Design Reflects Food Trends Part 2:
Health-Focused and Stress-Releasing
Last month we talked about how design often reflects what and how people eat such as eco-friendly packaging and made from scratch foods. Now we’d like to talk about how two other food trends correlate with interior design – health-enhancing products and creating a relaxing environment.
We have all read about foods that help our health and relieve stress – salmon, dark chocolate, and berries all come to mind. We know how dining in a calm and relaxing manner enhances wellbeing. Architects and interior designers also realize that living and workspaces greatly influence physical health as well as emotional state of mind. And their ideas are backed up by science.
Currently, researchers are looking closely at the connection between aesthetics, the build environment and wellbeing. For example, environmental psychology focuses on the interplay between people and their physical, social and mental environments, and neuroaesthetics examines how our brain responds to beauty, art, design, and aesthetics.
These viewpoints directly echo the work and values incorporated into Sensory Six commercial and residential design. Let’s look at two specific areas: lighting and decluttering.
Health enhancing products = Lighting
Whether it is a commercial or residential space, lighting is one of the most important elements of design. Designing spaces around natural light sources help match our natural rhythms, which improve productivity, alertness, mood, and overall psychological health. Use of light-reflecting materials like glass or metal can enhance natural lighting.
Smart lighting systems can also have significant health effects. Smart lighting is lighting technology that automates based on conditions such as occupancy or daylight availability. In addition to improving energy efficiency, smart lighting systems can be good for your health.
For example, studies show that blue light boosts vitality and energy during the day, but is harmful at night because it suppresses melatonin production and disrupts sleep cycles. Smart lighting systems allow for the adjustment of blue light automatically by removing it from the space or replacing the color of light.
STRESS REDUCTION = NO CLUTTER
Most of us believe that a cluttered space increases stress and anxiety. Research backs up that belief because clutter at work or at home induces a physiological response, including increased levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. A 2010 study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that people who perceived themselves as having a cluttered home tended to have increased levels of cortisol throughout the day, while those who didn’t perceive their spaces as cluttered had a drop in their cortisol levels.
From a design perspective, taking a more minimalistic approach that eliminates clutter can be beneficial to stress reduction. This does not mean stark; well-designed minimalistic spaces can be luxurious and rich in color and texture. Furniture and storage can be carefully chosen to create a calm living or working space. Carefully curated art and accessories can become focal points that add warmth and interest without overwhelming the space so it appears cluttered.
Interested in finding out how we can help you create distinctive spaces that are eco-friendly, stress-reducing, health-enhancing, and aesthetically pleasing? Please give us a call.
Cover Photo: Brian Jones Photography