Healthy Living Now

Self care has never been so prominent as it is now. The experience of 2020 reminded us that it is ever so vital to take care of our minds, bodies, and spirits. The idea of health and wellness has morphed into a multi-layered process, taking a holistic approach tailored to meet one's personal and diverse needs.

Design and health

There is an undeniable connection between design and health, physically, mentally and emotionally. The design of the spaces we occupy can be life-enhancing if done correctly. Your home should be a safe space, one that encourages your best self and a place to practice mindfulness, meditation and prayer. A bathroom, for example, is no longer merely functional. Today it’s part spa, part recharging space and part sanctuary. Taking time for self-care is crucial, and good design encourages this state of peaceful living.

Analyzing your living environment

Even the most beautifully appointed room is empty unless it is personally meaningful and enhances your daily life. As the world was forced to stay at home through the COVID pandemic, the importance and understanding of design and self-care grew tremendously. While distancing from one another, we were able to look inward, analyzing our living environments and how they make us feel. In basic terms, the way our spaces are designed designs us!

Take a moment to look around. You’ve likely implemented changes to the way you use your home, even unintentionally. Think through the potential ways your living environment can bring you joy, calm, excitement and an increased quality of life. Form a plan to make that dream space a reality. Well-designed spaces encourage creativity, mental strength, personal growth and, in turn, a healthy and happy life.

Guiding principles for healthy living

Our homes should be spaces where we can relax, recharge and refresh. The home lays the foundation for a healthy life. A well-designed space can increase mental well-being, but the promotion of physical well-being is just as important. High-performance homes, smart systems and home fitness spaces are a few great ways to inspire a healthy lifestyle. Implementing a few modern technologies or rethinking a space to be fitness-focused can elevate your home from a place you stay to a place you live.

Perfecting your sleep schedule is another essential step to self-care. Sleep deprivation negatively impacts you mentally, physically and emotionally. What design concepts can you implement to promote quality sleep? Physical changes like blackout curtains or a more comfortable mattress are easy fixes. But even the orientation of your furniture in relation to doors and windows can affect your mentality within the physical space.

Staying active, eating cleanly and getting enough sleep are all important for healthy living. A well-designed home should not only accommodate these needs but promote them.

There is much to savor here. Take time to discern how your home can best support your overall well-being in the facets critical to your future health and happiness. Interior design that supports these fundamental needs is more than important; it’s life-giving.

Lisa Samuel ASID, IIDA, is a Santa Fe native and principal of Samuel Design Group, located in the heart of downtown Santa Fe. She is an award-winning interior designer known for creating unique interiors imbued with warmth and elegance. Lisa ( is passionate about good design that supports well-being.

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