Healthy Choices

Creative applications for a wholesome home environment

There’s a high demand for household features that focus on the body, mind, and soul. Here are some ways to promote health and wellness at home.

DRINK UP A special juicing area in this Scavolini Store Detroit design is a convenient spot for whipping up a glass of health. | Photo courtesy Scavolini Store Detroit


Juice bars can be integrated into a kitchen or adjacent space, while a hot-beverage bar (who doesn’t like to hold a hot mug of something) can be added in a master suite, says Niki Serras, co-owner of Scavolini Store Detroit at the Michigan Design Center. “You can enjoy (your drink) with some privacy and quiet time,” she says, adding: “Households are more active, so it’s nice to spread out and reduce congestion with functional features.” Such features often include easy-to-clean counters, bar sinks, trash containers, and a fridge. Design elements might combine open and closed storage with a backsplash that dazzles. Beverage bars can also join custom gyms in a lower level or spare room.

CREATIVE TOUCHES This playscape by The Cottage Company of Harbor Springs makes getting fresh air fun! | Photo by Beth Singer


Fresh air is an essential element for maintaining health, and The Cottage Company of Harbor Springs is on it! Following a renovation with the award-winning company, a family (with children) came back for more. “(The parents) told us they had a very important project, and they wouldn’t be the decision-makers,” says Jill Nuding, head of construction at The Cottage Company. This time, the family’s children would be planning the ultimate outdoor playhouse, which Nuding calls “kid-designed, parent-approved.”

The couple’s daughter asked for flower boxes like her parents have on the cottage, and a place to hold tea parties. Her big brother requested a secret hatch to access the upper portion of the structure from the ceiling. “They were some of our youngest, most refined clients ever,” Nuding says. The enclosed slide stays clean of any yard debris, and there are swings and a pull-up bar with rings.

With virtual learning, outdoor activities are essential to kids’ health. “This gives them the chance to get out and burn some energy,” Nuding says. “It’s recess, time to get some fresh air.”

M.J. Whelan Construction built this Zen-like sauna for homeowners in downtown Milford. | Photo by Jeff Garland


For a family in downtown Milford, Lisa Whelan, design consultant with M.J. Whelan Construction in Milford, incorporated a sauna into the master bathroom. “They have really busy lives and a very healthy lifestyle, with a gym and a smoothie bar in their home,” she says. “It has a Zen-like feeling; it’s a peaceful place.” A water fountain keeps the homeowners hydrated after sitting in the sauna, where a window and a glass door make the space feel more open.

Saunas are said to have many benefits, including flushing out toxins, decreasing inflammation, and even boosting the immune system. This one features clear cedar on the ceiling and walls, and a porcelain tile floor that keeps the master bath cohesive. “They can work out, take a sauna, take a shower, and go to work or to bed,” Whelan says. “It’s so convenient, and it’s a really relaxing atmosphere.”

SWEET DREAMS Spire Integrated Systems Inc. designed a lighting/ shading system for this peaceful space, working with the room’s interior designer, Kathleen McGovern Studio of Interior Design. | Photo by Jeff Garland


Jason Bellanti, partner with Spire Integrated Systems Inc., a luxury home technology company headquartered in Troy, notes that companies like Lutron offer light systems that can simulate the morning sun with a nice, warm glow. As the day progresses, the systems can mimic the sunset, for a calming effect. Blackout shades, meanwhile, can aid those who need complete darkness to sleep.

Integrated features can be installed as a whole-house system for new construction or in parts of an existing home. Sounds geared toward wellness include a setting for soothing music at a lower volume as a gentle wake-up reminder. Custom features like these are always a team effort, says Bellanti, who works with the client, interior designers, architects, and general contractors.

SUNKEN TREASURE Because copper has antimicrobial properties that kill germs and viruses, tubs made with the element are said to enhance wellness.


Some materials can have health benefits. Just ask Jack Healy, president of SoLuna Copper in Langley, Wash., which sells copper sinks, tubs, home décor, and more. “Copper has become a popular material for kitchen sinks and tubs due to antimicrobial properties that kill germs and viruses,” he says. For copper tubs or sinks, there are matching accents available, like mirrors and wastebaskets.

For ages, copper has been recognized for its aura of wellness. “Humans need it internally for healing, as a mineral for survival, and it’s a natural product from the earth,” Healy says. His company’s custom soaking tubs feature shiny or matte patinas with different finishes. “A lighter finish will get a little darker over time, like a copper penny,” he says.

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