Design for Health: How Your Environment Can Affect Your Well-Being

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By DeAnna Radaj, Bante Design LLC

Having problems losing weight even though you are carefully counting every calorie?  Can’t sleep at night?  Having problems concentrating in your home office?  You may want to take a look at your surroundings & see how that is sabotaging your efforts…

From color choice, space-plan & accessory placement, your indoor environment can affect your mental, emotional & physical health.  Most people will look at the materials that go into the construction of their home, office and furniture, as well as careful read each & every label to make sure they are only bring in all-natural items into their space…however, these same people will neglect to take into account their color scheme (warm colors in the bedroom), clutter (see previous articles on this topic) and the accessories & collections they surround themselves with.

COLOR:

Most of us (especially designers, artists & the like) are familiar with color THEORY…what color is where on the color wheel, contrasting/complimentary, the 60/30/10 rule…Or, what goes with what in a pleasing way.  However, most do NOT take into account color THERAPY…what color supports the functionality of the space (cool colors in a bedroom) and/or what the energetic, health affect the color has on the occupant (warm color raises body temperature/heart rate).  A bedroom with a RED color scheme will NOT promote a restful night sleep as this warm color scheme will raise your body temperature & heart rate…A kitchen with an ORANGE color scheme will promote a healthy appetite, which is great to promote socialbility & family gatherings, not so great if you are trying to lose weight!

Advice:  WARM colors in an active space, COOL colors in a passive, quiet space

SPACE-PLAN:

There is a science to this…don’t over-crowd the room, take the size of the furniture into account keeping it in scale w/the surroundings & keeping a clear traffic pattern to easily navigate the space.  One of the most important components of space-planning that is often neglected is the Power Position.  The Power Position is the “diagonal corner from the entryway looking INTO the room“.  This is where the most important item needs to be placed (ex: the bed in the bedroom, the desk in the office) with the BACK facing the wall.  When seated (or lying down) you must be looking IN to the room…this is the most psychologically secure position of the room as you can see who enters/leaves & who is passing by, all the while your back is protected.  (this is one of the main reasons people hate sitting in cubicles so much…their back is exposed leaving them vulnerable).

Advice: Start with the main furniture piece & then place the rest of the furniture grouping around that…taking into account doors, windows, closets, heating registers/vents.

ACCESSORY CHOICE:

Yikes, this is probably THE #1 issue I face as a designer when working w/my clients…either the wrong items are in the wrong room, there’s just too much or items aren’t displayed properly.  The last 2 are the easiest to fix…clutter-bust, use vertical as well as the horizontal planes for display and/or create collages, shadowboxes or rotating groupings.  The first one is the hardest…items can be placed in inappropriate rooms (i.e. family photos in the bedroom, intimate photos in the kitchen-yes, I’ve seen this) or the items don’t support or suit the function of the room (horror film posters in the bedroom, romance items in the office).  I suggest looking at your collections, photos, accessories, & after doing a “clutter-busting”, then determine if the item belongs in that specific space.  Look at the function of the space & if the item doesn’t fit, either move it to the appropriate room or get rid of it.

ADVICE: Be honest, check your motivations for keeping something & get the “shoulds” out of the way

By implementing some of these tips, you’ll be on the way to creating a healthy & supportive space!

DeAnna Radaj, owner of Bante Design LLC, can enter a space and help to tweak (or remodel, re-design) the space to work better to suit its function AND the lifestyle of the occupants of the space.  Using Integrative Lifestyle Design, life quality can be increased AND be supportive to any transitions occurring, lifestyle changes or health challenges.  She is an “Eco-Shui” designer, writer & consultant who helps those who are looking to lead a more healthy, balanced & proactive lifestyle.  Unlike other interior designers or Feng Shui practitioners (besides a specialized focus on BEDROOMS & OFFICES), DeAnna integrates the Western (eco-friendly, universal, sustainable) & Eastern (Feng Shui) design principles & techniques, combined with goal-setting (12+ years in corporate before starting Bante Design LLC) & clutter-busting exercises to create healthy & supportive indoor environments.  Spaces that reflect the lifestyle & goals of her clients, as well as helping them “design the life of their dreams”.

Make sure to SUBSCRIBE to  DeAnna’s blog & follow her on Twitter & Facebook for more design tips, appearances, classes & videos!

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