Happy New Year! The past two years have taught us that creating a space that is highly personalized to its residents can help foster a positive, healing mindset that is key to preserving mental and physical wellbeing. As a result, home design that is conducive to wellness is more important than ever. In hopes of inspiring change during this time of year, interior designer Sarah Barnard shares her top 5 design resolutions for 2022.
1. Make design decisions based on your needs, even when they defy expectations.
It's common to get stuck on how we think our homes should look or be and end up ignoring how we are genuinely using our spaces. In a recent Robb report article, "No Visitors, Please: Why America's Biggest Homes Are Designed to Discourage House Guests," Sarah discussed the phenomenon of larger houses unintended for hosting. While at first glance, this may seem counterintuitive for a large space, there is something for designing a home to meet your ideal needs and uses. Whether you are an introvert using extra spaces for personal activities, or an extravert with a banquet hall instead of a dining room, defying expectations may bring you the most joy in your home.
2. Embrace Nature.
Incorporating nature into your home environment may have many benefits throughout the year, especially in the wintertime. With early nightfall and cold evenings spent inside, having an interior association with nature can help brighten your space and foster a connection with the outdoors. When spending more time huddled indoors, having a reminder of the nature outside may boost happiness. Sarah believes that incorporating nature into your home design is timeless, and thinks we will see an increase in nature-based design as a top design trend in 2022.
3. Let your personal goals carry into your home design.
Are you trying to eat vegan? Hoping to exercise more or build more creative practices into your day? How we choose to design our homes has the power help us achieve our lifestyle goals subconsciously. Making a creative space easily visible with instruments or art supplies or intuitively reorganizing these spaces may make those activities feel more accessible and easier to incorporate into your day naturally. We may move more at a standing desk or feel inclined to eat more vegetables if our kitchens highlight attractive produce storage. If you're going vegan, making home design choices that are in line with your eating habits may also serve as a reminder of your goals. Sarah spoke with Business of Home about participating in the first Vegan Interior Design Week and designing your home with veganism in mind.
4. Plan ahead.
While Sarah often discourages clients from designing for the next homeowner, there are a few choices worth considering if selling is in your future. In "4 Things You Shouldn't Do If You Want to Sell Your House," Sarah shared a few items to consider when planning for your home's future.
5. Create time and space for rest.
Despite the past few years causing additional stress for many, few of us have taken extra time to slow down and care for ourselves. By creating space in your home to rest and rejuvenate, you may find yourself prioritizing time for calm and care. As Sarah discussed in a Review Journal piece, you may choose to create a soothing bedroom space. Or, you may opt for a separate room for yoga and meditation, a cozy corner for reading and daydreaming, or a particularly relaxing bathroom space. No matter how you go about it, devoting areas of your home to relaxation will encourage you to acknowledge the importance of calm.
On behalf of everyone on the Sarah Barnard Design team, we wish you a happy, healthful, and healing New Year!
Sarah Barnard, WELL AP + LEED AP, is a leading designer of personalized, sustainable spaces that support mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. An advocate for consciousness, inclusivity, and compassion in the creative process, Sarah’s work has been recognized by Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Vogue, HGTV, and many other publications. In 2017 Sarah was recognized as a “Ones to Watch” Scholar by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).