How does the design of a home impact our day-to-day health, happiness and productivity? This is measured through research and building practices which marry the best of design and construction. The LGC Design philosophy encompasses using your five senses to design your home: Taste, Touch, Sight, Smell and Hearing.
Taste and hearing might seem tricky.
To design for taste in a way that supports wellness, stick to organic, whole food ingredients that are seasonal so they remain fresh and work with your body chemistry to help regulate digestion and balance hormones. Taste can be applied in the way your kitchen is laid out and how efficient your appliances are. The old joke “ Is your refrigerator running?” is a testament to the amount of energy you may be saving by purchasing an energy-efficient model.
Hearing is often questioned in a well-designed home. How do you hear a home? Acoustics and your A/V System are more important than ever. Think about that Zoom call from work where you can hear the kids playing, the TV blasting or, if you are in a building, the loud neighbor upstairs. We now have the Ring Doorbell which allows you to hear who is at your door as well as seeing them. Consider what you put on the ceilings or what wall-covering you are using and the padding underneath your carpet. These are sound absorbing and can help significantly.
The Easy Senses
Sight is in the details and textures. The use of raw materials such as caning and wovens provide warmth to a scheme that may otherwise be cold and uncomfortable. Lighting helps with task and ambience, the better to see how the principles of design are used. These principles are noted to be the use of rhythm, balance and repetition.
Imagine the aroma of fresh baked cookies or ginger and lavender when you walk into a home or office. This is scent. I advocate for placing organic essential oils from sustainably sourced plants in a diffuser and/or the use of air purifiers. While eliminating allergens essential oils can bolster mood, help you sleep, calm anxiety and fight bacteria. Many of your cleaning products are scented but are also toxic. Change out your Soaps and Detergents for organic, non-toxic cleaners. Yes, these are regulated by the FDA so look for this when purchasing.
The materials we surround ourselves with are a part of touch; fur, cotton, wool, marble, velvet, silk. Luxury items in the bath or living room. This plays out in countertops and furnishings. A well-designed home uses sustainable materials, low VOC paints, no formaldehyde in the glues used to install wood flooring, wool carpets, etc. There should be proper ventilation and windows for fresh air and sunlight.
An Extra: Biophilia
Last is the new buzzword Biophilia. Every good designer placed a plant somewhere but now we know they help to clean the air, provide calming qualities, smell delicious and are visually pleasing. We’ve learned how to construct green walls and make plants an important part of the environment.
With the Global Pandemic our health is more important than ever, take steps to ensure your home matches this priority.