Tag Archive for: wellness

Over the years I have written numerous articles that focus on creating calming environments in your home. These days it seems to be more important than ever. The global pandemic has only heightened our stress levels. According to a poll conducted on behalf of the American Psychological Association, this year 84% of adult Americans experienced negative emotions caused by prolonged stress.  Yikes.

So the question is: how can your home help you to recharge and regain control?  One way is by creating a stress free zone in your home.

The following are a few projects and inspiring rooms that we visited at High Point Market along with five tips that will inspire anyone to be their best.

Your home should be a place that nurtures and recharges you.

Since the concept of comfort differs from one person to the next, think foremost about what calms your mind.  Creating stress-free zones may mean redefining a space in your home so that it offers the functionalities you need with a layout and design that works well and feels good.

#1  Find a space and change the layout

Start by scrutinizing the layout of your space. Does it still serve its purpose? Could the layout be improved by repositioning a few key pieces of furniture?  A few choice changes can reduce stress by enhancing the functionality and flow of your space.

#2  Personalize your space

Add a few favorite items that speak to you and make you smile.  Think about what you would pack if you could only pack one suitcase of your favorite objects. What would they be?  Then choose three or four of these items to display.

#3 Take Inventory

Remove those items you don’t like or need in the space and donate them to someone in need. (Consider donating to Families for Families, an organization that we sponsor!)
According to the National Institutes of Health, when people give to charities, it activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust, creating a “warm glow” effect!

#4 Add super soft fabrics

Research has proven that pieces upholstered with soft fabrics help us to feel not only physically warmer but better prepared for warm interactions with others. 

#5 Add color and pattern…carefully.

Using light purples, blues and greens can have healing and calming influences and are generally stress reducing.  Colors like reds oranges yellows that are more saturated in color are exciting and increase blood pressure. There is no “one size fits all”  formula. The way we respond to color is very personal. So it’s important to know how you react to certain colors (and which colors might trigger certain memories even) before using them in your space.  

Whether it’s clutter, a floor plan that doesn’t work for you or interiors that just don’t resonate, we may be unknowingly living in homes that contribute to the stress in our lives.

It’s easy to let our homes fall by the wayside as we become busy with daily commitments.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Fiori Interior Design can create a sanctuary for you that puts you at ease. Give us a call.  We’d love to discuss how we can help.

Are you thinking of building a second home? Not just another home but one with subtle nuances that will accommodate your family into the future? We call adding these inconspicuous refinements “livable design details”. Proactive design that enhances and welcomes every generation.

A “simple” first step is to find a house plan (or blueprints) that appeal to you. Start by paying attention to the overall flow of the floor plan…prior to meeting your architect. Envision yourself walking through the space and living there. This will enable you to initiate a productive in-depth conversation with your architect and designer about how you want your home to function for you and your family. (stay tuned for a future post where we go deep into what we recommend be in every second home)

Five tips to keep in mind when developing a livable design plan:

1. Look for a home with a single story floor plan that has a zero step entrance. If you prefer a multi storied home, the layout of the main areas should have at least one (master) bedroom suite on the main floor.

This traditional style cottage (above) could easily adapt to include a zero step entrance while the contemporary home, below, is a perfect example.

2. Thinking of adding an elevator? You don’t have to commit right away. Add a closet to the floor plan to be easily converted at a later date. To add one that is ADA compliant, (Americans with Disability Act) the minimum door width for an elevator interior is 36″. The depth of the interior must be at least 51″, and the width must be at least 68″, (unless the elevator has center-opening doors, in which case at least 80″ is required). Although this size may seem large, it’s important to plan to have enough space for not only the wheelchair bound person but also a caregiver.

Example of ADA compliant elevator.

3. Need to accommodate for family with special needs? Hallways and door openings should allow for a minimum of 32″ wide doorways and 36″ – 42″ for hallways.

4. Is bigger always better? In this case, yes. Think about increasing each room size to account for furniture plans that allow for a minimum 36″ pass by space should a wheelchair become necessary. Keeping this in mind – bathrooms need a turning radius of five foot minimum while kitchens need a pass through area of 42 – 48″.

A example of how a five foot turning radius affects the size of even a small bathroom.

5. Increase the amount of accessible walk-in storage. Not only will this hide clutter and prevent items from being left out, it will also help to prevent falls. Maximizing floor-to-ceiling storage increases orderliness throughout the home.

Bonus: Situate your home in a southern exposure for maximum light! Read more about how light affects design in our blog post entitled “The Healing effects of Light”

Research has proven that certain colors will elicit certain emotions. 

But…there are so many variables involved when specifying color.  
One of the first questions we always ask our clients is “How do you want to feel in your space?”

We start by grouping colors as Cool versus Warm:

Cool colors are purples, blues and green – We have experience with these colors as having healing and calming influences and are stress-reducing.

Warm colors – reds, oranges and yellows – tend to induce excitement, increase blood pressure but can also cause fatigue without the balance of cool colors. 

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see how we design with warm versus cool colors to evoke different emotions. The example in this Bergen County home is an example of how we added warmth to this client’s family room.

Our interiors are designed to be highly personal.  We ensure that you’re surrounded with design that’s meaningful and represents you authentically—so that you’ll thrive.   Give us a call or email us.  We’d love to get to know you and help you create an uplifting environment.