April 15, 2024

Building Architectural Universes

Designing Spaces, Inspiring Lives

Interior decor tips on redefining a healthy home design

6 min read

Global health crises like the Covid-19 pandemic, technological advancement and access to information have brought health and well-being to the forefront of people’s minds as such events have highlighted the vulnerability of human health and the need to take proactive measures to protect it hence, modern lifestyles are becoming increasingly fast-paced and stressful but people are now seeking a better work-life balance and relooking their home designs as a starting point. A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found a significant association between low vitamin D levels and increased symptoms of depression and anxiety, indicating the importance of having a naturally-lit and ventilated home environment.

Interior decor tips on redefining a healthy home design (Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash)
Interior decor tips on redefining a healthy home design (Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Vijay Dahiya, Partner at team3, shared, “Urban residences today are often characterised by cramped living spaces amidst urban jungles with little to no connection to the outdoors. To redefine a healthy home design would be to blur the transition between the indoors and outdoors to create a seamless connection with nature. Redefining a healthy home design is an ongoing process that involves thoughtful consideration to enhance the overall living experience and can be achieved by crafting spaces that establish a strong relationship to its surrounding landscape, bringing in views, daylight, fresh air and a sense of tranquillity.”

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To redefine a healthy home design would be integrating nature into our homes as much as possible. He suggested some ways one can achieve it –

  1. Terraces and balconies: Areas like balconies and a terrace garden can become some of the most used areas of the home if planned in cohesion with the layout of the house. Furthermore, when the projected balconies cast a shadow on lower floors, it reduces incident light on the facade and keeps the house cooler. Designed with planters and landscaping elements, these spaces can accommodate great social gatherings and encourage the residents to spend time outdoors.
  2. Facade design: A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine revealed that residents with windows and access to natural light experienced better overall health and reported higher satisfaction and productivity than those without windows. Sunlight streaming through large windows can create a warm and inviting ambience, creating a relaxing and calming atmosphere, especially for a stressful work-from-home day! Well-designed facades maximize natural light penetration into living spaces, reducing dependence on artificial lighting. Large windows also provide an opportunity to observe the changing seasons and weather, fostering a deeper connection to the natural world.
  3. Biophilia inside the home: In cases where the home does not facilitate constructional changes, having plants indoors is a great way to invite nature indoors. Potted plants or creepers on the balcony add an earthy aesthetic to the house and are gaining popularity as a must-have home decor!
  4. Materials and finishes: Earthy colours, such as soft browns, warm beiges, muted greens, and gentle terracottas, create a calming and grounding atmosphere that promotes relaxation and comfort indoors. Earthy colours often have low reflectivity, so they absorb and diffuse light rather than bounce it around. This can create a soft and gentle lighting effect, enhancing the sense of comfort and tranquillity.

Rahul Mistri, Founder and Principal Designer at Open Atelier in Mumbai, opined, “In pursuing a fulfilling and balanced lifestyle, the concept of a healthy home has taken centre stage in the world of interior design. It becomes crucial to reimagine traditional home designs and embrace a new approach that prioritises physical health, mental well-being, and sustainability as one spends most of their time within these four walls. Redefining a healthy home design involves integrating elements that promote clean air, natural light, mindful spaces and eco-consciousness.” He recommended:

  • One of the primary considerations in a healthy home design is ensuring excellent indoor air quality. Using non-toxic materials and low-VOC paints reduces harmful airborne chemicals, creates a safer and healthier environment for the occupants, and incorporates air purifying systems that filter pollutants, allergens, and dust, improving respiratory health and overall well-being.
  • Maximising access to natural light is another essential aspect of a healthy home. Exposure to natural light has been proven to enhance mood, boost productivity, and regulate our body’s circadian rhythm. Large windows, glass doors, and skylights invite ample sunlight into the living spaces and impart a sense of warmth and positivity to the home.
  • Incorporating mindful spaces such as cosy reading nooks, serene meditation corners, and indoor gardens helps residents find solace in the fast-paced world outside. Mixing natural textures and indoor plants connects inhabitants with nature, reducing stress and promoting mental tranquillity.
  • Sustainability and eco-consciousness are at the core of redefining a healthy home design. Environmentally friendly materials, energy-efficient appliances, and sustainable practices help reduce the home’s carbon footprint. Incorporating recycled and upcycled elements adds character and uniqueness to the space and fosters a deeper connection to the environment.

Asserting that we mould our spaces and then our spaces mould us, Deeksha Gulati from Architecture Discipline, said, “Homeowners are now prioritising positive and clutter-free environments that foster well-being and facilitate clear thinking. Homes need to be, therefore, designed as a sequence of uplifting spaces and there are multiple ways to do this.” She advised:

  • A design approach with an emphasis on environment-friendly materials, establishing a connection with nature, and utilising advanced technologies can craft harmonious spaces that cater to the holistic health of its users. For instance, incorporating wellness spaces for exercise, meditation, and self-care can enrich the lives of users and add value to their endeavours. Integrating smart home technologies promotes convenience and energy conservation.
  • The pillars for a robust home design is centred on energy efficiency, versatility, and establishing a healthy sleep environment. Contemporary homes are evolutionary environments where work, leisure, and domestic activities overlap, leading to the need for open-ended, flexible spaces that adapt to the changing needs of the people who use them. This approach accounts for product life cycles and serviceability, resulting in homes designed for longevity and programmed for change. In addition, thoughtful design takes into account the reduction of VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions and indoor pollution.

As the world becomes increasingly aware of the impact of our living environments on our well-being, the concept of a healthy home design has gained significant attention. It goes beyond aesthetics and functionality, aiming to create spaces that nurture our physical, mental, and emotional health.

Apoorva Shroff, Founder and Principal Designer at lyth Design, concluded, “One can reshape their relationship with the environment by embracing biophilia, promoting a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle. Incorporate plants, organic materials, and natural light for a refreshing and rejuvenating atmosphere. Create spaces for yoga or meditation and flexible layouts that encourage physical activity and mindful movement, fostering wholesome living. Ensure proper ventilation, use low-VOC paints and materials, and integrate intelligent health technologies like air quality monitoring and water purification systems to optimise the living environment and support a healthier lifestyle.”

When spaces are redefined towards healthier options, homes transform into peaceful sanctuaries where one’s mind, body and spirit can find solace. By prioritising well-being, incorporating elements of nature and attending to every detail, one can create spaces that genuinely resonate with a good vibe or by focusing on clean air, natural light, mindful spaces and eco-consciousness, the design aspect is vital in shaping environments that support physical health, mental balance, and a greener planet. A healthy home is not just a space but a sanctuary that nurtures the mind, body and soul.

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