Recently I read a statement from the Statistic Brain Research Institute that over 70% of Americans regularly experience physical and psychological symptoms caused by stress. Combine that knowledge with the latest research in neuroarchitecture, which tells us our overall well-being is directly affected by the design features in our living spaces, and we now have an incredible opportunity to heal ourselves right through our homes. 

Unfortunately, style trends in our western culture have encouraged us to place more emphasis on how something looks rather than how it makes us feel, but that’s all changing.

A few months ago my six principles of Reflective Design were laid out to help people foster more wellness in their lives. I first covered the importance of integrating earth materials in the home and why decorating with natural patterns reduces anxiety. If we want to go a step farther in reducing our stress levels, then we need to proactively cultivate intimate environments that calm the mind.

We start by creating comfortable nooks where the furniture is as cozy as the temperature of the room and ambient lighting, rather than bright overhead fixtures, creates a softness for our souls. Here, in this photo of a model bedroom inside The Edison at Gordon Square, I designed the space with a soft flokati blanket and squishy cable knit pillows for cuddling up. Low profile side tables made with remnant stone from Mont Surfaces provide a cozy ledge for essentials, and mood-inducing Block Lamps cast a warm, soothing glow throughout the room. The result is a welcoming sanctuary that allows the brain to disconnect from the overstimulation of a fast-paced world.

Susie Frazier

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