The Healthy House Approach
Let's, just start touching on the idea of the healthy house. So there's a number of things that make a healthy house, right? So it's not just, um, green design it's not just the idea of organic things without chemicals, it's a lot of things about the function in the placement on what healthy means really for you. So just to touch on some of these now, I'm certainly not an expert in all of these. I do bring these into my projects, and I'll talk a little bit about that when we get to these. A lot of my clients are not necessarily one hundred percent green design or lead designed for their construction, but more just people interested in starting to introduce these ideas, so they're mixing it with conventional pieces, and I love to teach people that it's not an all or nothing approach. You don't have to go one hundred percent organic to start changing your carbon footprint, to start feeling more responsible to fill the peace of mind to yourself and your family that you're putting healthy ...
things into your home, just like we do in our body. So right, we all start. Somewhere introducing even these things into our diet a healthy diet the same way with your home you could bring him in a piece of the time until you really get more educated and more comfortable in all of these areas, but certainly something that I think I cz worth thinking about in looking at. So what makes a home healthy? Well, there's a number of things that do that it khun b green building green materials inside or the structure itself it can be health related spaces, right? So it might not necessarily mean that you're using all organics things in your home but that you're creating spaces for meditation or for yoga or other things that make you more healthy or say um elektronik free sleeping zones or there's a lot of interpretations of what really healthy would mean free certainly thinking of design that's healthy for all different ages so we were talking about earlier the idea of layering rugs maybe isn't so great for an ageing population or a child it might cause a tripping hazard. It could be really be dangerous for some people so that has to do with the healthy homos well on dh certainly things like sunlight and that that makes for a healthy space a lot of us have those times of the year where we film or depressed or we need more sunlight or it's really rainy in our climate so sunlight definitely helps with a healthy space and then those quiet spaces I was just talking about that freedom from the mass chaos and electronics and overstimulation that we all have all of the time certainly quiet spaces, kenbrell add health and, um and stress free moments in your life for sure. So why is the health of a home important to its function? Well, there's a number of reasons the health, health and well being of the occupant, of course, so if the home is healthy, you're going to be more healthy if the home is quieter. If it's has less visual clutter, there's a lot of things that go into it from everything from healthy organic items green items with no off gassing of chemicals to just again stress free zones that make the people who live there much healthier. Using your space wisely is actually makes you a healthier person, so if again, this could be because of stress reasons anxiety when you're always looking for things or you have to go out of your way to make your housework for you because you really don't have it accommodating all of the activities that you need, all of those things can add stress and, you know, really just emotional wear and tear on the people who live there, so using your space wisely certainly decreases that stress. So the ease of use again is the function peace and the health piece coming together if you're going to get healthy if you're gonna have workout equipment that you have to go out to the garage to use it or unfolded or take it out and put it away every time are you going to probably use it very often and be healthy because of it probably not so if there's an easy way to use this and get access to it on a regular basis that's certainly going to make you more inclined to act usually use it as opposed to using the treadmill for to hang your clothes on rider but ah store other things on actually get onto it and then just being thoughtful about what each person needs in the home really being mindful of what would make them more healthy in a number of ways again quiet spaces sunlight products all of those things one of them is the most obvious things that comes to mind with a healthy home is the products that are environmentally friendly or green and so again I'm not giving us ah conversation or ah dissertation on leed certified green products that's a whole nother course and we could teach three days just on that and I'm certainly not the expert to be teaching that course although I do have a working knowledge of it I'm definitely interested in it I think what's what's most relevant for my point of view and the projects that I work on is when green design was first introduced, it didn't feel like there were a lot of choices that were beautiful that were decorative and that we're great for a residential space, and so clients would oft out of it, even though they were starting to become interested in being healthier and really being kinder to the environment. Ultimately, they'd say, but were a little, you know, set in our ways about how we want things to feel and look, and we really don't have those options and green design. Well, things have come a long way since just five or ten years ago in this category, and so we're starting to see all kinds of options. I even have the option of all of my own fabrics, my toby fairly fabrics to be printed on organic fat, on organic ground cloths with organic dyes. So there's, so much technology like this with digital printing of fabrics. These are things that certainly, if you want a certain kind of look or color palette, you can achieve that now, when in the past you were just dealing with something really neutral and simple and plain in this green category, there's a lots of companies, great companies that I love to work with, like doralee fabrics that makes that make beautiful green textiles and