Wellness by Design

by Anita Shaw

Wellness, defined as physical and mental wellbeing, is being sought by many as an antidote to today’s stressful lifestyles. In her new book, Wellness by Design, Jamie Gold takes an in-depth look at achieving wellness and how it relates to the home. She explains that fueling and recovery takes place in the home – people meal prep and cook in the kitchen, clean up and unwind in the master bathroom and restore energy in the bedroom.

Gold defines the five facets of wellness design as health and fitness, safety and security, accessibility, functionality, and comfort and joy. Each facet is reflected throughout the book, with different examples and ideas for each that can be implemented in the home.

“The aim of wellness design is to create a home that works with you every day…with benefits you may have never considered, like better air quality from non-toxic building materials, pet-friendly features, and high-performance ventilation,” she states. “Physical wellness design features affect breathing, standing and walking, sleeping, cooking, hygiene, working, exercising, and caregiving.”

The home’s components – including ventilation, plumbing, electrical, and heating and cooling systems – are examined to see how enhancements to each system can improve the wellness quotient. Smart home technology is also a vital topic when it comes to wellbeing, as it can impact health both positively and negatively. In Chapter 4, the author examines technology as it relates to home security, fire safety and protection, climate control, appliances and fixtures, among others.

The majority of the book is broken down into areas of the home – such as living areas, baths and bedrooms – and how to incorporate wellness elements into each space. For example, in the kitchen, Gold examines the keys to the effective design of zones, as well as types of cabinetry, countertops, lighting and fixtures for optimum wellbeing.

In addition to offering her own expertise as a certified coach and wellness design consultant, Gold includes input from medical personnel when discussing health care-related material. Direct quotations from field experts fall under the heading “House Calls” in each chapter.

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