This article was originally published on the BUILDER website for a builder audience, but has some relevance to remodelers as well.

A place can create a mood, can elevate good feelings and can depress bad feelings. Think of how you feel when there are Christmas decorations and warm fires, or how you feel when you think of a concrete, cold jail cell. These feelings not only can influence our moods, but they can have an impact on our health and well-being.

In a recent article UW Health psychologist Shilagh Mirgain writes that brightly lit rooms can counter depression and anxiety, and plants and mementos can not only improve moods, but can actually influence our physical health.

The 2019 BUILDER KB Home ProjeKt is exploring how some of the spaces in our home can have an influence on our health and well-being. And, in research commissioned by The Farnsworth Group, consumers shared how they felt various areas of the home impacted them, which is highlighted in this infographic below available for download.

The importance of health and well-being in the design and the marketing and sales of housing is increasing, and technology is offering new solutions to make it a reality for most home buyers. Through the process of designing and engineering the concept home, and the research that informed the process, KB Home is offering a resource, a tool for other builders to learn from the dramatic impacts of the right design on the occupant's health and well-being.

A comprehensive white paper from the ProjeKt is available for download here as well.

More details from the research show a break out of the information from the infographic by demographic types. For instance, security was selected most by males and the 55-plus age group as the most important area contributing to the owner’s health and well-being. Landscaping, insulation, and floor plan were identified as more important by the 55-plus age groups than by younger home owners and buyers. Yet, décor, smart devices, and grow walls were ranked higher by younger age groups.

Dr. Mirgain offers some additional suggestions on how to create a strong, healthy environment. Some tips to create a healing environment to thrive:

Cultivate Comfort – by creating comfortable spaces, your home can encourage people to linger and spend time together.

Clear the Clutter – Clutter can create stress, even in your home, a place meant for relaxation and refuge. Find a way to clear the clutter and then maintain a system to keep it clear.

Brighten the Light – The KB Home ProjeKt uses the DARWIN system by Delos as a technology to operate the lighting system in a more healthy way, based on a person’s circadian rhythms. Their medically backed research shows that bright light that mimics the sun can help you feel more alert and awake during the day. And dimming the lights at night is a process to help your mind and body shut down in a natural, healthy way.

Revel in Your Senses – Your senses can be inspired by many things – including colors. Dr. Mirgain shares that blues and greens can help create a peaceful space. The KB Home ProjeKt, uses many tones inspired by nature in ways that can bring a sense of calm.

Notice Nature – A small dose of nature, just three to five minutes of contact, can have a big impact in reducing stress, anger and boosting positive feelings. The KB Home ProjeKt has a wall of windows to bring nature inside and offers many other ways for small touches throughout the rest of the home, including plants and fireplaces.

Quiet the Noise – Dr. Migrain emphasizes the power of silence for our minds to take a break.
Cultivate Joy – Bringing in the things and the activities that you love, can be a good refresher after a long day or a long week. Make space for your hobbies.
Cultivate Joy – Bringing in the things and the activities that you love, can be a good refresher after a long day or a long week. Make space for your hobbies.
These and other best practices for health and well-being will be on display at the BUILDER KB Home ProjeKt in February in Vegas. Register now to see it in person.
These and other best practices for health and well-being will be on display at the BUILDER KB Home ProjeKt in February in Vegas. Register now to see it in person.