More Than a House: The WELL Designed Home
The trend towards more connection with nature resonates so deeply with my philosophy that I realized – it’s time to start a movement. The WELL Designed Home is an approach that goes further than an interest in wellness to promoting healthy living. This is an opportunity to be a leader, to enhance health in the home, to give people the resources that are within reach, so they can enjoy a connected life that brings them and others joy.
W is for well-being, wellness and well-built. This maps to connection to nature, a sense of being nurtured, feeling good in the space. What it looks like: natural light, views to nature, use of natural materials, bringing in organic elements, organic shapes, organic materials. Through part of every project, we seek to bring materials in from the outside like natural, native stone and wood. We enjoy using wood in a way that is comforting, warm and welcoming. We especially favor live-edge wood features. Our Desert Mountain Home project includes extensive use of natural stone and warm, rich wood. The accent pieces were of live-edge wood, nature’s sculpture.
E is eco-conscious. This can range from approach and philosophy to using materials that are sustainable and practices that are energy efficient. The attitude is one of responsibility and stewardship. We always use the most energy efficient appliances possible and LED light fixtures. These have come a long way, with improvements to color quality and warmth, for a more natural feel. Light bulbs can even look like old-fashioned Edison bulbs and be used in any fixture. You can get energy efficiency with any look.
L is for luxury. You don’t have to sacrifice any convenience. Luxury may mean home automation systems that control the lighting, window shades, and audio video. Luxury is also beautiful finishes and, always, attention to detail. The result is a unique personalized quality a designer with you, and only you, in mind brings to a project. For a kitchen we recently finished, the clients love that they immediately felt it’s truly theirs, with all of the details specific to their lifestyle – the rotisserie, the coffee maker, refrigerator drawers that are easy for the kids, and the high-end luxury appliances, custom made in France.
L is for livable. This is a home that feels comfortable, inviting, like people actually live here, not just a pretty house for a magazine. Visitors aren’t afraid to sit on the furniture, which is highly personalized for the client’s lifestyle. Prized collections and sentimental furniture pieces are highlighted. Seating is comfy, not stiff and stuffy. Finishes are durable and livable, not precious. This can include the popular concept of Hygge – the “cozy” designs of a Danish lifestyle philosophy – but is not confined to any one style.
The WELL Designed home is a response to the disconnect so prevalent in our world – to the excessive time we spend on our phones. People long for a deeper connection. They desire authenticity and a way to gain a new perspective on the past. They are looking for a way to bring nature back into their lives. It’s time to feel the grass beneath your feet, the wind in your hair and the sun on your face. Many of my clients are choosing the WELL Designed home rather than cutting themselves off through artificial environments, moving from house to car to office. This isn’t only a regional, or even national, but … a human desire. As a movement, we hope to change attitudes and dedicate resources to support WELL living.