It's important for us to not only create beautiful spaces but spaces that change the lives of the people in them, we should strive to create healthy spaces for healthy people.
Research shows that high stress levels and low positive moods have notable health consequences. So if using certain colours and elements in the design encourages calmness and happiness wouldn't that then lower stress levels and improve positive moods therefore improving our overall health?
We are going to walk you through our process of designing a healthy space using our newest project, designing a consulting room for a very lovely and talented Counsellor. The aim of the design was to create a space that the clients felt comfortable and safe in, a space where they could feel relaxed and calm, where they could focus on healing.
Sometimes the hardest thing to do is ask for help, to sit in front of a total stranger and open up about your struggles. It's stressful, overwhelming and sometimes a little awkward. Working closely with Annelien from Annelien counselling we created the perfect space that will alleviate stress and anxiety, allow you to feel comfortable, safe and relaxed and together with her amazing counselling skills will help you on your healing journey.
We focused on two basic elements when designing this space; using colour to heal and the healing powers of nature.
Using colour to heal
Chromotherapy is the use of color to help promote positive, healing effects. Certain colours are healing and relaxing, like the greens found in nature.
Green is the colour that uses less strain on the eye to perceive, so our nervous system can relax when perceiving the colour green in turn lowering stress and heart rate and can help you breath slower and deeper, this is why historically, actors and actresses would go and relax in green rooms after so much time looking into bright lights on stage and many doctors use green in their offices to put patients at ease.
Green is a peaceful colour that represents health, growth, renewal, healing and life. It is known to provide feelings of comfort, abundance, relaxation, security and restfulness.
It is said that green enhances positive cognitive outcomes like problem solving, improved memory, positive thinking and creativity. Studies have shown that the colour green has positive effects on certain conditions for example; Kurt Goldstein (1942) observed that patients with Parkinson’s disease and other organic diseases of the central nervous system responded in a different way when they were exposed to green or red colours. Goldstein noticed that green seemed to improve the condition. He theorised that in the presence of a green colour the abnormal behaviours became less frequent, while in the presence of red these behaviours became more common.
Jacob and Suess (1975) did a study about the effects of color on anxiety state. They showed subjects color slides for five minutes and administrated an anxiety test three times during the experiment. The researchers observed higher anxiety scores under the red and yellow conditions than in the green and blue situations.
The healing powers of nature
The positive association between green environments and our mental health has long been established.
In the 18th century one of the remedies for mental illness was to build asylums surrounded by extensive and well-planned grounds and gardens.
Its been proven that spending time in natural settings helps speed up recovery from mental fatigue, it slows down our heart rates, reduces high blood pressure and lowers anxiety and in general, most people feel happier and more optimistic surrounded by plants and nature.
Multiple studies have shown that we can significantly improve stress and illness just by simply viewing natural scenes;
A study was done on patients diagnosed with moderate to severe depression using cognituve behavioral therapy(CBT) performed in a hospital to CBT performed in a forest-like setting. Symptoms of depression were most significantly reduced in a forest-like setting group.
Not only does a natural scene improve our overall health but adding indoor plants to a space also boosts air quality. Indoor plants increase our comfort levels, decreases the risk of getting sick and aids in our recovery. A study found that patients with plants or flowers in their hospital rooms had lower blood pressure, higher pain tolerance, lower fatigue and lower anxiety than patients who stayed in rooms without plants or flowers.
We wanted to create a forest like feel to the space, surrounding the clients with natures greenery, smell and sound.
5002. Misty forest by Bespoke wallpaper
By using green as the main colour for the design, we created a space that will relieve stress, lower anxiety and encourage positive thinking, creating the perfect environment to stimulate healing while looking beautiful and inviting.
Covering the walls with a misty forest landscape wallpaper that envelopes you and gives the illusion of being in nature, this wallpaper makes such a statement, adding a stunning backdrop to the space and creating a serene environment.
And finally to pull everything together we added indoor plants to bring those healing powers of nature in and adding a water feature with its calming effect of soft water running, as well as scented candles adding that small detail to create a calming space.
When you enter the space to smells of pine and soft water running and you are surrounded by forrest scenery you immediately feel calm and relaxed. With colour, visual, sound and smell we have created a beautiful healing space.