fabrics like this one that's one hundred percent bamboo so there's a lot of other things that you can look for if you're interested in bringing green products in the way of fabrics into your home, look for things that are organic cotton, flax, bamboo, natural linens and him and you also have to pay attention to if they've been printed on our over died with organic geeks, but most companies now that are using these kind of fabrics are really vocal about telling you which parts and pieces of their line really meet these criteria is so it's not as hard to find as it used to be. So this great looking stripe looks just like a cut velvet stripe that you would see in any other category of the dura lee fabric line, but it happens to be made out of one hundred percent bambi, which is great because bamboos a sustainable, easily regenerating product right and weren't as opposed to using other things that are not easily able to be replenished like them be so there's a lot of other furniture companies as well likely industries. One of my favorites and a lot of the furniture that you've seen in a lot of these projects of mine upholstery is from this company lee industries and they're standard products are made with soy based cushions, natural and organic upholstery fibers, recycled fiber field pillows and they meet all of the criteria for this sustainable furniture furniture counsel with they're certified wood frames and their water based finishes, and they do that on every single one of their products. You don't even have to ask for it. You don't have to pay extra for it, it's just part of who they are and what they do, and they also happen to have beautiful upholstery, so really easy to get access to healthy indoor and some great outdoor pieces from this line only industries toby, do you find that the environment really friendly, furnishing, cetera or a sturdy, perhaps some of the more traditional fabrics that we're committed to this company as faras upholstery goes? One of my go to hickory chair cr layne lee industries there's a handful that I used over and over and over just because beautiful forms and shapes and scale and many options for different shapes of upholstery and all these little, um, multipurpose pieces like ottomans and all of those kinds of things, you confined with this company and they happen to be organic, soy based all of those things that we were just think so, it's not a substitute for my typical product, it actually is one of my go to lines that I use on a regular basis, which is a great thing. It's really it's much easier to also bring in green design in the form of paint now and a lot of companies use it. This one happens to be sure when williams, but you can just about find and environmentally friendly paint with any of the lines that you're interested in these days. So the important part is just that lo v o c volatile organic compounds, which means they're not off gassing lots of chemicals like formaldehyde and other things into your environment that you're breathing at night and it's not that much more expensive to use these products and so it's, really? For me it makes me have peace of mind, particularly when I'm working with children and anyone that might have any sort of compromised immune system. Our elderly clients it's just a nice thing to do to bring in this product that's so much cleaner and it doesn't have the off gassing so all the details here but you can find all about these on any of the web sites for the companies that have these healthy pains also think about things like your bedding and your mattresses we spend at least eight hours a day most of us sometimes not that much, but five to seven minimum most of us hopefully in the bed, so were there a lot and there's a lot of cos now that air making environmentally friendly mattresses, betting this's, magna flex mattress and it's made with all of these details right there plant old based phones no vo ces hundred percent organ organic cotton no inks and dies so depending on how important this is to you can start finding so much more readily available than we used to all of these kinds of things that you can introduce in bits and pieces into your home to start changing the way that you live in the way you impact the environment and just getting healthier for your own family in her household. Other things you could do that it really easy that happened to be really trendy right now too is the idea of reusing and recycling things. So we used to just toss things out that we didn't want and it's really thankfully become a trend over the last several years to rethink the way we use things, whether it was for budget reasons or um sentimental reasons orjust because flea market flea market hunting and treasure hunting has become so much more fun again for people it's become more trendy and more exciting and there's entire television shows about this this concept it's it's a great thing because it's really helped us not discard so many things like we used to so think about reusing and recycling all sorts of things and even doing things like re upholstering walls and organic fabrics that you find um, something like a burlap is really inexpensive. Sometimes you can even find recycled or re usable pieces of that that you can use teo upholster the walls or using something that you already have an a in an unusual way. So we've seen lots of collections of things hanging on the walls like plates, but it doesn't necessarily have to be an heirloom to you. You can go out and buy purchase these things that flea markets and so some of these areas we were talking about with these big long walls. What if you found a collection of reclaimed things that you know, fun finds from a flea market that you then brought back to your home and made some kind of a beautiful installation? It's a very green and sustainable thing to do is opposed to constantly buying new stuff, and then of course, old furniture is one of my favorite things to give a fresh look. Two coats of paint you can use the lo v o c paint we were just talking about and give it a whole new look, and I have a few pictures coming up where we've done just that so really repainting refurbishing things and suddenly you khun like something that