Can Mindful Design Turn Your Kitchen & Bath Into a Sanctuary?

Mindfulness, health, and wellness often go hand-in-hand, but how does that translate to the realm of design? Leading his practice with special regard for well-being, Wayne Turett, architect and founder of the award-winning architecture and interiors firm The Turett Collaborative, believes a personalized, mindful approach is the secret to designing a healthy home.  With 3 in 5 Americans admitting that their home isn’t as healthy as they’d like, Turett offers his go-to tips below for designing some of the most intimate rooms of the home, that is, the kitchen and bath

Encouraging individuals to tap into their personal rhythms and preferences, these mindful and healthy design techniques can help transform the kitchen & bath into spaces of personal sanctuary for the mind & body. 

Architect Wayne Turett’s Mindful Design Tips for a Health & Wellness-Oriented Kitchen & Bathroom

Kitchen Design 

Let’s get cooking – or not. What do you like to do in the kitchen? Getting to know your kitchen habits — whether that’s throwing dinner parties or entertaining playdates — will determine which elements of the kitchen are most important. 

TTC Project: Hamptons Home (Photo by Costas Picadas)

Food & Drink: Use your eating habits as a guide to creating the ideal kitchen

Clean, filtered water in the kitchen is a major factor for health. Also vital for boosting well-being in the kitchen is nourishment. While your diet and eating habits may seem irrelevant to your kitchen design, being familiar with them can aid in creating the best kitchen experience. For example, you may prefer two refrigerators or a refrigerator in the home gym as well as the kitchen. Providing the space and storage to nourish yourself should be a focus when designing the kitchen.

Lighting: Bright lighting is important for maintaining cleanliness in the kitchen

Eating and cooking in a clean space are partially determined by light. In order to create a sense of cleanliness, bright lighting should be installed in the kitchen. If the dining area is combined or adjacent, a dimmer system will allow for the area to be a bit darker and more relaxed if desired.

TTC Projects: Washington Street Apartment (right), Park Avenue Apartment (left)

 

Ventilation: ERV systems can help remove food smells & promote clean air 

Great airflow is imperative in the kitchen. An exhaust system to remove food smells is the most common solution. However, an ERV (or energy recovery ventilator) is another way of actively filtering air that enters the kitchen by drawing clean, fresh air into a home. Deciding on the best HVAC system to implement in a kitchen can also be guided by climate. Overall, air flow in a kitchen plays a role in your health, well-being, and mood. Hosting a dinner party while smelling last night’s dinner will certainly dampen the mood. 

Bathroom Design

A bathroom is highly personal – we’re all aware of the nuances and specificity that come with loving (or hating) your bathroom. When you’re investing in a bathroom custom to your needs, you’ll want to make sure to consider the nitty gritty — even if it means contemplating your showering habits. 

Shower & Bathtub: Tailor shower & bath features to your personal preference

Determining your preference for water pressure, water filtering, and showerhead style are essential to giving yourself an ideal experience in a new bathroom. Bathtubs should fill quickly and adjust the temperature easily.

TTC Project: West 25th Street Apartment

Heating & Cooling: Appropriate heating & cooling elements can promote positive sensory experiences

You may also prefer a heated floor in the bathroom to make getting ready in the morning a bit more comfortable in the winter or air conditioning for warmer months. Since the bathroom is often the first place you visit in the morning, a positive or negative sensory experience can affect the trajectory of your mood for the day. 

Lighting: Adjustable lighting can help promote both calmness & practicality 

Adjustable lighting is always best in a bathroom. You may prefer to create a slightly darker setting while showering or a brighter setting when sitting by the mirror. Having a dimmer system allows for atmospheric lighting or bright, clean lighting, both of which can evoke certain moods. Bathroom lighting between 2700 to 3000-kelvin degrees for residential bathrooms is often the best range for creating realistic lighting – meaning the right color will mimic one’s appearance outside in daylight.  If the bathroom is where you do your makeup or daily grooming, it may be important to ensure natural light from a window is available.

TTC Project: Charles Street Apartment (Right), Waverly Street Apartment (Left)

Ventilation: Proper ventilation helps keep the bathroom fresh

A good exhaust system is key in a bathroom to remove any humidity and smells. A window for fresh air, if possible, is also important for maintaining a healthy bathroom.


TTC Project: Upper East Side Penthouse

Comfort: Use design to facilitate peace & comfort 

Design has the power to facilitate happiness and peace at home – radiant heat on bathroom floors can signal relief, while in-shower speaker systems can be used to lift moods. Everything is related to the bigger picture, and details matter. While the bathroom may not be the obvious choice for mental health, the shower or bath is quite often a place of meditation. Getting familiar with your own preferences can help make the shower a space that caters to relaxation. Some prefer a steam shower, massaging shower heads, or even the addition of a sauna in their bathroom.

TTC Project: Upper East Side Penthouse
This bathroom features shower glass that can be turned from clear to translucent at the touch of a switch, creating a spa-like experience in the owner’s home.

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