healthy home Archives - Vancouver Architect

Healthy Lifestyle Starts In a Healthy Living Space

A better and healthy lifestyle shouldn’t start with visiting the doctor’s office every now and then. A healthy lifestyle starts from within and in your mindset, and that includes a healthy environment in all aspects, starting from a healthy living space. 

Most of us think that, in order to live a better life, we should make sure our doctor’s visits frequent and on time while keeping our medicine cabinets full of pills. The truth is, the western lifestyle and its approach to medication can also cause more harm than good. Why most people nowadays tend to live a simpler life, eat healthy food, and spend more time in nature? The answer is simple – to have a longer life and fewer issues. This is the path of happy people!

How can you live happily and stay healthy? By keeping ourselves motivated, sharp-minded and focused on the goodness of life rather than negativity. Listening to music that keeps us happy is always a better choice than depressing news that won’t have any effect on our lives. Media are thirsty for your attention, while your mind is thirsty for positive vibes.

Nurture yourself with positive energy and help your body to cure itself.

I am an author and an architectural designer. I combine holistic/self-improvement philosophy with architecture. My wish is to open a dialogue about how to improve our living space to make it age-friendly so that we can live in our homes happier, healthier, and safer!

Your Home Is What You Are

There is no such thing as a magic pill for a better living, yet it doesn’t mean that you can’t live a better life, starting today. Collect your hopes and desires, new aspirations, and change your lifestyle to make the silver time of your life a truly golden one. And what is the one place in the world that overflows with all those? Well, you’re probably sitting there right now.

Coquitlam interior designer, healthy living space
Coquitlam interior designer

Your home is where you created all your memories, the first times, the happy times and the sad times, celebrations and goodbyes. The community around you makes (and reflects) your identity, the person you have become, and the respect you have within. It’s not easy to leave everything behind and start over elsewhere as a stranger. But you don’t have to.

We all have to make sure the environment around us is as safe and pleasant as possible. Even if you are in your golden years, it’s still possible to age in place and achieve peace of mind by proper preparation and some adaptations. Your stamina can be enhanced by the environment designed around your lifestyle, as the indoor atmosphere is one of the prime influences on mental health.

Healthy Living Space = Healthy Residents

Have you ever thought about your house layout and if it really works for you? If you live there long, you’re probably used to it, and adapted your way of life to the way our spaces are arranged. However, never forget that your home can be improved and changed at any time. As your lifestyle and goals change with age, so do your needs, and the environment should follow. 

So what can you do to improve your home? How can changing the layout of particular areas improve or complement your healthier lifestyle? Well, the truth is it can do wonders. Not only can it improve efficiency and productiveness, but it also boosts your mood and even help to achieve some of your goals. Even small changes count. 

Perhaps you need more space in the kitchen? Finding a neglected corner to upgrade it into a workspace may lower the stress that comes with working from home. Some improvements to a bathroom layout can do wonders for relationships. And don’t even make me start on how beneficial remodelling can be for ageing in place. 

Kitchen Is an Essential Part of a Healthy Living Space

Cooking at home is great for both your physical and mental health. The process requires focus, enhances creativity, improves social life and communication. At the same time, using fresh or minimally processed ingredients help you maintain the proper diet and boost your energy levels. 

Coquitlam architect healthy living space
Coquitlam architect

Sharing the experience with your friends and family boosts a sense of community and improves relationships. However, that also requires sufficient space. That’s why replacing a standard kitchen with an open-space plan is an excellent move, that can bring several new dimensions to your life. 

Healthy Living Space Should Encourage Movement

A sedentary lifestyle is the destiny of many, and going to the gym is not always an option. A spare room or a basement can be transformed into a designated space for exercise and workouts. Whether it’s a small gym or a yoga sanctuary, this adaptation can seriously enhance your workout routine, leading to improved mental and physical balance.  

What you need to do is to create a space that makes you feel good and, at the same time, makes you want to spend time in it. That way, procrastination will not be an option. The right ambiance, smart choice of colours, and tactical lighting can enhance motivation for any kind of exercise. If your choice is yoga, a peaceful palette of beige, green, or blue will promote relaxation and harmony. On the contrary, if you go for weightlifting or cardio, vivid colours and lively patterns will launch you to the right mood. 

burnaby interior designer
Burnaby interior designer

Healthy Living Space Is Free of Clutter

Excess can be stressful, especially if your things lie all around. Clutter and disorganization can raise your cortisol hormone levels, becoming a source of chronic stress over time. Smart storage can help to keep that under control. 

A cluttered work environment affects your brain and the way it processes information. Having continual mess in the living zone affects all activities, including the time for relaxation. But the worst place to have cluttered is your bedroom. 

