Promoting Wellness in Your Future Projects

April 9, 2020

Whenever this time of shelter-in-place, living with some degree of fear and working remotely – or not working at all – passes, it is likely everyone will pay much more attention to their homes and whether or not they promote healthy living and happiness. Many elements play into a healthier home, from the materials chosen to the way color is used. For Miami and Casablanca-based designer Rita Chraibi of International Designers by Rita Chraibi, light and color make the biggest impact in the home. She recently filled KBB in on how she uses these to enhance wellness in her projects.

The Importance of Analyzing Light

Chraibi: The way that I work with color depends primarily upon two things, which I believe to be the most crucial in interior design. First, I look at how light is absorbed in a particular space, as well as how it’s reflected. Secondly, I draw upon my knowledge of the characteristics of a chosen light source and understanding of how it reaches surfaces. For example, natural light (sunlight) changes throughout the day and is affected by a room’s location. Artificial light changes with the type of bulb I use.


How Light Changes a Space Depending on Its Location

Chraibi: To figure out how light will affect a room, I must first consider the amount and angle of the sun as it changes, causing the colors to vary in the way they are displayed. I give considerable attention to natural light when choosing colors that will work best by studying the influence of natural light on the space and, most importantly, the orientation of the room.

Here is a breakdown of how the light source can affect different rooms, depending upon their position:

North-facing rooms: Light in these rooms is cool and bluish. Bolder colors show up better than muted tones, as lighter colors will look subdued.

South-facing rooms: Plenty of high-in-the-sky light brings out the best in cool and warm colors. I use more light colors that will virtually glow for a happier atmosphere.

East-facing rooms: East light is warm and yellowy before noon, then turns bluer later in the day. I love to use light and warm colors for these spaces to add cheeriness.

West-facing rooms: Evening light in these rooms is beautiful and warm, while scant morning light can produce shadows and make colors look dull.

Additionally, the type of light I choose is critical because lighting can alter the colors in every space.

Incandescents: The warm, yellow-amber light of these bulbs will make reds, oranges and yellows more vivid while muting blues and greens.

Halogens: Halogens are strong. The shift from using natural light to artificial light like this is jarring, so I do not recommend it!

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs):  I usually use LED lights to create a very peaceful and Zen-like atmosphere. The use of LEDs can be pleasant because it offers an indirect light that is often found to be quite soothing.

I analyze how to blend natural and artificial light. Both will work together during certain times of day, especially in summer, when dusk lasts a long time. As an interior designer, it’s necessary for me to experiment by turning on artificial lights even during daylight to see how the colors will look and explore the potential of a room.

How do you think light and color affect a design and the client’s health? Let us know on our Facebook page or on Twitter at @Kbb_online.