Holistic design can lift spirits

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 April, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 April, 2010, 12:00am

Hiring an interior designer to make your home look attractive is a start, but if you want to turn your home into a fully relaxing retreat, holistic interior design is the key.

The difference between normal interior design and holistic interior design lies in the focus.

'Interior design is about function and cosmetically pleasing spaces. Interior designers focus on space planning along with the area, which creates a visually pleasing design. Holistic interior designers, on the other hand, concentrate on the importance of physical and mental well-being,' says Monique McLintock of Monique McLintock Interiors.

Holistic interior designs come with a number of benefits, including alleviating fatigue, increasing productivity, brightening up your mood and improving your overall health.

According to McLintock, who is a holistic interior designer, studies have also shown these designs can make people feel more supported, happier and more connected with their environment and themselves.

People who are usually interested in this concept are parents wanting to create a stable and healing environment for their children, patients recovering from serious illness and caregivers who need a stress-free, comfortable environment.

The elements of holistic design include using colour therapeutics, natural elements, environmentally friendly paints and materials, and electromagnetic radiation. The aim is to create harmonious and eco-friendly homes.

'Materials used in these spaces are environmentally friendly as opposed to traditional interior design, where they focus on getting the best look for the best price, regardless of the environmental impact of making the product,' McLintock says.

The concept and advantages of holistic design may seem perfect for stressed city people, but McLintock says the concept still isn't so popular in Hong Kong.

'Holistic interior design has only really started to take off over the past five years.

'It seems to be a mixed combination of fung shui and going green, but I have not heard of anyone doing electromagnetic design in Hong Kong yet,' she adds.

McLintock believes the trend will become more popular if people are educated through sources such as magazine articles. The interior designer says her clients are increasingly environmentally conscious.

However, they do not touch on other elements of holistic design and most often pick colours they like, regardless of what that colour does for their physical and mental well-being.

Colours that make people feel good differ from person to person, but McLintock says cool colours, such as grey and blue, are general colours that people should avoid, and warm colours, such as red and orange, can usually lift people's moods.

Although holistic designs may not seem like anything out of the ordinary, holistic designers have to receive more specialised training. This means their fees are usually more expensive.

'The charges of holistic interior designers are on a par with those of fung shui experts,' McLintock says. However, 'the materials used are generally not more expensive, apart from paint'.