nterior design has famously been known for placing emphasis on aesthetic appeal above all else, however the focus is now shifting. Led by British designer Ilsa Crawford, many homeowners are recognising that it’s as important to create spaces that make them feel good as well as looking good. Here are the top 5 reasons why interior designers are jumping on the wellbeing bandwagon.
1. HOMES ARE BECOMING SANCTUARIES
Many people are faced with fast-paced and stressful workplaces, which means creating a home where you can rest and find some solace is becoming increasingly essential. Homes are becoming sanctuaries where homeowners can relax and be reinvigorated.
The layout of homes are quickly changing to accommodate for more restful spaces and creating a sanctuary of calm. Whether it’s including a master suite as a private hideaway from the kids, a sunroom or a library with fireplace – spaces for “me time”. Even if you are working within a smaller floor layout, you can still create quiet spaces by cleverly utilising corners by windows or alcoves that are away from the centre of activity in your home. The key is to declutter and remove any noise that might interfere with the tranquility of the space (that usually means making it a tech-free zone).
The healthy home nurtures those who dwell inside, which includes creating the conditions for a good night’s sleep. Introducing a sound absorbing ceiling or changing a floorplan so that bedrooms are positioned away from noisy streets and neighbours can reduce noise leaking and put you on track to get the optimal hours of sleep a night.
2. ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS
Most of us spend 80% of our time indoors so it makes sense that we invest in interiors that promote wellbeing. There’s also a body of research to suggest that the characteristics and qualities of housing can have a direct impact on a person’s physical and mental health.
Many homeowners are borrowing ideas from the Sustainable Architecture movement and applying its principles to interior design. This includes adopting sustainably sourced materials when considering cabinetry and benchtops in kitchens and bathrooms that don’t expose home occupiers to off-gassing and preventable diseases.
Going green in the home also means considering the solvents used for interiors. Today, homeowners have environmentally friendly options such as low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) paints that not only dry quicker but reduce a homeowner’s exposure to harmful VOCsin comparison to more traditional coatings.
Other ways to promote your wellbeing and give a nod to nature is by incorporating as much natural light in your home as possible and introducing green space. Pot plants are an inexpensive way to air-filter your home and you can go one step further by selecting certain plants as recommended by NASA’s Clean Air Guide that are better at removing harmful toxins and purifying the air than others
3. FINDING BALANCE
How a person will experience the room and their surrounding environment is key to achieving wellbeing in a space. Rather than approaching interior design using a cookie cutter approach, what should drive decisions in reconfiguring a room is making sure each element works together to obtain balance and ultimately a more life enhancing space.
A lot of thought should go into the positioning of each detail – the placement of the door, the position of the windows, the textures used and of course the colour palette. Features of a room should work seamlessly together to influence how we feel and perform, both consciously and subconsciously. If the colour scheme is too bland, we may feel lifeless and stale. Conversely, if opting for a bolder colour palate like reds and orange – it may energise us for a few days but will leave us exhausted in the long run. This is where we should take our cues from nature when it comes to colour, lighting and textures – natural rather than artificial is key for creating a harmonious interior.
4. PEOPLE ARE MORE HEALTH CONSCIOUS
As people gain a greater awareness of the downsides to a sedentary lifestyle, they are becoming more creative in changing their homes so that they can keep and stay in shape.
No longer confined to a basement or a garage, in home gyms are finding their way in spare bedrooms or even outside to accommodate homeowners need to keep up a daily exercise regime or a space to just take time out and be mindful. If you want to save money on fancy equipment you’re unlikely to use, just having a space that includes a mat and some light weights can help you get into the discipline of having a daily workout session, strengthening your bones, improving your mood and long-term health.
When it comes to eating well, it’s popular for kitchens to be remodeled to inspire you to prepare and cook healthy meals for yourself and loved ones. Small changes to your kitchen design like incorporating a filtered water tap or upgrading your fridge with plenty of freezer space so you can better plan meals and not snack on leftover pasta!
5. STAYING CONNECTED
With the digital world disrupting how we do life, many families are finding ways to ensure to spend quality time together when under the same roof. Open plan layouts and outdoor space are ideal for this, that’s why more homeowners are looking to remodel their houses so that living spaces become more communal and encourage connectedness.
Just like an open planned area is better for entertaining, it likewise creates more opportunities for conversation as you create space that prioritises the human experience. That requires getting furniture that supports communal living like bench dining room table rather than chairs that separate or introducing a breakfast bar in the kitchen.