How These Experts Design for Wellness, Sustainability, and Luxury in the Home

On July 28, in the latest installment of its Expert Eye virtual series, AD brought together a panel of experts for a discussion on the intersection of wellness, sustainability, and luxury in the home and kitchen. Global Features director Sam Cochran facilitated the hour-long conversation, which was hosted by Gaggenau. “Coming out of the pandemic, we have a renewed appreciation for emotional and mental health,” said AD100 designer Corey Damen Jenkins, who is based in New York City. Calling in from Pacific Palisades, California, SUBU Design’s May Sung agreed: “Wellness is being able to have that ‘ahh’ moment.”

In a July 28 event sponsored by Gaggenau, AD held an Expert Eye panel on wellness, sustainability, and luxury in the home and in the kitchen. AD Features director Sam Cochran spoke with designers Corey Damen Jenkins, Peti Lau, May Sung, and Charlie Hellstern for nearly an hour on the topic, with each designer presenting recent work.

Sustainability, a far-reaching term, can mean different things to different people and was a major theme within the Expert Eye conversation. For interior designer Charlie Hellstern in Seattle, “Sustainability can be very simple: access to clean air, clean water. To be able to be in the sunshine and put your feet in the dirt.” In a residential project she presented to the panel, Hellstern showed how nature informed the interiors and architecture of a home on a bluff above the Puget Sound. Comfort, she added, is also a crucial ingredient in wellness-focused design.

Calling in from a yoga retreat in Mexico, Los Angeles designer Peti Lau explained that investing in pieces that can stand the test of time is not only a sustainable choice, but a joyful one. (She shared that she even drinks coffee from a 1920s cup because it makes her happy.) Jenkins seconded the motion. “Mixing in vintage pieces when it comes to furnishings in the kitchen, and then also pairing with great functional items—to me, that’s sustainable.”

Each designer highlighted recent projects demonstrating key ideas like technology integration, multifunctionality, and integration of indoor and outdoor space: all trends that are sure to continue over the coming months and years.

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