It has reached beyond a passing fad and permeated the fabric of our day-to-day lives, from work-life balance to understanding what we eat, however while wellness has had an obvious impact on our diets and fitness levels, it is also making subtle but influential changes to our homes and how we design them.
From the well-known passivhaus techniques to the increased use of natural light, customers are looking for ways to turn traditional kitchens and bathrooms into spaces which allow either entertainment or an oasis of tranquility, and brands such as Dansani and Teuco are heading back to the drawing board to respond to the new influences.
Left to right: Dansani, Teuco
Johnny Grey, principal of San Francisco and Hampshire based Johnny Grey Studios, says that when it comes to kitchens, entertainment is taking precedent over traditional kitchen features: “Historically Kitchens were a fixed bit of kit, and they didn’t respond to different functions, now the smarter people are aware that a kitchen is no longer a place where you cook, it’s a living room where you cook, once you’ve made that decision a whole scope of new ideas present themselves.
“People no longer want to face a wall while they cook, they want to cook, chat, socialise and share what they are creating. Most kitchen’s don’t really allow that to happen naturally.”
According to Grey, design has been increasingly influenced by the way space is used within the kitchen area, with storage making way for soft areas and tables. The pantry has also made a comeback as an ideal walk-in kitchen storage space: “a pantry frees the rest of the kitchen for more sociability,” Grey adds. “The culinary can be more compacted and secondly you have areas retained for soft seating and furniture which relates to how you furnish a room, such as a dresser, which sends a message of how a room is used.”
Colin Wong, design director at Development Direct, predicts that in future people may even have more than one kitchen 'space' in the same room: “I predict a surge towards practical open plan living by incorporating 2 kitchens into a space - a dirty working kitchen shielded from guest's eyes and the elegant open-plan kitchen devoid of clutter and mess.
“This relieves stress from the user by eliminating the subliminal urge to clean and tidy up after every simple task. I personally like to make the separation between these 2 kitchens a design feature that adds depth and interest to the overall scheme.”
“People should ask themselves how they want to feel when they are in the space. Try to achieve an optimum spatial layout that works for your family dynamics and then design the kitchen and surrounding architecture in tandem. My most successful schemes are achieved when the client, kitchen designer and architect all work together at the conceptual stage.”
From the hotel room to the bedroom and beyond, the rise of boutique homestays has also had an effect on how customers view their own bathrooms, bedrooms and kitchens.
Paul Rowland, Managing Director of London-based CP Hart agrees that the influence of spa and boutique hotels has had an impact on how people view their bathrooms as well as kitchen spaces: “I think spa and wellness are certainly things people now consider, whether that is steam or sauna or any other feature such as chromatherapy or music and then you come into lighting, and the mood of the room.
“You don’t want to have harsh spotlights, you want a proper lighting system. All of that can be integrated into smart home technology. A bathroom isn’t a bathroom anymore, let’s face it it’s an area of quiet and tranquility which you happen to wash yourself.”
“We’ve held yoga sessions in our showroom for interior designers, it’s all part of this fitness movement. It’s part of a movement of how people are treating their homes as well as their lives.”
Left to right:Articad, Terma
According to Rowland, sustainability also goes hand in hand with wellness as awareness of environmental issues become a lifestyle choice.“You can now programme your bath from your ipad to get the exact heat, how much water you want in it, which is exciting and fun but also more efficient and saves both money and resources.”
The idea of being able to run a bath from an iPad may sound closer to the science fiction of Star Trek than modern day bathroom design, but Rowland adds that the future technology will see all devices in the home connected up in some shape or form. “If you go to japan there’s a washlet in every hotel room. A toilet is not a toilet it’s become a miniature personal hygiene zone which will wash and dry you, and you can bluetooth into it.”
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