you really thought was sort of old and not so much fun. So this was an idea I did for a show house have shown this picture and some of our other courses but it was more about color then and this is really the idea that of recycling and reusing these pieces and this was a show house I did that was a lead certified really small home and my job was to come in and show people exactly what we're talking about today that it doesn't have to be an all or nothing proposition you don't have to get rid of everything you currently have even if its new because that's not very sustainable or green either to throw it all out so keep what you have but then start becoming more mindful as you add other things to it or look around and see what you have a lot of that might convenes in a different way so when I was getting ready for the show house I was walking around in my warehouse facility where we store clients furniture and there was just a big pile of old picture frames that had gotten broken or we had taken one off maybe if something and framed it in a different way for a client and it was sort of the graveyard of old frames and I thought, well that would be kind of clever and a unique way to be sustainable if I painted all these the same color and made them actually be the art as opposed to purchasing or having someone paint a new piece of art so it's very similar to the way that architectural detail ing our molding adds interest to a wall and I just painted on them in the same color and used them as the artwork, which was really fun. The lamps are also flea market find I found a pair of lamps I think it was thirty dollars for the two of them I did buy new lamp shades, the lampshades were more expensive than the lamps by the time I report refurbished the lamps and put in a lamp shades on um, I probably had a hundred dollars in the payer, but they look really great and they're more interesting than some of the overexposed shapes of gord lamps and other things that we're seeing out in the market that have become so trendy it's a little bit of that idea, but just a little more fun a little quirkier has a little turn knob to turn it on and off on the front of it, which is that fun little vintage part about it has character and it's, quirky and fun so there's lots of things in our homes or that we're family members that weaken, you know, grandmothers things we've inherited that we can give a whole new life to with just paint and refurbishing, and it actually is very green this is a piece that was in a client so when it was actually a new piece it was are not totally new but it was a reproduction so it's not as old as it looks like it could be but it's definitely based on an antique but something that we also didn't want to just throw out so the clients that isn't there something we can do to make this look more interesting and this is the home that we saw yesterday with the brown and coral dining room so I'm blending the styles of the husband and the wife and he's very traditional he thinks there's nothing wrong with this she's very modern and quirky and thinks this is boring and dated so my job was to do something to make it work for both of them and so this we just painted it we painted the base of it chocolate brown and painted all the drawer fronts white and that the same hardware right back on and it went from looking really you know boring and stuffy and traditional toe looking fresh and modern and a perfect transition for the two of them so and then the artwork is just fabric a reminiscent of fabric stretched onto a canvas so if you find great remnants of fabrics that flea markets or other places where you have some lying around that you haven't used in two or three yards of fabric is plenty to make an interesting textile wall hanging that you could really create a beautiful piece of artwork like this. So it was a really fun pattern and it was an easy way to make a statement without spending a lot of money. And while all the time being environmentally friendly, you all of you like this idea? It's pretty fun, isn't it? I love to see going from that to this looks totally different. Okay, so then moving it away from the idea of green and just into the idea of health related spaces, which could mean a whole lot of different things, it can include function, way, which we're going to touch on just a little bit in a moment, I think it's very interesting again, I'm not an expert in that category. Does it say so broad? You can study it for years and years and years and not know all about function, certainly something that interests me and I love tio study it and try to bring those principles into my home. Health related spaces can also include things like workout rooms or like I said, yoga or meditation spaces, you know, so a lot of different things that, you know make you healthy and you depending on your lifestyle. We did that quiz yesterday the lifestyle plus life stage plus livable despite be a piece of that if you're like me a yoga enthusiasts and at meditation enthusiasts like I am there needs to be a space for that in your home and how do you carve that out? So just to touch a little bit on the idea of funk shway which I think is so interesting again there's so much to know about it but just to kind of if you don't know about it already just to give you a little bit of an introduction here again something you can study for years and there's great resource is out on the web on amazon and all of those places where you could buy books one of my friends phyllis harbinger from I think she's in the new york area now around that area or connecticut she's an expert in fung shway and so she sent us some beautiful images and she also gave us a mme ideas that she you know, some of the main principles that she likes people to know about function so a few things to think about it's based on the idea of your home segmented into nine areas and in just a minute we're going to look at some cool pincher sports that break this down for you in a really cool, straightforward way like I like to cem infographics and things you can look at but just a overview each of those areas is associated with an area of our lives career, family relationships, health and wealth, and I'll show you