Our health benefits from quality design of our home.
In this blog we are going to approach how design influences our lives and is is impacting our health.
There is no school like the old school. My mentor used to say. After many years of studying architecture and interior design, I finally understood the phrase. Looking back on how our ancestors used to live, the vernacular architecture is really a model of living even nowadays. Of course, some of the habits have change, we don’t need a fireplace to worm up a space, we use it only for design purpose. We have efficient roof systems now, there is no need for a higher roof with a big slope in the rainy countries. But the basic needs of a family are the same as 30, 50, 70 years ago, just at a different scale and a touch of technology.
Starting with the layout organization, a well design house/apartment divided into two main areas, day and night still proves to be efficient and best manner to live. Those two even if they have different functionalities are complementary and the connection between them must be a smooth transition.
Organized for activities during the day normally should be divided into living room, kitchen, dining table and access. These in turn have a separate structure that can vary depending on needs and dimensions, but this is a separate topic. The 4 elements they communicate directly in the open space manner, or can be separated by walls, furniture, light division such as wooden panels, transparent or semitransparent, depending on the desire of the clients.
Architect must consider the habits and activities of the family. The way of living and interacting, what are their morning rituals, where they eat, how often they sit together, what are the favorite activities, is it a family of 2, 3, 4 members, are they in the early 30’s late 40’s, etc? After the family situation and habits are clarified, putting together the plan requires study of cardinal orientation, natural light source, the size and position of the land, neighborhoods, the wind direction, views etc.For example, the dining table ideally stays next by the window but in close connection with the kitchen, which is an extension of it.
Living/sitting area can be open towards the rest of the space or, separated by walls. My recommendation is to have a communication of a transparent or semitransparent manner. Who uses the kitchen doesn’t have to be isolated for conversations with the ones from the siting area, or a mother can supervise her children’s playing while preparing dinner.
After a long day of work, the night area is your daily retreat. prepare for a good night sleep or for a new day. It needs to be easy to use, enough storage space and place to move around it, with enough natural light for the morning preparation and quality artificial light for evening routine.
The amount of natural light is important as much as the size and quality of the windows and blinds. Full size windows offer a big amount of natural light even during the winter. Although in the summer can be too much, the quantity can be controlled through the blinds (which I recommend over the rolls because are more comfortable) and the curtains.
Keep in mind that natural light can reach a maximum depth of 7 m in a room with big widows.
The quality of the glass is important especially when we are talking about the roof which can reach high temperatures during summer. Protection against UV is required, and triple glazed window recommended for reducing energy costs.We might think that Artificial light has only a functional role. Apart from the basic role of lighting up a room, light is used to create atmosphere, draw attention to a certain corner/wall or a place of interest, gives directions, helps establish a hierarchy between areas or elements. Very often the artificial light is used without a proper study, the result being random, or even harmful to the eyes. Light engineers and architects are carefully choosing the source and use of light according to the room and usage.
Choose durable and long-lasting materials that align with your design style. Consider maintenance and longevity. When starting a project, patience is essential because materials are not in stock, suppliers have to order and that is a good thing. Stock materials are mainly used for standard projects, investors who buy rental properties and need to have it as general as possible. It has been proven that timeless design is given by the quality of the materials and the organization of the layout.
When it comes to furniture, the same rule applies as for materials. Quality materials are easy to maintain and perform well over time. Avoid cluttering the space with furniture. People tend to do this because they don't have the whole picture to begin with and think that the furniture is the main and only element. In my projects I use furniture that makes sense to be there and that fulfills a function.
The above elements require proper research and study, otherwise a project risks being redesigned/renovated every 5-7 years, and it impacts our well being and day to day use. There is no need to be a professional to feel when a space is transmitting positive energy or you stumble between spaces, that is why planning, materiality, furniture, light etc. are very important and it needs to be a proper balance between them.
At Mura Cube we stand by our philosophy and believe in human centric architecture harmonizing personal lifestyle and preferences.