Americans spend more than 90%1 of their time indoors, which speaks volumes about the need for a healthy home environment. A person's environment can directly affect well-being, influencing factors such as mood, behavior, stress and even physical health2.Homes designed with wellness in mind are meant to facilitate healthier lifestyles and positively affect the physical and mental well-being of residents. The kitchen, also considered the heart of the home, provides ample opportunity to encourage a healthy, comfortable lifestyle. Here are a few design tips for making wellness a priority throughout the kitchen:
Make room for meal prep
Include an area of wood butcher block on kitchen countertops where people can easily chop up fruits and vegetables. Butcher block is not only biodegradable, it brings a natural element into the kitchen. Its neutral tone makes it easy to incorporate with other kitchen design elements. Plus, butcher block is a softer material than other common countertop types such as stone or concrete, making for a quieter3, more peaceful space.
Keep the layout open
An open kitchen layout can promote socialization, and those social connections are an important aspect of overall wellness. Incorporate a spacious kitchen island with ample seating so people can more easily get together, whether for a dinner party or a casual snack after work and school.
Encourage social interaction
Smart appliances can also play an integral role in encouraging socialization and wellness. For example, the KitchenAid Smart Oven+ 30" Double Oven with Powered Attachments allows users to control their oven with a simple voice command through a Google Assistant or an Alexa-enabled device, eliminating the need to interrupt conversations to tend to the oven.The Smart Oven+ also works with the Yummly app, allowing home cooks to customize cooking to personal tastes, nutritional needs, and skill level.
Let the outdoors in
Create a warm, inviting kitchen by implementing plenty of windows to let in natural light, which can make the space feel larger. More natural light is a sought-after element4 by homeowners when it comes to kitchen design. Natural light can also help facilitate growth of herbs for healthy cooking. Consider making space in the kitchen for an indoor herb garden, either on a windowsill or on a wall with access to sunlight. You can also implement sliding doors or French doors that provide direct access to an outdoor garden or gathering area to promote relaxation and socialization.
Consider universal design
There is growing awareness of the importance of accommodating residents no matter their age or ability, which is why more builders and designers are paying attention to universal design5. When universal design considerations are incorporated into cabinets and appliances, for example, it makes it easier for residents to cook and clean, building efficiency and reducing stress. Whirlpool Corporation offers a variety of kitchen solutions for your next project. Get in touch with us to learn more.
1 https://ohsonline.com/articles/2019/09/19/breathe-cleanly-steps-to-purify-the-air-in-your-home.aspx2 https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/enhance-your-wellbeing/environment/your-personal-environment/how-does-your-personal-environment-impa3 https://www.countryliving.com/remodeling-renovation/a25782591/butcher-block-countertop/4 https://www.builderonline.com/design/kitchens/nine-kitchen-design-trends-homeowners-crave-in-2019_o5 https://www.forbes.com/sites/sherikoones/2019/08/09/universal-design-a-growing-trend-for-when-building-a-forever-home/#3f958fc62213