exactly where those quadrants are in a few minutes. Functionally, practitioners believe that we can affect change in those areas by paying attention to how we design them. So where you place furniture and mirrors and traffic flow and all the things we've been talking about, play ride into the idea of function way if this is something that's interesting, tio, the center of the center section, and you'll see it on the group of functionary grid, but it also means, like the center of your house or even the center of our room. Potentially, it relates to the health of a space, so restorative sleep and happy relationships are indicative of great health, right? And so, according to this function, a practitioner, phyllis and and others that know about really about punctuation, the way you're supposed to make different quadrants in your home and in your room say that floating the bed in the middle of a room allows for this intention to be set so that's really interesting, and sometimes we think I can't imagine floating the bed in the middle of a space and a lot for a lot of us, it wouldn't work, but for some of you who have loft style homes, it might be exactly what you're having to do anyway if you're carving out different spaces in an open zone so it's kind of fun to think about could my bed float in the middle of the space? Could I create a backdrop for it? Like we've been talking about with dr avery or other things to allow this to happen if funks was really something that's interesting to you um and really that central idea function way is to create harmony, which was one of our words earlier harmony in your home and to allow good energy to really flow through your home so let's, take a look at a few pinterest boards and I'll show you those examples because they're really kind of fun on dh really give us a lot more insight into how this works, so I'll come back to some of these in a moment, but I want to start with this one, which is just the different quadrants. So this relates to your house and I think if I'm not wrong that it's based on north, south, east and west quadrants and so you think about your home in relation to the way it's situated and in accordance with this grid. So the upper left corner's wealth relationships over their famous the top balance centre and nudity in the middle so you can think about function way within your whole property or within an individual room actually and associate each of these areas in your space ah, in accordance with this grid and all of this is out on the pinterest board on my pinterest site, if you want to see these on study of more later because we're just having time for a little overview, um, some of the other fun things that we can look at here whoops, um, is thinking about how color effects function wears related to fung shway and since this would have been really fun to think about in relation to our color course too, and it really it really parlays into a lot of what we were talking about, but this chart just gives the meaning of what some of these colors mean in function way like yellow earth earth tones that are yellow, brown or orange relate to the idea of our the earth quarter and or the earth ah, symbol within your home. Wood is green, and it also means family, good health and life. And so when you bring green into a space, you're bringing those ideas into your home water black, purple, it's, career power and knowledge medal, which is the white gold and silver has to do with children, and it has to do with leadership and then fire, which is red, and any elder shades of red is passion, wealth and energy. So you can see how broad of a category this is because you're thinking about the quadrants of the house all the colors in the house every element in the house the furniture in the house there's so much to learn it's it's impossible for us to cover it all but just a fun little introduction another little infographic I love is this one which is about the bedroom and where you place the furniture so creating harmony a ce faras fung shway goes with the yin and yang in different spaces in your home and how did it how to decorate the room based on the color palette so tells you and this goes right back to our color theory like green has a calming effect blue is relaxing yellow stimulating and all of those details we talked about too much red will bring too much fire or yang into a room. So those were things to to know if you're really interested in bringing the best energy or cheez its called in fung shway into your home but this is I love this because this is really what we've been talking about the idea that I love to have the bed opposite of the door because it's more beautiful to come in and see the front of the bed is perfectly aligned with the idea function way because it says try to position the bed as far away from the door is possible while keeping a good view of it while you sleep so if you can imagine opposite the entry is the farthest point from the entry and also having a good view of the entry while you sleep. So the butte most beautiful placement of the bed is also in alignment with what works for function, way also fun, other ideas that fit with a lot of the things I do like making sure your bed has a really good, strong headboard to protect your ci while you're sleeping and avoid sleeping with your head next to, uh, facing an open window are underneath the skylight is this will drain your energy, so they're just fun things about it, whether you believe it all or not and, you know, that's a personal thing, of course, but just some fun ideas. I felt this when I was reading back over this at lunchtime, and I was thinking about this when it says, keep the space under your bed, clutter free as it limits the charge of the enforce or the earthforce to connect with you while you're sleeping. So those of us who were needing to store all that stuff under our bed, we might be interrupting the ci that we're getting from the earth as we sleep at night, so, uh, but just some fun tips here and you can go back and and look at all of these and they're interesting to think about when I study I take these courses also a lot for my I take function of courses for my continuing it and I took one not too