It is undeniable that health and wellness has been catapulted to the forefront of public interest over the past two years. Wellness design has become one of the most talked-about topics across a variety of industries, to the point where the biggest question for many is simply ‘Where do we start?’ Residential design offers plenty of opportunities and rooms to explore, but two areas directly connected to health and wellness in the home are the kitchen and bathroom.
As homeowners spend more time in their homes, their demand for safe, healthy, mood-enhancing spaces has only continued to grow. From creating a spa-like environment to ultra-efficient workspaces, the kitchen and bathroom are excellent vessels for wellness ideas to flourish with how often these areas touch upon everyday lives. And these ideas can encompass a variety of elements such as avoiding toxic chemicals, fostering joy and togetherness through ambient music and smart lighting and adding new dimensions for comfort, functionality, connectivity and convenience.
Wellness Design Ideas for the Kitchen
Openness and Connectivity (for People)
As the kitchen has become the central hub for family gatherings, it’s crucial it speaks inclusivity in its design. A simple example is an open-concept-plan kitchen. By connecting the living and dining space, one can create an open environment that facilitates free-flowing engagement among guests and family members alike.
Healthy air quality is another important aspect of a wellness kitchen. Cooking and cleaning can introduce plenty of aerosols into the environment, and so powerful range hood must be selected, keeping in mind the fan size and quality to efficiently ventilate steam and strong odors while creating minimal noise. The exhausts must function in a way that allows as much pure air in the kitchen as possible.
Other wellness aspects include minimizing exposure to germs, reducing VOCs, improving functionality, using ergonomics and enhancing the environment through convenience and comfort while conserving water and other resources.
Openness and Connectivity (for Appliances)
In the world of safe and secured wireless connectivity, our kitchens have played a stronger role. Whether it’s the large appliances or small, wellness technology helps monitor the water use and temperature at all times.
Other innovations include replacing refrigerators and pantries for climate-controlled cabinetry or herb-growing appliances that automatically produce all year-round. The integration of UV lights will help sanitize surfaces and cabinets and protect surfaces from harmful toxins and germs. It is equally important to understand that the use of UV lighting can omit ozone, which contributes to poor indoor air quality.
Wellness Ideas for the Bathroom
Having the ability to control sounds, lighting, air quality and thermal comfort – along with hands-free technology – are great additions to the wellness-focused bathroom. From choosing safer materials to smart lighting, wireless technology and advanced voice-activated devices, safety, comfort and convenience are the top priorities.
These spaces are also focusing more on calming and rejuvenating experiences and can possess qualities of water, scents, color, light and sound to play with the human mind positively. Incorporating the strong daylight-colored lights will help create a refreshing aura in the morning. Infusing aromatherapy and introducing nutrients like Vitamin C into the shower can help induce a healthy environment.
High-Tech Fixtures and Furniture
Today’s toilets are all about comfort and cleanliness, offering options for integrated washlets, nightlights, foot warmers and music playlists. Some also include self-cleaning systems that help create a clean environment.
Furthermore, cool drawers – once only used in the kitchens – are now making their way into the bathroom. These drawers not only keep your medications out of the main fridge, they keep organic body products and cosmetics fresh. Best of all, they are lockable and offer privacy and security. Biometric technologies are also finding their way into the bathroom and help measure weight and heart rate.
Addressing Acoustics in the Home
In both areas, the integration of sound is often overlooked, even though the right sound at the right time can greatly benefit wellbeing. Research identifies that sound strikes every cell and organ, vibrates bones and activates muscles. It has been proven to aid in reducing anxiety by creating a calming environment. Yet ‘noise’ can have an adverse effect on our wellness and health, so understanding home acoustic design is an increasingly important topic with interior designers and architects.
It’s important for homeowners to see their homes as a haven, and by carefully choosing the right materials and equipment, you can blissfully transform your clients’ homes into wellness havens.
About the Author
Linda Kafka is a WELL AP, CLIPP, CAPS and manager of the Livable Environment Inc.
Another version of this article originally appeared on our sister site KBB Online.