Over the last year many more of us have been paying attention to the look and feel of our surroundings. More than ever we are aware of how light, colours, patterns and space make us feel. When it comes to spas, design is an intrinsic part of wellbeing.
That can be applied on a number of levels – the amount of nature that’s incorporated into the space, the colours, the quality of light, the textures. It all plays a role in how the space makes us feel, and in no superficial way either. These elements are also increasingly being used in other spaces like homes and offices as well.
This is one of the most popular ways that a sense of wellbeing is being improved indoors. We know that we feel better when we’re more connected with nature, and biophilic design seeks to bring us closer to the natural world. Sometimes that’s very literal with more plant life and living walls. Sometimes it’s more through organic materials like stone surfaces. Either way, it’s been shown to have an impact on our wellbeing, particularly when it comes to reducing stress.
We all know that we feel better when we are exposed to more natural light. We know this on a fundamental level when it comes to the winter months and the days are shorter, typically making us more susceptible to tiredness or feeling low. Most of us tend to be drawn to spaces with large windows for example, especially when it comes to spas. An enormous amount of investment also goes into designing lighting to seek out the best quality of light in luxury environments and many public spaces to replicate those positive feelings. Just to pop a little science behind it, the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health said:
“several studies suggest that both natural and artificial bright light, particularly in the morning, can improve significantly health outcomes such as depression, agitation, sleep, circadian rest-activity, and seasonal affective disorder.”
Destinations like Lifehouse Spa or the Glass House Retreat are very much designed with these principles in mind. Meanwhile, the likes of K West have invested in rooms like their Sun Meadow room in order to boost wellbeing through light during the winter months.
Much like light, colour can also have an impact on how we feel. They can influence our emotions and for that reason the likes of colour therapy and chromotherapy have become popular treatments over the years. In terms of our environment however, this is a way to create a space that makes us feel good. For example, red might inspire a sense of strength and confidence, while blue might help you concentrate. Either way, we can begin to see why the choice of colour in a space can be about far more than aesthetics.
Sound is also an intrinsic part of design, especially in a spa. To some extent, the architecture of an environment is about ensuring the absence of certain sounds to facilitate relaxation. Fabric walls and materials to ensure that background noise is absorbed for example. On another note, some sounds are used for therapeutic purposes. Sound baths themselves work on the basis that when our natural vibrations get out of tune, it is the root of illness, so instruments are used to change those vibrations and get the body back into its own vibrational state.
Of course, we also like our spa environments to be aesthetically pleasing, inspiring a sense of luxury that makes us feel pampered and cared for – also extremely important elements of a spa break. Soholistic Spa Ham Yard Hotel designed by the famous interior designer, Kit Kemp, is an excellent case in point. In short, every element of a spa experience plays into our sense of wellbeing, and each one has something different and unique to offer.
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