Wellness in Your Home

With all that is happening in 2020, wellness is top of mind. How we interact and use our homes is so important to our mental health. This year has shown us that your home is not just a roof over your head or merely a place to eat and sleep.

There are so many wellness aspects within your home. We have now spent more than 6 months inside and the glaring faults of our homes are coming out like pimples on a teenager’s face. The sofa that is too soft, the kitchen that has a lousy work triangle, the home office that isn’t terribly comfortable, the dining table turned classroom is full of distractions, the master bathroom with poor lighting and even worse plumbing or the HVAC system that doesn’t have an air filtration system. And the list goes on. Are these really wellness issues? Well yes, they are! Our homes need to promote our well-being, not hamper it.

If a sofa or bed is too soft or too hard, it’s taking a toll on your back ergonomically. What might seem like an insignificant discomfort initially can create issues down the road which can lead to severe pain or worse, surgery. Finding a sofa that properly fits your body is vital. Have you noticed if a piece of furniture is uncomfortable you tend to avoid using it? If any space in your house is uncomfortable then it becomes wasted space. Life is too short to be uncomfortable!

Refrigerators have improved their designs with more efficient space and technology for keeping your produce and meat fresher for longer. There are ovens that will steam your food for healthier meals. Faucets connect to your vitrtual assistant (Alexa) to turn a faucet on or off and a hands-free washing experience. You won’t have raw chicken all over your faucet! These new devices and tools allow for aging in place, making it easier to stay in your home longer.

Work from Home Life

If your home office isn’t practical, comfortable and organized, then you are going to be frustrated and unproductive. A beautifully designed and functional space will inspire you to work at your optimum capacity. Your home office will need to be organized so you know where everything is and your colleagues don’t see the mess on Zoom. To create organization, there needs to be a closet or shelving/storage for office supplies or an area for a printer.

Your HVAC system may not seem important, but after the fire season we have had, it may be one of the most important and overlooked systems in your house. Installing the right system is crucial to the well-being of your family. If you have any person who has lung issues (asthma, COPD or COVID), it is imperative to have a great air filtration system in your unit. If you can’t add one to your unit, you should consider buying a free-standing air purifier to keep the air clean.


Plants are a wonderful way to add a softness to your room and a wonderful therapeutic hobby. Adding plants can help purify the air when you have bad indoor pollution from wood-burning fireplaces or building materials used to build your home. The amount of formaldehyde in the average home is astonishing!

 All that Glitters!

Have you been avoiding mixing metals in your home because you’re afraid of committing a design faux pas? Well worry no longer! I’m happy to share that you are now free to have brushed gold light fixutres in your kitchen with black hardware or a stainless steel faucet with brass light fixutres in your powder room. Gone are the days when all things needed to coordinate perfectly and tell a matchy-matchy-story.

Although a subtle mixing of finishes, the modern farmhouse I just finished (bel0w) combines brushed nickel faucets, appliances and hardware pulls on the dark island and black hardware for the rest of the kitchen; the decorative pendants have both finishes.

One of the many things I adore about being an interior designer is there are no “right” answers. There are certainly better solutions that work in some spaces but there isn’t a strict code of design rules you must abide by. Of course, trends may come and go, but they aren’t centered around “do’s and don’ts” — just like what’s hot right now.

How do you effectively mix medals like a pro? Here’s a roadmap to success.

Pick One Main Metal

Choose one metal to lead the charge in a space. Think of the other metals as supporting roles to the main metal. If using two metals, make sure one is more prevalent in the space. The same rule goes for three finishes: select a main and then have the other two metals split the difference.

Limit the Number of Metals

Two to three is a safe and manageable number of different finishes to use in a room. Adding more can look chaotic and busy. If using three metals, use the second two in equal measure to offset the main metal. Featured below is a bathroom we designed that is an example of a space with three finishes:

  • Gold: mirror, vanity lights and drawer pulls
  • Chrome: towel bar and ring, faucet, shower head and pulls
  • Black: show door hardware and mimic decorative tile and tile trim

Balance Cool and Warm Metals

When mixing metals, it’s wise to use metal that balances one another out — a cool with a warm, i.e. stainless steel with copper, chrome with gold or black with stainless steel. Avoid using metals that are both cool or warm — such as chrome and stainless steel, copper and gold, gold and brass, etc. If you aren’t sure what type of finish is considered cool/warm, here’s a good rule of thumb: if they look similar then they probably are both warm or both cool. The bathroom below features soft gold lighting, faucet, pulls and a towel ring that are balanced by a black mirror.

Take a Cue from Decorative Light Fixtures

Lots of light fixtures now have several metal finishes and can help guide you, like this vanity light shown below. Having both black and gold with the fixture gives you the freedom to use gold hardware with a black framed mirror or faucet. Or, use black hardward with a gold faucet. The world is your oyster!