February 2018 | Volume 1 | Issue 3

Material Wellbeing

We now know more than ever before about the potential danger of the pollutants, allergens, and toxins that are in our air and in everything that touches our lives. Faced with this knowledge, a push has been made to develop new, non-toxic materials so consumers can build a better, safer, cleaner life from the ground up.

Hypoallergenic – With indoor air up to five times more polluted than outdoor air, smart materials are being developed to help the growing numbers of people suffering from asthma and allergies.

Antibacterial – As we work and live in increasingly crowded and shared spaces, antibacterial materials and coatings have been developed to combat the germs and bacteria that we encounter throughout our day.

Clean Air – Personal devices are now in use that clean the air surrounding us, in our homes and in our offices, creating a bubble of environmental purity.

Non-Toxic – The desire for organic and non-toxic ingredients has gone beyond our food and into the materials and products we use in our homes and the clothing we put on our bodies.

Infused Fabrics – Clothing and textiles are being infused with natural healing elements: stones, such as lapis lazuli, and metals, such as copper; vitamins, such as Vitamin E and Aloe Vera; and superfood ingredients, such as hemp.

• Use multi-functional materials
• Create with sustainable and non-toxic fabrics and components
• Include natural healing elements wherever possible

Tree of Life is made of beautiful acacia wood from the Philippines and highlights the living tillandsia to bring natural elements to your home or office.

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Getting Emotional

We are transitioning into a meaning economy where brands must connect with consumers’ emotional needs to provide personal and expressive experiences. Mental wellbeing is an increasingly important component of holistic wellness, and consumers are spending more time and money on finding ways to better understand, express, and connect with their emotions.

In this age of anxiety and political turmoil, brands look to create products and experiences that offer familiarity and calm. The overwhelming desire for comfort is seen in the hygge trend, the Danish word for bringing coziness, closeness, and warmth into daily life. We are delving into ancient practices and rituals and exploring our ancestry to find new paths to self-improvement and whole wellness.

Designers and brands are playing with mood-enhancing hues to highlight the clear relationship between our emotions and colors. The psychological effects of color, scent, and light are being studied and incorporated into design and experiences. New forms of immersive wellness activities are popping up using traditional healing techniques incorporating color and light such as multisensory yoga, crystal bed sleep therapy, and circadian rhythm light therapy.

• Use blue and violet to facilitate meditation
• Work with soft, tactile materials to create calm
• Use herbs and ancient plants for ritual
• Create a multi-sensory experience to create mood

Holographic, an opalescent glass piece in ethereal ultra violet brings stimulating energy to your room.

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Interior Greening

We spend more than 90 percent of our time indoors surrounded by furniture, upholstery, and other materials that emit toxic fumes; indoor air pollutants are ranked as one of the top five environmental risks to public health. There is now, however, an abundance of scientific evidence proving the health benefits of plants. Houseplants have been proven to absorb volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are pollutants found in materials such as paint, furniture, and other common household products. And plants, of course, take in carbon dioxide and convert it to oxygen. It has been reported by Mintel that 52% of Chinese homeowners use houseplants as air purifiers to combat the air pollution.

Besides acting as natural air purifiers, plants just make people happy. Plants have the power to reduce stress by dampening environmental noise and improving air quality. As our workplaces and homes have been taken over by large televisions and electronic devices of all sizes, green plants offer a natural remedy for technological overload. The use of plants in office settings has even been proven to help reduce healthcare costs, lower absenteeism, and reduce turnover. Those are powerful plants.

• Use plants as a table centerpiece
• Hang eucalyptus in the shower
• Keep a potted plant next to the bed
• Place a succulent or two on your desk

The minimalistic design of the Urban Life collection beautifully accents the luscious green of the succulent and cactus varieties to bring vibrancy and life to any space.

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Mindfulness has gone mainstream. Adult coloring books, bullet journals, focusing objects, meditation spaces – a quiet wave of calm is spreading. Mindfulness teaches people how to live resilient, healthier lives.
The mindfulness movement continues to have a significant impact on design, using colors and materials to help focus the mind; the use of soft light, tactile materials, and minimalistic design creates an atmosphere allowing you to be fully present. The globally popular KonMari method of decluttering urges people to keep only that which “sparks joy,” offering a mindful method of cleaning and a technique to thoughtfully bring new purchases into your space.

We are creating spaces for quiet mediation, a basic tenant of mindfulness, without the distraction of technology and idle chatter. But we know that technology can also be used to facilitate mindfulness, as meditation apps now have millions and millions of users.

• Light a non-toxic candle every evening
• Declutter to create a warm, minimalistic space
• Defuse organic oils to cultivate calm
• Create tech-free zones in your home

Reveal, conceptualized while reclining in a hammock, captures a perfect balance of calm and joy.

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Natural Order

Nature’s innate designs bring wellness into our homes. Our interiors are blurring with the exterior, creating a fluid conversation between the natural world and our human-made environments.
Organic, earthy textures and materials, featuring raw, rough edges, create natural balance and timelessness. This tactility of natural materials is increasingly important as the touch and feel of fabrics and products are now central to design. Handmade ceramics, carved stone, veined marbles, and grainy woods offer healing benefits. Research proves that our proximity to natural elements consistently correlates with feelings of wellness and happiness.
We are hardwired to respond positively to nature. In fact, it has been shown that our stress levels fall within minutes of being exposed to natural elements. Productivity also increases by 13% in offices where there are natural elements in work spaces. Organic, natural materials are not just good design choices—they’re good health choices.

• Use tables with natural wood grain
• Serve food in handcrafted ceramic plates and dishes
• Decorate with hand-carved materials
• Place baskets and blankets with rough weaves around the home

The Teak Bowl is hand-carved from repurposed Indonesian teak and is unique as the fingerprint of its carver. Venise’s delicate lace pattern was created by a LiveTrends designer and each piece of porcelain is hand-planted with the stunning tillandsia medusae.

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