Building Wellness Into Residential Design?quality=70&width=1500

Building Wellness Into Residential Design

By Michael Buck / 10/22/2020

When designing and building homes, Don Farinelli spends considerable time thinking about what it means to feel good in a space – both inside and outside.

From his perspective, the key is creating a truly custom home for his clients, which includes understanding how they interact with what’s around them and using that to elevate the design.

“The designer and builder need to make that connection with a homeowner, so that you can have a sense of what it’s going to take to make them feel good when they’re in a particular space,” said Farinelli, owner of Farinelli Construction Inc. “That’s with colors, light, amenities, layout – everything across the board. We believe that to build a house in this manner, you’re thinking of the last five percent of details, and that’s all part of wellness.”

Flooding the Home With Light

In this case, the homeowners wanted their design to accomplish several goals: provide plenty of natural light; capture the views of the surrounding landscape; and include transitions that connected the inside to the outside in a thoughtful way.

Achieving those desires means windows and skylights on the home are abundant. The design provides light throughout the home by taking advantage of a gently sloping lot to add larger windows to the lower-level dining area, and spreading borrowed light by means of windows on a front stair tower.

“Other than a storage room in the basement, there really aren’t any areas that you need to turn a light on, even on a cloudy day,” Farinelli said.

This design and build philosophy is apparent in a custom home that Farinelli built among the lush and rolling Appalachian Mountain landscape in central Pennsylvania.

The home, which features exterior products from the Aspyre Collection by James Hardie, was completed in the summer of 2019. Since then, there has been a surge of interest in incorporating wellness in all aspects of residential and commercial design.

Outdoor Space for Changing Needs

Glass doors also contribute light to the interior, and opens the home to seven different outdoor spaces.

“You might ask, ‘who needs seven porches?’ But the needs of the homeowner will change depending on where the sun is and what they are doing – some are screened, one has a table, and one is off a yoga/exercise room near a pond,” Farinelli said. Another is outfitted as an exterior family room.

To enhance the comfort and coziness of the outdoor spaces, Farinelli selected products from the Aspyre Collection by James Hardie® for the exterior. The products, he said, provide “a really clean look, like what you might find on the inside of a house,” which also helps to further blur the lines between indoor and outdoor living.

The first floor features Artisan® lap siding, while the second floor has Artisan square channel siding in a vertical application. The Artisan siding allowed Farinelli to miter corners, which “is a little bit more modern and sleeker.”

Preserving Memories with Design

Farinelli also created a tangible connection between the homeowners and their new space by repurposing wood from a farmhouse and barn. The structures had special meaning to the homeowners, and Farinelli was able to salvage and incorporate the wood throughout the interior design.

“There’s thousands of board feet of lumber that we used inside the home. This means a lot to the homeowners. Being able to walk through the house on a daily basis and see that – you can’t help but feel good in that space.”

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