to have 1 plant per 100 square feet. They subconsciously increase your productivity (home office pro tip) and will make you feel more calm as well. Another tip that will come handy is if you are working out at home and don't have a terrace or outdoor space to do it, choose to do it next to a window, you will receive many more benefits than doing it elsewhere in the house with artificial lighting and no outdoor connection, experts say. (when you hit the gym once this is over, do the same, try working out next to a window or outdoors if possible).
The lung institute recommends the following plants for different spaces:
Living room: chinese evergreens, areca palm.
Bedroom: snake plant, gerbera daisies.
Adding plants will reduce in a 20-30% the risk of fatigue, perceptions of pain, cough, itchy eyes, runny nose, dry throat and many more, so make sure to include them in your living and working spaces. What are you waiting for? go get some nature into your home!
We as interior designers can drastically impact on a client's or user well being. Not only by providing natural sources like sunlight, adding real plants to an area or creating an indoor/outdoor living space, but also by manipulating different materials, textures, light, colors, odors, ergonomics, visuals and many more to create a meaningful space that evokes a desired emotion.
Good design compiles all of this things and more to improve quality of life. We work in ways that are intended for users to experience a space in the most attractive way possible. Ether in a conscious and/or subconscious way, by adding elements the client or user will visually like immediately, like color and furniture (conscious) and by playing with texture, forms and smells (subconscious) we can create a space that will be unforgettable and that they will definitely enjoy been inside.
So, going back to my initial question, are we Interior Designers vital? NO, but we sure make a great impact on designed areas that lead to a well-being overall. People tend to spend most of their time under a ''roof and four walls"; whether is your own house or an office/workspace, at a restaurant or a gym, everything is designed with a purpose; for your overall comfort, and when you add a good design to this, it will be the ultimate experience and you will remember that place because it made you feel good, comfortable and happy.
So next time, don't think twice to hire a professional, so when you get stuck inside somewhere again, you'll have a space that you love and makes you feel mentally and physically good. ;)
PS: subscribe to my blog and leave in the comments the answer to my question:
How well do you feel in your room right now?
Was your house prepared for this?