Designing A Healthy Home
Health is top of mind for everyone right now. With a majority of time spent there, the home environment plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. At AV Architects + Builders, health and wellness has always been a fundamental element of our design approach. From overall concept to the smallest details, we strive to create a healthy home. Here are some of the ways we design our healthy homes.
Vacation Style Living
In the last decade, studies have shown that people aren’t using up their vacation time. With smart phones and laptops, constant contact can mean that, even when on vacation, busy professionals can’t completely disconnect from work. Without a break to recharge, living in a home that makes you feel like you are on vacation year-round helps busy professionals take pleasure and renewal from everyday living. Modern design emphasizes clean, soothing lines and a clutter-free environment. With a layout that is easy to navigate, home can be restful and rejuvenating on a daily basis.
A healthy home should be a beautiful location, built with materials that enhance a healthy lifestyle. The world has come a long way from using lead and asbestos in residential construction. Today, a healthy home includes material choices that avoid toxic chemicals or volatile organic compounds. In a shale-heavy geological area like Northern Virginia, radon mitigation needs to be part of the construction plan as well. Healthy building material choices also means selecting low maintenance, environmentally friendly materials so that home life isn’t constantly interrupted with upkeep, repair, and replacement.
Let There be Light and Air
Modern home design emphasizes the strategic use of windows to create light-filled environments. At AV Architects + Builders, we take this one step further and design homes with site-specific directional orientation so that key locations throughout the house get sunlight at the optimum time of day. So, a sunny morning kitchen area and a living room couch that catches the afternoon sun are important design criteria to consider when locating a house on a site.
A healthy home should also facilitate fresh air. According to the EPA, people spend 90% of their time indoors, which can prevent this benefit. Strategic placement of windows and doors to help circulation, a green HVAC system, and a design that emphasizes indoor-outdoor flow are some of the ways that a home can help keep air from stagnating in the home. A home should include natural airflow through several indoor-outdoor spaces, including off the master bedroom, a deck or patio off the main living area and a lower level with windows and access to the outdoors. Finally, an attractive, accessible outdoor space should include a covered area to make the outdoors appealing in a broader variety of weather.
The Kitchen is the Heart of a Healthy Home
A well-designed kitchen helps achieve many healthy goals. We spoke with Dianna Baltimore, an independent consultant for Arbonne International, a health and wellness company that offers delicious, healthy, gluten free, vegan options for your diet. She is an integrative nutrition coach and a personal trainer. According to Dianna, the goal should be “a big beautiful kitchen where you are really inspired to cook. A beautiful space encourages beautiful presentation of food, and fresh fruits and vegetables makes some of the prettiest arrangements.” Having ample space in the kitchen for multiple family members to be involved in preparation helps encourage everyone to participate in their own health, and fosters togetherness. To encourage better food choices, storage for healthy snacks, and appliances like a built-in air fryer or steam oven and even a smoothie station can help everyone stay on track. Finally, the kitchen concept should also consider outdoor time, with a good grilling area and maybe an herb garden within easy access.
Making You Want to Work Out
Too often, exercise rooms are hidden in a dark, unfinished corner of the basement. They rarely get used because they are unappealing. A healthy home design includes an exercise room that has a lot of natural light and is spacious and attractive. Dianna agrees that windows are the key to a great room. “Being able to look outside and be a part of the world is inspiring.” Having an exercise room in a desirable location will encourage its use.
Your health starts with you, but having a healthy environment goes a long way towards inspiring and encouraging you to stay on track. At AV Architects + Builders, we want to inspire a sense of vacation and ease in the homes we design, so that health and wellness can be a part of your everyday life. Contact us for a free consultation on how we can design you a beautiful, healthy home.