What is a Healthy Home?

Wellness focused interior design is intended to help us live our best and healthiest lives by creating a home environment that supports our quest for a healthy lifestyle.  Primary elements of a healthy home include:

1. Healthy Airflow (analyze, purify, breathe):  Improving ventilation in the home will reduce the concentration of contaminants, while reducing mold and mildew opportunities.  Adding plants and using biophilic design, increasing window count and sizes, using whole home or stand-alone air purifiers will all help improve air quality in the home.

2. Clean Water Used Responsibly (analyze, purify, hydrate):  High quality filtered water is important for hydrating healthy bodies.  Given that clean water is a finite resource, we also want to be conscious of our consumption, and minimize waste wherever possible.

Clean Water

3. Chemical Control to Minimize Toxins (analyze, remove, limit):  Harmful volatile organic compounds & polyfluoroalkyl substances (from your paint, flooring, building materials, bedding, furniture), carbon monoxide, radon, and particulate matter (from household cleaners, pollen & allergens, chemical air fresheners, gas stoves, heaters) all contribute to an unhealthy environment.  Exposure to these chemicals and substances can trigger asthma symptoms and jeopardize respiratory health.  Consciously choosing organic and non-toxic materials in the products that you place in your environment will reduce the impact of chemical exposure in your life.

Healthy Materials

4. Natural and Layered Lighting (expose, capture, harness):  exposure to natural light will enhance daytime alertness and trigger natural circadian rhythm cycles that lead to better sleep.  Sufficient adjustable levels of lighting are needed to meet our safety needs for task completion, to enhance our daily experience, and to set a mood at various times of the day.

5. Places for Spiritual & Mental Wellness (reflect, awaken, thrive):  It is vital to incorporate spaces in the home that are distraction free & unique to your needs.  You may need spaces designed for working or schooling from home that are efficient and minimize stress.  You may need a space for meditation, reading, or religious practices where the focus of activity in the space is solely tranquility, relaxation, and quieting the mind.  You may need social spaces on patios or informal eating spaces where family and friends can gather for mutual enjoyment and connection.  Sound & temperature control, reduction of clutter, connection with nature and outdoor spaces, as well as comfortable furnishings and décor all contribute to the creation of your personal sanctuary.

Spiritual Wellness

6. Facilitating Physical Wellness (educate, motivate, facilitate):  Integrating exercise into everyday life in as many ways as possible, and maintaining motivation to strive towards your fitness goals is something that your home can support.  Facilitating easy participation in hobbies and passions that you already love makes it easier to maintain ongoing participation, as we shift the focus from dieting and exercise to fueling and physical recovery.  Maximizing sleep hygiene and small luxuries that promote muscle recovery are design elements that should not be overlooked.

Physical Wellness

7. Supporting Healthy Nutrition (educate, innovate, maintain):  Diet and proper nutrients are essential to a healthy lifestyle, so setting up your kitchen and pantry to encourage healthy meal choices is a good place to start.  Make it easy to prepare nutritious meals with fresh ingredients and use mindful eating practices as you consciously choose how to nourish your body.

8. Practice Conscious Consumption & Conservation (reduce, reuse, reinvent):  Reducing consumption of energy, water, and resources is everyone’s responsibility.  You can choose to purchase from manufacturers that use organic non-toxic materials and are committed to source transparency, waste reduction, renewability, and energy efficiency.

Do you have to tackle every element on a healthy home checklist…NO…but if you are going to do an update or a remodel, why not mindfully make the choices that will lead you towards a healthier and happier life!