Sleep problems are a common issue that keeps many adults up at night. Apart from insomnia and conditions like anxiety and depression, hoarding and overall clutter are the main culprits. Investing in remodelling that will improve storage and promote healthy organizational habits means investing in future life.

Keeping your bedroom a safe, technology-free zone is another great way to improve sleep and mental wellbeing. And if you can’t stand to leave your gadgets far, furniture with hidden compartments, even charging stations, will solve the problem. That will keep your circadian rhythm more balanced and the habit of scrolling before sleep at bay.  

Healthy Living Space Promotes Social Life

Community and connection are inseparable from well-being. Make sure that your home is an enhancer rather than a barrier to your social life. An open space built to promote communication will raise your hosting standards and help you invite people over more often.

What Else Can You Do

Proper ventilation is very important. A heat recovery ventilator (HRV) or an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) will not only filter the air but also balance out the temperature of the incoming air to level it with the existing home micro-climate. A dedicated system that runs a stream of fresh air in and out of the house all the time is an excellent solution to ensure great indoor air quality, and create a more healthy living space. 

It’s also important to know where the air is coming from. Air can travel all around the house, from the attic to the crawlspace, passing through the living environment. Broken-down insulation and rodents can decrease the quality of air that’s pulled into the house. Crawlspaces can contain moisture, mould, gases, while attics may host bugs and critters. Together with cracks in insulation, it’s not the kind of air that you would like to breathe. 

Without seals and proper vapour barriers, you will probably end up will the amount of moisture too high for a healthy living space. Moreover, older homes have more issues and a higher potential to be toxic than newer homes. Remodelling will eliminate all these issues, including lead paint, leaks and cracks, to deliver a strong shell in which you will build a new, improved life.

If you need advice or professional input to make sure your home is a healthy living space, schedule a consultation and find out how to improve today. Investing in the quality of your future life is one of the best investments you can make. 

Psychology in Architecture: Home That Complements Your Personality

Should we feel nostalgic when it comes to choosing our new home style and follow the footsteps of our ancestors? Is it necessarily better to look ahead and leave our own footprint on the fabric of human civilization and be creative? Using psychology in architecture helps us connect with our roots, but at the same time allows us to explore new horizons.

It’s an impressive experience to trace back our steps through history and observe how the architecture and home design have evolved over centuries. When we revisit the past glory and what our ancestors left behind, we also witness the vital role of a creative mind behind each building. Every masterpiece of an era now tells the story of the lifestyle, people’s mindset, and their culture. 

Organic architecture
Organic architecture

There were always daring pioneers like Frank Loyd Wright or Gaudi. Many other architects also stepped out of their comfort zone to create functional beauty over and above streamlines and traditions. Additionally, there were people as investors, homeowners, or developers who believed in them and helped embody the legacy we learned to appreciate today. The work of art is an evolving culture that has to move forward, create beauty, continue the storytelling to the future generations, and reflect the current culture.

It’s easy to design and build an ordinary building, a house, or a shelter. Still, it needs a heck of a gut for the homeowner to ask for something out of the ordinary, that represents their personality and culture. I genuinely admire homeowners who want to step out of their comfort zone. Subsequently, I welcome the challenge of the task of creating the next masterpiece of habitat art for them.

Psychology in Architecture: A part of Our Identity

The design of any physical space heavily influences the psyche of people inhabiting/visiting that space, shaping their decisions, attitudes, and behavior.

Psychology in Architecture: Back to Nature
Reconnecting with nature

Scientists study the connection between psychology and the physical environment for the last four decades. However, that relationship is, at an intuitive level, as old as civilization itself. The effects of architectural frames on individuals and society have been considered from the early shelter to today ́s modern structure. Ancient temples were placed and organized in a way to enhance the desired effects. Alongside this, one can say that modern “temples” like malls and supermarkets continue the exact same approach.

Human perceptions of spaces they spend time in are under direct impact of the reflection of overall cultural and social identities. However, the psychological identity sense and its interaction with interior architecture occur more directly in smaller domains such as local neighborhoods, personal environments, and homes. We subconsciously identify with places that reflect our personality’s main features in a complex, bilateral interaction. It’s important to understand that our identity does not depend merely on the composition and form of physical space, but also heavily links to the concept of meaning and making sense. The person defines the space as much as space defines the person, mutually exchanging the gains.

Visual, audio, and physical sensations affect the psychological attitude of humans. That explains the vital role of all kinds of design in shaping behavioral pictures worldwide. Interior design needs a special place in studying these connections. One of the primary duties of architecture is to provide sheltering environments that can sustain, or even enhance, its occupants’ well-being. Considering the amount of time most of us are spending indoors, I dare say it’s truly essential.  

Living room
North Vancouver interior designer

Psychology in Architecture Means Designing a Home That Fits

Setting up an interior that reflects the psychological needs of its inhabitants is quite a challenge. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, as the ways we receive, perceive, and respond to a stimulus are numerous and dependable on personal experience. Culture, age, education level, gender, and social status are just some of the major factors determining occupants’ needs. 

