Designing a room for mental/physical wellness
If you’ve noticed similarities in the decor and general aesthetic of successful retail businesses, it is not by chance. Even a simple audit of our personal preferences can reveal that we find ourselves more at ease and relaxed in certain spaces and anxious in others. How is it that we find ourselves feeling relaxed walking into a yoga studio? Why do we feel inspired to make changes when entering a gym? Business owners know that ambiance impacts how people feel in their spaces. That same concept can be applied to any room to promote mental and physical wellness.
In successful retail stores, color, signage, product placements, music, and temperature have all been considered carefully in creating the most conducive environment for shoppers. A 2018 study found that interior design has a significant influence on store visitors, helping to turn them into shoppers. The results of the study shows that 70% of purchase decisions are made inside the store, which means that interior design presents a valuable opportunity to influence shopper decisions.
Knowing that entire industries are built on the psychology of human behavior in response to our immediate environment, we have to consider that the ways in which we design our spaces can have a direct impact on our mental and physical wellness, not just in business, but in our homes as well.
The Link Between Design and Mental/Physical Wellness
Dr. Claudia Miller, an immunologist and researcher of indoor environmental health at the University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio, likes to say that the goal of architecture should be to put doctors like her out of business. Although buildings are where we spend more than 90% of our time, strategies to promote the health and well-being of the occupants are not always a major consideration during design.
What’s the goal of the space? Do you want to foster creativity, create a calm oasis that brings elements of the outside indoors, or boost mood? Designing for wellness involves considerations related to:
- Architectural design
- The flow of traffic
- The use of natural or artificial lighting
- Attention to air quality
The American Institute of Architects noted that good health is a great indicator of happiness, so it makes sense to design for health.
Workplace Design for Wellness
Strategies that promote health, such as providing easy access to nutritious foods and opportunities to exercise, will promote happiness as well. Consider the flow when designing a room—whether it facilitates or hinders movement, and whether it facilitates or hinders access to healthy foods and activities.
An equitable environment makes people feel that they are respected and that their thoughts and opinions matter. These environments are more likely to encourage trust and camaraderie and will encourage people to look out for each other. An inequitable environment might make people feel they need to compete for resources and is likely to be isolating. An example of an equitable environment is one where organizational hierarchy is not manifested in the architecture and collaboration is promoted.
Working with a designer who understands the link between interior design and mental/physical wellness can have an incredible impact on your staff and clients. Do you want to encourage a healthy lifestyle? Do you want to make people feel safe? Do you want to bring people closer to nature? These are all questions that J.Fisher Interiors can explore with you to design a space that makes people feel good about being there.
Designing for Wellness at Home
Many of the same important factors—such as lighting, air quality, temperature, and the use of greenery—apply in designing home spaces that promote wellness. In addition, thoughtful home design can turn a house into a relaxing oasis that helps melt stress, decompress from a busy workday, and foster creativity.
Inspiring physical wellness at home through design could include making adequate space for movement, creating a bright and airy kitchen you’ll want to use to cook healthy meals in, and merging aesthetics and functionality to ensure it’s always easy to reach for a healthy snack. A calm-inducing bedroom that uses soothing colors and adequate window dressings can help promote relaxation and good sleep. A reading nook or meditation corner that limits distractions while promoting tranquility can help melt away stress.
When it comes to creating spaces that enhance mental and physical wellness—both at work and at home—careful planning and expertise in pulling together the many design elements to create a cohesive design with purpose can enhance daily life in subtle but profound ways. There’s good design, and then there’s purposeful design. Purposeful design with mental and physical wellness in mind pulls together design aesthetics with knowledge about how different design elements impact human beings on a physical and psychological level.
J.Fisher Interiors’ studio is located in east Austin. To schedule your consultation appointment, please fill out the contact form or call us at 512.954.0904. We would love to hear from you!