Enriching Lives with Light and Nature: Defining Healthy Home Design

Uncovering the ‘healthy home’ design trend and its opportunities

In today’s real estate landscape, a mere structure won’t suffice to attract discerning tenants or buyers. Rather, it must embody a sanctuary, a true home that encompasses both essential needs and comforts. From connecting physical and mental health with home design and layout to introducing technology and natural elements, we explore what makes a healthy home.


A Healthy Home

The concept of a healthy home design is more than just a well-maintained and safely constructed property. It’s a place beneficial to mental and physical well-being. It includes factors like access to natural light, exterior spaces, indoor air quality, hues and decor, and efficient and ergonomic spaces.


Elements of Healthy Home Design

What is a healthy home design? This is what today’s architects and developers are asking. Ever since this topic became the theme of 2022’s World Architecture Day, it has continued to challenge how we plan, design and build spaces for better living.

In the US, Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies revealed that “almost two-thirds of homeowners surveyed view air quality as a concern in terms of the impact of their home on their household(s) health, safety and wellbeing. About 52 per cent also listed contamination of air by bacteria or viruses as a problem.” In the UK, consumer research reveals that 80% of first-time homebuyers are looking for sustainable homes, with searches for ‘Open Plan’ up by 168% between 2019 and 2021. Research published in 2023 by GetAgent found a 12.9 per cent premium on homes with gardens – for London, that equates to £70,000 extra.

The benefits of biophilic design are widely acknowledged, as the authors at the University College of Estate Management write. Mental health, physical health, and knowing you are contributing to a sustainable future – these underpin biophilic design. It translates into natural light; natural materials; and an engaging relationship with nature – either through viewpoints, outdoor spaces, or interior planting.

Albion Street: Light and Space

You can see the benefits of this approach in homes, even at a subtle level. Light bounces around the kitchen in this four-bedroom house on Albion Street. Reflective cupboard doors, floors and surfaces coupled with large windows create a room flooded with natural light.

Plants in the courtyard connect the residents to nature, while the floor-to-ceiling windows and skylights draw in the daylight.

Healthy Home Design Trend 1 Albion Street

Property for Sale in Albion Street 

 This property in One Thames City is a perfect example of house design with natural light. Floor-to-ceiling windows invite in natural light and frame spectacular uninterrupted river views.

Healthy Home Design Trend 2 One Thames City

Properties for Sale in One Thames City 

Safe building substances for furniture, floorings, and decor are also crucial for healthy homes. When you’re letting or selling a property, you want to ensure the residents and their families are free from harm, and that you have designed with sustainability in mind.


The Connection Between Mental Health and Home Design

The design of a property can impact our mood and stress levels. Imagine walking into a small room full of clutter, with limited light and dark walls. This would quickly negatively impact your mood. If this same room had light walls, clear surfaces and plenty of light through windows and mirrors, the experience would be very different.

From comforting hues to clever layout design, a few changes to a room can have a much more positive effect on our mental well-being.

According to chromotherapy (colour therapy), yellow and orange help us feel uplifted, and blue and green are said to reduce stress. Red is the most stressful colour, and some find it irritating. Nature can also help create a calming atmosphere. Introduce house plants, natural materials, and natural fragrances.

This four-bedroom penthouse in Chelsea Creek, Fulham/Parsons Green, uses plants to bring the outside in. The green kitchen provides a calming space to cook and entertain.

Healthy Home Design Trend 3 Chelsea Creek

Property for Sale in Chelsea Creek 

Exercise and movement are proven to positively impact mental health. There may be space in the property for a home gym, but if not, consider including a reading area overlooking the garden or a calming space to roll out a yoga mat.


Physical Health and Your Home Design

Homes need to be aesthetically pleasing, but they also need to contribute to our physical health. The design needs to consider how people move about the property and the air quality they breathe.

From the height of the kitchen countertops to the accessibility of the shower and staircase design, address each aspect that might affect physical health. A home built with bodies in mind will help tenants and homeowners feel more comfortable in the property.

Accessibility in home design is crucial. Consider widening doorways for wheelchair users, choosing non-slip flooring, and installing voice recognition technology to turn on electronics in the property.

This two-bedroom apartment in Hyde Park Gardens features a walk-in shower and an open-plan living area that is easy to move around in. The rooms are light and bright, and the balcony overlooks a green space—the perfect mood booster.

Healthy Home Design Trend 4 Hyde Park Gardens

Property for Sale in Hyde Park Gardens 


Carefully Incorporating Technology Into Healthy Home Design

While home should be a retreat, in the modern world, there will be a demand for technology. People are looking for technology to enhance health and smart devices that make our lives easier.

It’s an exciting time for innovative technology to ensure the health of tenants and homeowners. We are seeing technology to detect air quality, alert mould growth, optimise temperature, and adjust ventilation.

Technology should seamlessly integrate into the home and be carefully balanced with natural elements. While technology isn’t the enemy, a home shouldn’t feel like Big Brother.

Create tech-free zones in the property to break away from the outside world and to focus on who and what is in the home. This might be adding a chair or desk with an inspiring view or a social area to catch up with friends and family tech-free.

You can also use technology in the home to help you get the most from the natural world. For example, use tech to open curtains and adjust window tint to create optimal lighting.

When you invest in a property, consider how healthy home design will make your property stand out. You might need to introduce eco-friendly home features and house design with natural light or search for a property that already has these desirable features.

Contact our Central London estate agents to discuss your next purchase or property investment and healthy home design.

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