By Guest Blogger, Designer & Author- Sherry Burton Ways, Associate ASID.
Have you ever asked yourself how can I design my home for health and wellness? In her guest blog article below Sherry shares her secrets.
“Whether people are healthy or not, is determined by their circumstances and environment. To a large extent, factors such as where we live, the state of our environment, genetics, our income and education level, and our relationships with friends and family all have considerable impacts on health …” World Health Organization.
One of the most important areas of our life we must hold sacred is our health. I advocate that it is the H of the word H.O.M.E. When I design spaces I always want to put our personal health in the forefront of the design. Why? Without our health, we cannot be complete as individuals.
Some questions I like to ponder with my clients around health may include:
Do you sleep well?
Do you get enough exercise?
Do you have a healthy diet?
Do you need to relax more?
The answers to these and other questions determines the approach I take to creating interiors that promote health and well-being. In this blog, I will focus on these questions and how they relate to determining our interior design goals around health and well-being:
1. What are your walls covered with?
Historically, wall paints on the market contained high Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) which refer to solvents and other chemicals which evaporate into the air when in use. These VOC’s have been linked to many health problems such as asthma and skin conditions. The good news is that there are many great environmentally friend paint products on the market today, some of which are outperforming well-known brands with zero to low VOCs. Brands like Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams and others are now carrying low to no VOC paint products. Consider these products for your next home painting project.
2. How is your kitchen designed?
Our kitchens should be designed to allow plenty of light. Natural daylight for a kitchen results in a lower energy bill, reduce the intensity of heat in your space while cooking and will boost your metabolism in the process. In addition, consider natural task lighting over food preparation areas. Research window treatments flexible enough to let natural light in during the day and privacy in the evenings.
Select cabinetry that contains natural wood seals and paints that have low or no-VOC. Ask about FSC-certified wood cabinetry products and when you speak to your kitchen designer. Choose countertop material that is non-porous and easily cleaned in food preparation areas.
Consider cooking appliances that offer steam ovens and duo compression refrigeration to ensure freshness and cooking of vegetables. Purchase sinks that offer cutting boards and vegetable prepping and cleaning. Integrate a composting bin as part of your overall kitchen design and a water filtration device to ensure clean drinking water.
3. What is the air quality like in your home?
What is the air quality like in your entire home? Have you checked your home’s ventilation system? Do your air ducts need to be cleaned out or replaced? I was working with a client who informed me that her daughter was having a lot of allergies. This concerned me. As we began a total redesign of her home, we learned that the air ducts were never cleaned in her home and was in serious need for replacement. In addition, one of the air ventilation system was located just outside her bedroom door!
4. What are you breathing in?
In addition, to address air quality concerns, I always promote the use of diffusing essential oils. Oils like lavender, lemongrass, wild orange and others create relaxing and invigorating scents in the home environment. It not only improves air quality, essential oils can relax your senses, calm stress and creates a harmonious environment.
5. What are you sleeping on?
We spend nearly one third of your lives asleep, and the quality of this rest period will directly affect our energy levels during the day. Pillows and bedding are like mini-mattresses that your face and skin presses up against for hours on end every night.
Pillows and bedding should be made from natural fibers which allow our skin to breathe, and will not give off toxic fumes during the night. Choose natural colored sheets which have not been treated with bleach, as the residue and odor often aggravates allergic reactions.
We often forget that the colors of our bedding are an integral part of your color scheme. The colors of the sheets and covers can have a physical and psychological effect on you. Insomniacs will benefit from soothing and calming blues and greens, while those who live alone may take comfort in warm pinks and peaches.
6. Do you have a space to exercise?
Have you considered creating a space for a home gym? I noticed in the homes I am designing home gyms are increasingly becoming a trend. Take the money you would spend on a gym membership and invest in some home gym equipment and create a small exercise space for you and your family. If a gym is not your vision, consider creating a home dance, yoga or Pilates studio. The possibilities are endless to ensure that you include exercising as part of your wellness plan each day.
Landing on Your Feet & Putting Down Roots
In my new book Landing on Your Feet and Putting Down Roots: 21 Rituals to Transform Your Life and Interior Space, I focus several chapters around health and wellness rituals you can begin using right away. I look forward to you spending some time reading these rituals and implementing the suggestions above to design a healthy home environment you truly deserve.
-Sherry Burton Ways, Associate ASID
These ideas and more can be found in my new book Landing on Your Feet and Putting Down Roots: 21 Rituals to Transform Your Life and Interior Space.
-Sherry Burton Ways, ASID Associate
Interested in using creativity as a ritual for manifesting change in your life and environment? Check out Sherry’s brand-new book Landing on Your Feet and Putting Down Roots: 21 Rituals to Transform Your Life and Interior Space on sale now!
The Virtual Book Tour for Landing on Your Feet continues on July 28 th with Patricia Young of Inner Prosperity Academy with a guest blog article by Sherry Ways on Designing Interiors That Promote Health and Well-Being which will be found here.
Visit Sherry’s website to sign up to win a prize!
* Grand prize: A copy of Sherry’s book along with her grand prize of a 30-minute H.O.M.E. Interior Environment Intro Coaching Session via Skype or in person depending on location.
* A copy of Sherry’s book along with a 20-minute Color Therapy Consultation via Skype. Color Therapy Consults for interior color is one of the first elements you notice when you walk into a room, and color resonates with you when you leave. Color sets a mood: The right color combination can transform a home or office and bring all who reside there new levels of energy. Custom color palettes for interior walls can bring happiness, harmony and well-being.
* A copy of Landing on Your Feet and Putting Down Roots: 21 Rituals to Transform Your Life and Interior Space.
To see the complete virtual book tour line up, follow each host on Twitter and connect with them on Social Media click here!
This is the last stop of this AMAZING tour. Sherry and I thank you for touring with us!