Wellness in Interior Design: More Than a Trend

In recent years, particularly since the Covid-19 pandemic, the wellness industry has experienced a sustained surge – with an annual growth rate of 12% since 2020, and is forecasted to grow upwards of 50% by 2027. An area where this shift is particularly visible is in interior design. Contemporary architecture and interior design practices are increasingly prioritizing the creation of spaces that promote an overall sense of health and well-being, and we’re here for it. 

The importance of wellness in interior design lies in its significant impact on our daily lives. From the layout of a room, to the lighting temperatures, choice of colors and materials, and indoor plants – every aspect of a space can influence our physical, mental, and emotional health.  Interior designers are exploring strategic and innovative ways to integrate wellness principles into their designs, with a focus on creating spaces that nurture and rejuvenate both body and mind, as well as encourage physical activity and recovery. 

We’ve gathered a few of our favorite tools designers are implementing:

Biophilic Design: Bringing Nature Indoors

One of the biggest trends in 2024 is biophilic design, which is connecting people with the outdoors by incorporating natural elements into the built environment. Studies have shown that exposure to nature, even in the form of indoor plants, natural materials, and organic colors and shapes can reduce stress and improve cognitive function. This can be achieved by integrating elements such as living walls, natural light, soothing playlists, and organic materials like wood and stone, as well as thoughtfully curated FF&E packages to create spaces that mimic the restorative effects of the natural world. 

Pictured: Maggie’s Leeds Centre by Heatherwick Studio

Read more about Biophilic Design

Mindful Material Selection: Sustainable and Domestic Materials 

Mindful material selection is a crucial element of wellness-focused interior design. Many conventional building materials emit harmful chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can negatively impact indoor air quality and contribute to a wide range of health issues. By choosing low-VOC or VOC-free materials, designers can make a significant impact in creating healthier indoor environments. 

Sourcing domestic materials means designers can reduce the carbon footprint associated with transportation and support local artisans and economies. Domestic materials often adhere to stricter environmental regulations, ensuring that they are produced in a way that minimizes potential harm to the environment. These sourcing tools empower designers to create spaces that not only improve well-being but also contribute to a healthier and more sustainable future.

Hotel Rose Bay by Richards Stanisich showcases some clever detailing with Rattan, a sustainable material.

Indoor/Outdoor Design: Connectivity with Nature

Blurring the boundaries between indoor and outdoor spaces has been an ongoing trend in interior design, but we are seeing it more and more as designers seek out unique ways to achieve their clients wellness goals. Creating seamless transitions between the built environment and the natural world allows occupants to feel a deeper connection to nature. This holistic approach to interior design not only enhances the aesthetics of a space but also offers numerous health benefits. Exposure to natural light has been shown to regulate circadian rhythms and improve mood, while access to fresh air can improve respiratory health. 

The Victory Lap Home from The Up Studio is a beautiful illustration of this in practice.

Dedicated Spaces for Mindfulness and Meditation 

As the pace of modern life constantly accelerates, the need for spaces that promote relaxation becomes increasingly important. Interior designers are responding to this need by creating dedicated wellness areas, both indoor and outdoor, for meditation, reiki, sound healing, and other restorative practices. These multi-purpose spaces are designed to be tranquil and soothing, taking advantage of natural lighting and a neutral, earth-toned palate.

Civana Wellness Resort and Spa offers over 70 weekly classes in fitness, personal growth and spiritual exploration.

Wellness Hotels 

Wellness Tourism is a growing sector of hospitality, aligning with a larger global movement and a newer type of traveler who prioritizes fitness and self-care above other traditional travel amenities.  Curated spa treatments, lush gardens, restaurant menus with macros listed, cold plunge pools, hydrotherapy, infrared saunas and recovery yoga are just a few examples of hotel offerings catering to active lifestyle enthusiasts. This not only enhances the guest experience but provides an opportunity for guests to continue to practice their daily wellness routines while traveling. New wellness focused hotels brands are popping up all over the world, and many established brands are undergoing renovations to elevate their properties to meet the needs of this growing population of travelers.

Siro Hotels, a new hospitality brand focused on fitness and recovery caters to the athlete in all of us.

Unlike many design trends over the years, the growing emphasis on wellness in interior design is here to stay. This developing movement represents an important shift in our culture and our expectations of the spaces we inhabit. By prioritizing the creation of environments that support our physical, mental, and emotional well-being, designers have the ability to transform our lives for the better: promoting health, happiness, and a greater sense of connection to the natural world around us.