The Rise of Wellness Design
5 Trends You’ll See (and Want to Have) in 2020 and Beyond
When you hear the word “wellness”, you often picture physical health, doctors in white coats and standing in line at the pharmacy. Well, that’s all changing as this fast-growing segment now includes everything mind, body, and soul. As the focus shifts from medicinal to functional, the wellness category has become a significant focus for retailers, designers, and architects. No longer are things like essential oils, biophilia, sound baths, and acupuncture considered “woo woo” wellness trends; instead, they are quickly gaining popularity with the mainstream crowd, especially in recent years. The focus on pausing, resetting, and creating inner peace is everywhere, and as our lives get busier and more complicated, it’s a trend that’s transforming into a lifestyle.
As people spend more time looking for inner happiness and health, business opportunities are growing alongside it, officially qualifying “wellness” as big business – a 4.3 trillion dollar business, in fact, that continues to morph and grow at an exponential rate. From sustainable materials to repurposing multi-functional spaces to biophilic workplaces, the future of design lies “within.”
Pinterest Trends, a tool that gives marketers insight into specific search-term use, illustrated that wellness terms like “social media detox” and “low-waste lifestyle” have been skyrocketing in popularity. – Ad Age in addition to categories like sustainable materials, wellness design and healthy living.
Ancient traditions like yoga and meditation are intersecting with innovation, providing access to a variety of wellness offerings and making them more attainable by a wider range of people. Research indicates that companies who invest in spaces that cater to their employee’s overall wellbeing (i.e. living walls, meditation rooms, nap pods, healthy food options) heightens creativity and increases productivity, making it an investment that’s a win-win for everyone.
“Wellness will significantly impact the building and design industry. We will see more re-thinking of each room in the house as younger generations more open to new ways of living to surpass Baby Boomers in population and spending in the coming decade.” - Architect Veronica Schreibeis Smith, founder, and CEO of Vera Iconica Architecture in Jackson, Wyoming
So, say bye-bye to fluorescent lights, cramped, uninspired office spaces and dingy walls, and hello to these heart-centered design trends.
5 Wellness-based Design Trends for 2020 and Beyond
1. Mood Lighting
From the beginning of time, our bodies have naturally reacted to light: we wake up with the sun and go to sleep when it’s dark. With the implementation of artificial light, not only do we disrupt our natural circadian rhythms, some research implies that fluorescent lights may cause migraines, eye strain, and dizziness. Seasonal affective disorder—aka “The Winter Blues”—often occurs in people during the dreary, gray winter months due to the absence of the full-spectrum of light we normally receive from sunlight – and our bodies and minds often respond in a negative way.
Many people are turning to mood lighting to improve their state of mind, adding in blue, purple green and other color-changing illumination to regulate sleep cycles, boost productivity, and improve mood (note: different colors create different psychological results). GE has recently created C-Sleep which is a bulb that transitions between three colors to match your circadian rhythm, ranging from bluish to soft white to amber depending on the time of day.
2. Calming Colors
Color truly has a voice and a purpose! Each hue affects your psychology – and is subjective to each person, specifically between men and women. Lighter, soothing colors like soft blues and greens tend to impart a feeling of calm and tranquility (which is why they are the most popular bedroom colors), while brighter colors like orange and yellow incite creativity. The actual percentage of the color also has a major impact. For example, the color blue can relay feelings ranging from stability and tranquility to sadness or productivity based on its intensity (but it’s also the least “appetizing” color, so don’t use it in the restaurant. Try orange instead!). Check out our wellness color palette for 2020 to find a shade that suits your mood.
It’s said that we as humans are intrinsically tied to nature, and physically need its resources to properly thrive. Think of how a sunny day can literally brighten your mood.
Biophilia means “love of life,” an affinity for living things and the natural world.
The “biophilia effect” describes the many positive impacts people have during the sensory experience of nature: sight, sound, smell, or feel. In architecture and design, there has been a trend toward creating more harmonious, thriving, and nurturing environments. Creating atmospheres that connect us to the natural world results in less stress, increased mood, and higher functionality.
Some employers even have “calm rooms” for the workplace so that employees can rejuvenate and/or be free from distractions, while prison cells are being painted a soothing, pale pink.
In interior design, plants are showing up as finishes, edibles and vertical gardens, organic materials to replace synthetics and using more organic patterns and color palettes.
In Stephen Kellert’s documentary, Biophilic Design: The Architecture of Life, he explores the intrinsic need for humans to connect with their environments as well as the evolution of the connection between architecture and nature.
4. Meditation Areas
What we think, we become - Buddha
Do you often find yourself saying: where did the time go, how is it another week…another year? If we don’t take the time to stop and take moments to “be present,” it’s likely that time will lead the way for us, and we’ll wake up one day wondering how life has passed us by. Setting aside time, and a space, to reflect and be in the moment (it takes practice!) will help you become more intentional -- and present -- in your daily life.
View more meditations rooms on the decoist here:
5. Full Spectrum Paint
Our bodies and minds are tied to the natural world. Exposure to full-spectrum light (now available in light bulb form) prompts your body to produce serotonin and melatonin, two hormones that are important for healthy minds and sleep cycles. Full-spectrum paint is created to reflect the full range of natural light (using no black), making them more luminous in nature and harmonious with other design elements in the room. Read more about full-spectrum paint here.
Click here for more design trends for 2020
View our Wellness Color Palette