Although high on the design agenda for some time, wellbeing is a topic that has really come to the fore over the past year with occupant experience and long term health a key aspect of sustainable design.
Connecting with nature, the local environment and our community has been shown to have a positive impact on physical health and mental wellbeing, reducing stress and improving creativity. By introducing natural elements into interiors with biophilic designs, designers can enhance these emotional connections.
Interesting and engaging spaces created with materials authentic to the locality will create an inside-outside feel that connects both building and occupants to the surroundings. This use of relevant materials is key to inspiring engagement with a space and creating the desired mood. In addition, colour and tone have a profound effect on our mood and behaviour and can calm or invigorate, inspire action or relaxation.
A barely there cool colour palette paired with a pale wood or stone design flooring will create an airy sense of space and light which will inspire imagination and contemplation while vibrant shades will stimulate and energise, ideal for activities requiring dynamic activity. Pairing these bold accent colours with a neutral flooring will prevent overloading the senses.
Where a design intends to offer comfort and reassurance, a darker colour scheme will embrace occupants and give an air of mystery, encouraging them to linger and relax. In these interiors, a warm rich wood design flooring will prevent a deep palette appearing cold.
Inspired by natural materials from around the world, Karndean flooring presents authentic textures and patterns that create an intriguing floor which stands out for all the right reasons. Handcrafted embossed surfaces realistically replicate the natural textures of wood and stone for a look that’s hard to distinguish from the real thing. With a wide range of designs available, from the dramatic appearance of rustic reclaimed timbers with distinctive saw markings to the subtle surface textures of poured concrete, it’s possible to create a visual link to any local environment.
Designed for flexibility and durability, Karndean flooring enables designers to create unique spaces that are able to adapt with an ever changing world. A bespoke floor design will invite comment as well as guide how the space is used and navigated. For example, a large open plan space can be partitioned into activity zones and walkways highlighted to facilitate wayfinding and social distancing with a mix and match of complementary or contrasting designs in different laying patterns or angles. For the ultimate in bespoke design, each floor can be hand cut into any shape using any combination of tiles.
It is clear that interior spaces that offer interesting and emotionally engaging natural design that will enhance healthy living is key to a secure future. Such a people-centric approach to sustainable design, putting belonging, health and wellbeing at the core of the design process, is discussed further in our RIBA and SBID approved CPD seminar Specifying Sustainability: protecting people, planet and prosperity.