While some professionals have returned physically to the office, many organizations are embracing a hybrid workforce that includes a blend of working from home and the office. Still, many businesses admit that working from home is here to stay. No matter the scenario, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted how we view our home environments. Embracing a healthy lifestyle plays an even larger role in home design than ever before. In this article, we examine health features to incorporate into your home that strengthen your physical and mental health.
The pandemic has encouraged us to reexamine our hygiene practices and return to healthy habits that many were taught in childhood like good handwashing. As we discussed in the “Kitchen Counters that are Easy to Clean” blog post, there are materials like Silestone that have antimicrobial protection built into its slabs. We installed Silestone on the primary kitchen counter and the eating area in the home shown above. The durable material looks sharp and can be used in homes and offices where table-top surfaces are needed for assembling materials or holding items that may have been handled by a lot of people. Investing in antimicrobial surfaces like Silestone certainly fight germs and contribute to a healthy environment.
Prevent Germs from Traveling throughout Your House
Mudrooms have grown in popularity and present a place to store shoes when you return home, limiting the opportunity for germs to spread throughout the house. When you consider all the surfaces that the bottoms of your shoes encounter in a day, kicking off your shoes upon entering the house makes sense. Antimicrobial door mats can remove bacteria, E. coli, mold and allergens like pollen but aren’t 100 percent effective. Provide a first line of defense by establishing an area for shoes in your mudroom.
Touchless or Automatic Faucets
Regular hand washing is of course a great way to keep germs at bay. Touchless or automatic faucets are now common in public areas and can easily be introduced into your home. We’re fans of installing a hands-free faucet in your mudroom, if plumbing is available. Otherwise, implementing the practice of handwashing in the kitchen or bathroom as soon as you return home is a good habit. We recommend touchless faucets like this one from American Standard. (The Innsbrook® Selectronic® Touchless Metering Faucet retails for $553.)
Add in a touchless soap dispenser and you’re able wash up without spreading grime or germs to your sink appliances. As shown below, the Liquid Sensor Pump from Simple Human retails for $70 and is ideal for guest bathrooms and kitchens where food prep can be messy. Consider all the times you handle raw meat and then need to wash your hands.
A family in Downers Grove, Illinois took a comprehensive approach to wellness at home. The parents hired Kuklinski + Rappe Architects to design the home with accessibility at the forefront to accommodate their two daughters with special needs. The design embraced typical needs such as wide corridors and seamless flooring from space to space to accommodate the girls’ wheelchairs. What’s more is that the architect chose to “carve out outdoor spaces from the home’s footprint, allowing interior spaces to look out onto serene, landscaped areas.” Gorgeous views of the outdoors and natural light from oversized windows is known to elevate moods. Who wouldn’t feel healthier with views like the one below?
No doubt there are plenty of benefits to working from home. However, everyone needs to have separate spaces for professional and personal needs. It’s easy to have the two domains blend, leading to work that bleeds into your family time because it’s so accessible. There’s been a lot of focus on converting spaces to dedicated home offices. How much consideration has been paid to areas that restore your wellbeing?
For one of our clients, we created a Zen-like spa and sauna to help the homeowner relax any time of day. We chose lighter earth tones to create the calm atmosphere captured in the photo above. The light blues and greens are featured in the pillows, accent table, accessories and even in the rug from Oriental Rug Gallery of Texas. The rug also picks up the wood tones from the nearby sauna, tying the room together nicely. Of course, loads of natural light emanates from the window.
We realize not everyone can have an at-home spa like the one above. However, we encourage our clients to devote at least part of a room to your rest
and relaxation. When life gets stressful, these sacred spaces—large or small—can provide the escape we all need. “Using a small space to create a retreat can force you to be more creative. A reading nook, painting corner or even a window seat can be implemented almost anywhere,” according to House Beautiful.
Guest bedrooms are often used as overflow storage areas, yet offer a private space for a book nook or quiet R&R. Take this next example from ourpnw_home for an uncluttered rest spot. Store books, essential oils, blankets or whatever helps you relax in the drawers and cabinets while still providing guests with space to store their clothing during visits.
“Indoor reading nooks are wonderful—but a spot to read under the stars is even better. Consider adding a couple of weatherproof pillows to an unused corner of your balcony or backyard patio,” Kaitlyn McInnis said in The Spruce. We love the serene outdoor setting shown below, by MC Designs. You can feel the stress melt away!
Which healthy home designs do you want to adopt? If you’re interested in introducing healthy aspects like these into your home to boost your wellness, contact Pamela Hope Designs. After all, you’ve got only one life to live. We’ll help you create the restorative home of your dreams.