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Wellness By Design: A Room by Room Guide for Optimizing Your Home
Wellness by Design: A Room by Room Guide for Optimizing Your Home for Health, Fitness + Happiness
By Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS, MCCWC
Even before the pandemic, wellness was shaping up to be one of the hottest topics in the kitchen and bath design arena for 2020. Good design isn’t just about aesthetics; rather, it helps people to lead happier, healthier lives, and this is the premise behind Jamie Gold’s newest book, “Wellness by Design,” published by Simon & Schuster.
The author, a kitchen and bath designer for 16 years and talented writer and speaker who remains a powerful voice in the industry, doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks the walk. ln her own personal fitness journey, she lost 100 pounds, changed her eating and exercise habits, went from sedentary days in front of the computer to marathons and mountain climbing, and began to re-imagine the role the home plays in overall health and wellness.
Looking at home design through the lens of safety, accessibility, connectiveness, physical health and décor that promotes emotional wellbeing, she offers a wealth of tips for designing spaces that will enhance the homeowner’s sense of health and happiness.
The text is highlighted with practical tips, like how to promote more organized, clutter-free spaces, ways to maximize quality sleep through lighting and window treatments, and which materials to avoid for those who battle allergies.
Gold also examines the health, hygiene and comfort benefits of various materials, from countertops and cabinets to flooring, sinks, showers and bidets, while promoting products that make the home environment cleaner, safer and more restful.
Examining each room of the house in terms of its impact on wellness, she offers ideas for creating spaces that heal, comfort and provide joy. Looking at accessibility, she addresses not just how spaces can be designed to better suit those with physical limitations or disabilities, but also what products can help those dealing with normal, day-to-day ailments, from backaches and pulled muscles to general fatigue and the common cold.
The author’s background in design is evident in her thoughts on the emotional impact of color and nature, spatial awareness, smart-home technology and how to use items that resonate emotionally with the homeowner to personalize the space.
For the kitchen, she looks at organizational strategies, kitchen zoning to maximize accessibility, appliances that promote healthy cooking and longer food storage life, and healthy material choices. For the bath, she breaks out her design ideas based on the type of bathroom (master, kids’ bath, guest bath), addressing therapeutic water elements, hygienic toilet choices, ventilation (both in terms of air quality and noise pollution) and more.
Although the book was completed before COVID-19, the section of home offices seems prescient, with suggestions for creating both inspiring private home offices and efficient shared workspaces, with a special focus on ergonomics, storage and lighting.
Just as great design incorporates personalization, Gold’s book incorporates anecdotes from her own life as a health and fitness enthusiast, and those personal touches — along with her light and breezy writing style –— make for a fun and easy read. At the same time, the book provides a valuable resource for designers and homeowners alike.
Whether you’re a health and fitness enthusiast, rethinking your design ideas in the wake of the pandemic, or just looking to re-imagine your clients’ spaces for greater health and wellbeing, “Wellness by Design” will resonate in today’s more health-conscious world.