Wellness design trends that make for a healthy home
The past few years have seen a move towards holistic living gaining traction and speed. And, with so many people now also working from home, the evolution of this trend has even gained a name: Wellness design.
Design professionals and architects are incorporating elements like air and sound quality, considered colour palettes, specialised lighting, ‘biophilic design’ that connects architecture and nature, sustainable materials, greenery, and integrated indoor-outdoor spaces, into new-build projects. However, wellness design is something that can be integrated into any existing space – including your home and your home office.
Hands-free and voice technology are becoming more entrenched in the design of our daily lives. Trevor Brewer, Director of air treatment specialists, Solenco says, “We’ve gotten so used to not touching things as part of our germ-avoidance strategy, that we’ve come to realise that it’s just smart from a hygienic standpoint.” This has turned into touchless options for taps, toilet handles, lights and other essentials. He adds, “As Siri, Alexa, and robotic vacuum cleaners like Hobot, have worked their way into our homes, we’re also seeing greater reliance on voice automation and app-controlled appliances. It no longer feels artificial or surreal the way it did to start with.”
Indoor Air Quality encompasses a variety of factors, including temperature, humidity, and concentration of pollutants. Generally, though it refers to the comfort, health, and well-being of building occupants. When thinking about air quality in design, a ventilation system, which can be natural or mechanical, or both, should be considered.
Brewer says that air quality is probably the most important wellness trend right now, as it’s been proven that the Covid-19 virus is mostly transmitted via airborne particles spread in poorly-ventilated spaces. “As we take measures to keep warm in winter, keeping the windows and doors shut, we should look more to mechanical ventilation systems in the form of products such as air purifiers.”
When shopping around, one should look for air purifiers that meet good wellness design standards in terms of air quality. This means they can detect poor air quality (Display sensors and auto function); they can perform relatively high air-change frequency (Air Cycles per Hour/ACH); and they can supply clean air to the right places through correct placement (Portable/moveable).
Light therapy has grown in popularity during the pandemic, as light has the power to impact our mood, lower our stress levels, increase our energy levels, or soothe and calm us after a tough day. In particular, lighting technology is turning bathrooms into spa refuges. Incredible mood lighting in showers can recreate an array of experiences, including making you feel like you’re showering in a forest under a full moon, or standing under a sparkling, sunlit waterfall.
Connection to nature
As our homes have become our headquarters for living, working and resting, nature-inspired shades and natural light are the décor orders of the day. Natural wood floors and furnishings have become a popular style choice paired with lush houseplants. Brewer says a larger focus on environmentally-friendly design is emerging as designers and consumers seek out sustainable materials. This means an increased use of local, organic materials while maximising sunlight, fresh air, plants, and other natural elements.
Wellness design, whether it had a name or not, was a growing trend before Covid-19 impacted the world, but it has exploded in popularity as the virus has increased our awareness of the links between home, health and happiness.