Your home has a huge influence on your well-being and designing for wellness makes sense. Everything from the materials you choose in your Madison WI home remodel to the layout of rooms, lighting and colors plays a role in family health and happiness.
Scientific study shows that spaces where we spend a lot of time – like our homes – have a big influence on our lives. Homeowners and remodelers are realizing how they change structures and space can either enhance or hinder healthy lifestyles.
There are two spaces in every home that deserve top priority – and get the most requests for renovations: the kitchen and the master bathroom. These rooms are centers of attention every day. Family activities focus on them and so should you.
Designing For Wellness In The Kitchen
The kitchen is the nerve center of an active family. It has evolved well beyond a place to cook and eat. Unfortunately, its design often lags behind. So, it doesn’t work as efficiently as it can. To promote wellness throughout the family, the kitchen has to get away from the “fast food” serving area to a place for healthy meals. When considering a new kitchen, moving easily from one are to another is vital. Cramped, clutter spaces are what you’re trying to get away from. A poorly laid out kitchen makes creating any meal stressful. What goes into a kitchen that lends itself to creative meals? Space. But not just space, areas designated for various functions.
Home Remodel Blends Form And Function
Designing for wellness in the kitchen includes:
- Counter space – plenty of open space on long counters wherever possible. Even in a small kitchen, try to create one or two open counters that are 3- or 4-feet long.
- Strategic location – where the long, open counter is located makes a difference, too. Ideally you’ll locate a long space between the sink and the cooking area so ingredients easily move from prep to clean up and vice versa. If you can, build a second counter space a few feet away where a second person can work, too.
- Easy-access to storage – when you need a smaller pan, a cover for your pot or a hot pad, having to search for it is stressful. Under counter storage and cabinet space organization goes a long way to increasing efficiency. Roll-out shelves and wide openings are a great start.
- Organization – keeping ingredients close at hand makes meal preparation more enjoyable. Adding a pantry as part of your home remodel is an ideal “must have.”
- Lighting – eye strain is always a problem, especially as we get older. One of the top priorities for kitchen remodeling making sure there is adequate light. That might include adding windows or skylights for natural lighting or increasing the use of modern fixtures. Among the most sought-after sources of light are surface-illuminating under-cabinet lights. They install in unused space and create a user-friendly workspace.
Bathroom Renovation Top Priority For Home Remodel
The concept of a “spa bathroom” is no longer a luxury only a few can afford. Designers are focused more and more on making the bathroom more than a place for personal hygiene. They are mixing ambiance with function to promote personal health and well-being.
Modern bathrooms are a place to both get clean and relax. Both key elements in any wellness program. Grooming and hygiene are enhanced in a modern design through:
- Improved lighting
- Open areas for free movement and easy access – seating at lower countertops
- Anti-bacterial materials
- Multi-dimensional fixtures
- Safety and support features
Additionally, special features expand upon the ability for homeowners to relax in their bathroom. Designers are finding new ways to apply the therapeutic impact of water, lighting, colors, sounds and even scents. A strong connection to the outdoors through natural light is a big plus.
Particularly in a large master bath, combining these elements creates a sense of sanctuary. The “get away from it all” feeling improves physical and mental health.
Comfort features begin with the most basic element in the bathroom – the toilet. There’s a lot more available today than traditional stool and tank. Designing for wellness is reflected in an abundance of comfort features, including:
- Heated seats
- Massage and washlet (integrated bidet) systems
- Built-in child seats
- Self-lowering seats and covers
- Night lights
- Adjacent foot warmers
- Personal music systems – with your playlist
- Integral exhaust venting to remove odors
- Self-cleaning to reduce the threat of bacteria
- Hands-free flushing
Designing For Wellness Includes Bathroom Safety
Designing a healthy environment goes beyond comfort and convenience. Bathrooms are known as rooms with potential for personal injury. Wet feet, hard surfaces and loose materials – towels, clothing, etc. – can add up to disaster. An extremely popular feature of modern walk-in showers is a zero threshold entry – not lip to step over (or stumble on). Falls are the number one accident in bathrooms.
Overall lighting is also a high priority. Adding lights and/or bigger windows is a plus when it comes to eliminating shadows. Natural light – or fixtures that resemble natural light – a round the vanity are ideal for personal grooming needs.
Mirrors are decorative as well as functional. Used correctly they make the room appear larger, too.
There was a time when every bathroom had a “medicine cabinet.” A popular fixture yet, the old-fashioned cabinet has come into the 21st century as the command center for the room – housing programmable controls for such things as showers, tubs, lighting, under-floor heating and audio equipment.
There are many hydrotherapy options for bathtubs, plus sound systems and colored lights. Bubbles and water jets treat aching muscles and joints, and can improve circulation. However, jetted tubs are regularly replaced in a home remodel with free-standing tubs for luxurious soaks. The large, jetted tubs require more hot water and electrical energy to keep them working. Deep old-fashioned soaking tubs save on energy and provide relaxing experiences.
Designing For Wellness – The Holistic Approach
There is more to an overall wellness plan than hardware and technology. Why is an appreciation for the overall health and well-being of a homeowner critical to the success for a home remodel? Consider the basic elements and how they impact everyone’s daily routine:
- Air – studies show that Americans spend nearly 90% of their time indoors and that indoor air can be many times more polluted than outdoor air. Maintaining high-quality air in a home through proper ventilation the use of low VOC products, etc. is vital to everyone’s health.
- Water – quality water is vital to every system of the body. Making high-quality water easily available through handy, efficient fixtures is a step toward keeping family members well-hydrated. Water filtration systems reduce exposure to chemicals that dry out skin and hair. Zero threshold showers with grab bars and non-slip flooring allow everyone access to showers.
- Light – a body’s daily cycle is driven by its exposure to light. Natural light is proven to boost energy levels, improve moods and increase productivity.
Rely Upon Home Remodel Professionals
Caring for mind and body is the bottom line in designing for wellness. Both of equal importance. Creating new spaces the make homeowners feel good makes sense. You want to get the “I deserve it.” Feeling when you walk into your new bathroom or kitchen.
Westring Construction LLC specializes in giving new life to Madison area homes. It takes on simple or complex projects from planning through final finishing. Call Westring Construction LLC at 608-441-5435 or email us to discuss a timely home remodel incorporating the latest designing for wellness elements for your Madison WI home.