For years, we’ve been aware of the importance of ergonomics, nutrition and exercise to our wellbeing. And we’ve been working hard at it! But once we get home at the end of a tough day, I don’t think we should have to work so hard!
How we light our homes, or the quality of our water and air, shouldn’t undermine all our efforts to live our healthiest life. Rather, in today’s wellness-conscious world, the effort we’re putting in should be enhancedby our homes. And that’s exactly what the DARWIN Home Wellness Intelligence platform does; it uses technology to passively create living environments that nurture and promote health and wellbeing.
As a designer, a big part of my role is to create spaces that speak to the people who live in them, taking an aesthetic approach to wellness and promoting harmony and happiness. How a space looks has the power to change and elevate our mood – or do the opposite. The secret is to be mindful about what you put in your home, and to be true to yourself as a person.
If you stage your home so it’s not authentic to who you are, it won’t make sense visually, and you won’t feel comfortable living in that space.
There are many ways you can improve the wellness of your home without too much effort.
For a start, there’s lighting and colour. As I’ve already said, colour never fails to influence how I feel and it’s always good for my soul to be surrounded by the colours that make me happy, whether they’re on a wall, a vase, a bunch of flowers or in the upholstery of a chair.
The colour base you choose for your home will set your mood on a daily basis. Cool colours will calm you and make your home feel serene and neutral, while bright colours will energise you, and get you up and running for the day.
You can enhance the effect of your wall colour with light. If your home is north facing, your home’s natural light will be warm, while if you are south facing it will be cool. When you pick your paint colours, consider how light will impact the colour in your home. If you have warm light against a warm interior wall will be overwhelming whereas cool light on a warm interior wall works.
Melbourne’s first ‘wellness real estate’ home in Truganina. Picture: Jay Town
Homes fitted with the DARWIN platform benefit from passively attuned lighting that mimics our circadian rhythms (our natural sleep-wake cycle). That means starting your day with adim, dawn-like light, that then morphs from soft yellow to a cooler blue light to stimulate energy and activity to gear you up for the day. Lighting then begins to yellow again at sunset, growing softer and dimmer as the evening progresses to prepare you for sleep.
Another easy way to improve the wellness of your home is to clear the clutter. Which brings me to one of the great loves of my life… storage! Organising storage into baskets, containers and within cupboards reduces visual clutter and makes your home environment more mentally relaxing.
Another aspect of wellness in the home is sustainability, and the carbon footprint your home creates. From ensuring your home is employing passive heating and cooling techniques, to buying locally where you can, taking small steps to improve the sustainability of your home helps promote wellness within the home.
Which is not to say you shouldn’t buy a beautiful unique piece from Italy if there is nothing comparable available locally. Just don’t fill your entire home with imported items that carry a hefty carbon footprint, when there are so many beautiful pieces available locally.
It also comes down to the products you put on, in and around your body. Selecting paints, fabrics and cleaning products that don’t contain toxic elements. New products often emit chemicals into the air that can be bad for our health – which the DARWIN platform addresses by monitoring air quality and helping to purify the air when pollutants are detected.
The DARWIN platform also filters the water and purifies the air throughout your home, protecting you from chemicals, allergens and pollutants – even in the shower! We all know that consuming heavily processed foods isn’t healthy, and ensuring filtered water ensures that the fruits you eat aren’t contaminated with chemicals after you wash them, and your drinking water is safe to hydrate with.
There’s no denying that nurturing home wellness is just as important as taking care of your nutrition, fitness and workplace ergonomics, and in orderto enjoy the full benefits of a well home it’s critical that we take a holistic approach to home wellness that factors in every touch point between the home and the people who live in it.
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