long ago and I was learning I was thinking about it in relation to my new house and learning that you're not supposed to have a toilet backing up to your bed or near, like in the same line of the plain of where you sleep because supposedly you're flushing all your wealth down the toilet at night and one of the ways that you can remedy that is you can put a mirror on the other side of the wall facing into the wall so a lot of people, it says, would put like a chest of drawers on the other side of the wall from the toilet and put a mirror behind there that no one even knew was there that reflected all of that energy back into the bathroom and not just doesn't drain all of your well some thinking how much money could I have been making all these this time if I wasn't sleeping with my bid lining up to the toilet but thank goodness it's only been happening since that timber, so I've got to get a mirror up there quick uh and then just some fun there's even a little funks way floor plan about the ideal pieces of your room based on the quadrant so if you could lay out if you were going to build or you had an opportunity to align your home in connection and you know to be consistent with the function quadrants what that would mean for you and the different meanings like living room with mentors and helpful people kitchen his family and health um so just some fun and interesting things to look at okay? So let's go back to our tryingto three leave plenty of time while we touch on all of this stuff we'll go back and look at our power point as well okay? So other than function way what are some other things that have to do with the healthy house? Um so for may certainly a yoga room or a workout space and if you don't have a huge space dedicated for this you can certainly put this inside of other rooms in your home is easy to have little meditation spaces or workout rooms within your existing layout of your home or possibly changing some of those little used rooms into a workout space so let's go back to the pinterest board and look at a few fun examples of how people have created healthy spaces and healthy rooms within their home so I love this this even kind of reminds me of lisa some of the both of your homes actually on what you were showing me with your windows but would be really fun I think to have a yoga or meditation space near a window and some of your really clean and simple loft environments that you have here so very pretty very simple um great for that space within your home just carving out a corner lips um and these are just other ways to think about space is in your home or additions this probably not necessarily in san francisco you may not have the luxury of this kind of space but this is just a fun home jim our home yoga room that I really really love particularly seeing all the windows outside looks sort of like some of the areas where I'm from that's really a wooded beautiful area so if you were able to yesterday we were looking at that great dining room that my friends built out on the end of their house for entertaining with windows on all sides this is kind of the same thing and imagining that sort of space being a yoga room or a meditation space I think would be really beautiful so where one person might love to entertain and that would be how they would want to use the space like my friend has maybe you are as much of an entertainer but you decide on your short list of priorities you have a younger meditation space and so that's what you really prioritising carve out in your home of course there's all kinds of traditional um workout rooms and this is a super small space that this so someone was asking us yesterday how to put workout machines and and equipment in a small space so here's a really small space that this person has been able to put a lot of equipment in a really small room so it can be done and it's just about measuring that layout, measuring the pieces and finding ways to work them in together and still be ableto move around in the space but it looks to me like there's even a bike back here that we're looking over a treadmill and another piece of equipment all in a tiny little room so it certainly can be done if you want to have a workout room at home in a small space this is more of an idea similar to a room that I'm going to use I have an extra bedroom that's going to be for yoga has my treadmill in it and even a home office space and we're gonna get into home offices later if we have time I'll sketch this out for us ah in a bit but I'm going to take out a couple of closets, open them up to be my desk area and a storage space take the doors off and then the rest of that room is also going to be my workout facilities so sort of the toby zone of the house where I get to do all of the things that are important to me so we talk about man cave sometimes, but this is sort of like will be like my woman k for me, the place that I go to do all the things that are important in my life and it make me healthy um so just a couple more of these look at this one this is interesting so here's one of those lap pools in the house inside, not really that large of a space, so it depending on what's important to you, it can be accomplished depending on now. Obviously you are not gonna be able to put this in your home here in san francisco, but if you're building new construction or renovating projects and depending on your geographic area, it doesn't take a cz much spaces you sometimes imagine it does to put some of these healthy rooms into your home, see if there's anything else super interesting that catches our I, um I think I love this just this little tiny yoga room and meditation space. So this is where someone used like either an addict space or one of those rooms that you have that really angled ceiling and this when you can't even really stand up in all of the space but a great little nook for yoga or meditation so this really fun and inspiring to me to think about where you khun car, about some of these needs or things on your wishlist and that's. That idea of thinking again out of the box. Um, this is sort of like being in a tiny little box. So out of the box and in the box to carve out these things that are a priority for you.