The recent expansion of psychology in architecture and person-centered design had shed new light on a certain disconnection between designers and clients’ needs, research, and practices. From one point of view, architecture leans towards programming and determining clients’ needs. Proposed drafts are sometimes more in line with the current trends and location requirements than with the actual human interest. On the other hand, behavioral sciences take an interest in the role of the environment in terms of consistency with society’s needs. The best approach to architectural design is tending to create physical space as a crossover of the two, based on people’s behavioral characteristics.

Design outcome has a substantial impact on the quality of life, human behavior, and organizational performance of the place. A quality design fits the owner’s needs and can be adequately felt by the owner and attributed to him. The interior doesn’t have to be envisioned by the owner, but it has to reflect him. Great designers possess the ability to see the space through the client’s lenses but also correct mistakes that come with the lack of professional experience, teach, and direct in the best way possible.

Healthy home
Healthy home

Psychology in Architecture: No Place Like Home

The home interior also makes a statement for his owners while providing shelter. Thus it has to offer an unbeatable sense of “being on your own.” Your home is your kingdom, shaped by the way it fits you above everything else. There’s no place like home—because nothing else is a reflection of ourselves on such a large scale.

Close your eyes and imagine that you see an absolutely blank living room. There are no finishes, no furnishing, no parameters, no connection with the exterior. Does this room speak to you? Hardly. But try to add some color to the walls, bring down a wall that doesn’t feel right, put in some textures, and open the windows. Does it speak now? Imagine how far such a connection can reach in the hands of a knowledgeable architect or interior designer. The sky’s the limit.

Essential Reflections of Particular Styles

Scandinavian

This style rose to fame due to its uncomplicated and straightforward vibe focused on nature and comfort. Minimalistic and functional features mark the essentials of the Scandinavian approach. Key color schemes are clean and bright, like whitewash and timber tones. A variety in textures is welcome, as it gives the home an inviting, warm sensation.

In short, this style fits with an open, friendly, stylish personality interested in culture and elegance.

Minimalist

This interior design style dwells on a motto of “less is more.” Minimalism features highly defined, polished aesthetic design elements, developed to represent the most simple qualities. Every piece is a discreet statement of its own, and every tailored detail serves the function flawlessly.

Minimalism is a great fit for an introvert, as well as anyone highly organized, methodical, and efficient.

Psychology in architecture: Minimalist and pure
Basics only

Rustic/Modern Rustic

Rustic aesthetics are not only for farmhouses. It can also be a great way to reconnect with nature in a city environment. A fusion of style elements can create a trendy and sophisticated picturesque interior. It offers a sustainable solution to reuse old furniture, infusing it with new life with pops of color and fresh finishes. Throw blankets, pillows and textures provide an unbeatable “homey” feeling that teleport some straight back to secure, pampered childhood. 

This style is an excellent choice for a trendy yet classic, chic, and nature-loving person.

Classic/Traditional

The classic style offers a certain feel that time can be stopped. Often featuring high-quality pieces with lasting value and immortal décor, this kind of interiors embrace history and heritage. Color schemes are calming and neutral, in earthy hues like olive, beige cream, and wood.

The traditional interior style fits the person who is very detail-oriented, poised, elegant, and balanced.

vancouver living room
Traditional Vancouver living room

Modern

Younger generations (but not only them) generally prefer the sleek, spacious, simple design concentrating on function and organization. The modern design style enhances practicality, clean architectural lines, and cubist forms. It’s praised for having a strong impact on productivity, mainly because modern style implies a clutter-free environment, which helps to maintain the focus on essentials.

In terms of psychology in architecture, modern style is a paradise for an organized professional. This approach also serves the needs of a person who dwells on time-management.

Home Is More Than a Style Represented

Wherever your life takes you, home is the place to come back to over and over again. Your home is a place of comfort, safety, and self-expression. Your interior design style has purpose and meaning. It’s a communication tool that sends a clear message, a representation of everything you are.

Psychology in architecture: representing everything you are
Everything you are

A home perceived as safe and intimate provides significant psychosocial benefits. It represents a private sanctuary and develops a sense of identity and attachment. Any disturbance in harmony strongly limits this feeling, thereby reducing the home’s mental and social function. 

There are many indoor factors, such as thermal and lighting aspects, moisture, air quality, noise, radiation, or chemical compounds, that affect the psychological impact of the space. Exposure to these stressors can provenly cause both short-term and long-term effects.

That is why psychology in architecture is important. It’s not just your way to get a prettier home. In the hands of a serious designer, it’s also your one-way ticket to improve the overall quality of life.

By Aryo Falakrou (My Home Designer)