If you’re reading this, we probably don’t have to sell you on the concept that your environment shapes you. Design professionals know this and work to make spaces that are more beautiful, functional and contribute to their clients’ wellbeing. At this year’s High Point Market, we were able to tune into a webinar and hear the pros talk amongst themselves on their approaches to design as a matter of wellness.
Connect with Nature
Mid Century Modern fans know about this through MCM’s trademark indoor-outdoor connection. We need natural light, and plants have manifold benefits. Panelist Michael Pearson is interested in the intersection between science and design. He cited a scientific study in which cardiac patients worked at a plant nursery. The study documented that patients’ blood pressure dropped as a result of working with plants.
Another interior design trend on this theme is biophilic design such as living walls. But if that’s not in the budget for you right now, not to worry. Houseplants go a long way toward wellness. As panelist Charles Pavarin points out, plants filter the air as well as help you generally feel better. Panelist Clodagh adds that she often recommends jade plants for those who feel they lack a green thumb. “Jade plants will survive almost anything,” she says.
Clear the Clutter
Fans of MCM will already know the value of a simplified, clutter-free space. Clutter can cause stress, but panelist Lori Miller observes, “Some people really like clutter.” She approaches this with her clients by probing what it is that they love–is it wanting to have everything where you can see it, or is it the need to hold onto memories associated with specific objects? Once she has an answer to that, she can reach a solution that still clears away the excess but achieves the end goal. For instance, a bookshelf can display mementos so that the objects are still in view but out of the way. (We have some ideas to that end in our storage solution guide.)
Charles observes that clearing clutter also applies to ease of movement. Does your floorplan and furniture allow you to transition easily from one space to another?
Invest in Beauty
Whatever your space or budget, being in a space you love contributes to your overall wellbeing. When asked how someone on a restrictive budget can do to improve their home’s design, Clodagh didn’t hesitate. “Whatever your budget is, set 15% aside for astounding beauty,” she answered. She gave the example of “immersive art,” a large piece of art that you love to see. That will make an immediate and proportionately large impact on how you experience your environment. Lori Miller added that paint color is similarly impactful and can help distinguish one space from another.
Claim Your Space to Make Your Wellness Refuge
These days, finding a place for quiet can be a challenge, but even if you’re sharing a small apartment or all the rooms in your home are accounted for, you can still get creative. Clodagh suggests using a cue such as a hat to signal to those you live with that you need to be left alone and undisturbed while you are wearing it. Or if you can’t claim an enclosed room for your place of refuge, you can claim a chair by a window.
View the entire webinar at High Point Market’s YouTube channel for more expert tips and discussion of design’s intersection with health and wellness.