If it’s true that “you are what you eat,” then it’s certainly no surprise that the number four trend in 2018’s Global Wellness Trends Report is the concept of “The Wellness Kitchen”.

As a society, we are becoming increasingly drawn to an approach to life that views the mind, body, spirit and surroundings as equally vital in determining one’s health. So it’s only natural that our quest for wellness would soon extend into our own personal abodes, and more particularly the places in those homes where we spend the most time. This is the central idea behind “The Wellness Kitchen”—transforming our modern kitchens, whose designs were largely borne of convenience, into spaces that reflect our growing consciousness toward holistic health and environmental conservation. Below, we have highlighted some of our favorite of the report’s projections, along with some helpful suggestions of how to incorporate these future trends into your present.

Let It Grow

Future Track: Personal kitchen gardens will serve as a multi-purpose feature: They’re aesthetically pleasing, they help ventilate the room by replacing carbon dioxide with oxygen, and they take the farm-to-table trend to another level by providing “live” produce on demand. The report estimates that 35% of American households were already growing their food through home or community gardens back in 2014, with popularity—particularly in young families—continuing to grow.

GLR Hack: Harvesting your own food might not be in your immediate plans, but signing up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a great present-day alternative. Or maybe you’ll start smaller by skipping out on the grocery store in favor of seeing what’s available at a nearby farmer’s market. The bottom line on this one is to be nourishing your body with unprocessed, locally-sourced and high quality food.

Be Transparent

[Photo credit: © Vera Iconica Architecture, 2018]

Future Track: “The Wellness Kitchen” will display food like other homes display art. Colorful fruits and vegetables will be stored in refrigerators equipped with glass doors and shallow shelves, making healthy choices all the more tempting when fresh, delicious produce is a visible option. To keep food looking and tasting its best, these future refrigerators should also offer a more extensive range of temperature options and various corresponding compartments to accommodate the ideal preservation climate of each type of food.

GLR Hack: Your kitchen might not yet be equipped with the most optimal conditions for freshness, but that doesn’t mean you can’t utilize this reverse “out of sight, out of mind” psychology. Whether it’s through purchasing clear containers for healthy snacks or arranging a countertop fruit basket, store healthy options in plain sight. Keep that plate colorful.

One Man’s Trash…

Future Track: The most staggering point observed in the report is the United Nations’ approximation that a third of the food produced each year for human consumption is lost or wasted. Such figures and reinforced awareness of our food waste disposal habits are expected to pave the way for composting to become a more mainstream feature in future kitchens. Veronica Schreibels, the Chair of the Global Wellness Institute’s Wellness Architecture Initiative, imagines these kitchens to have more creatively constructed food prep spaces. Counters, for instance, would be equipped in such a way that any food waste could be easily brushed into a designated vessel for recycling and/or composting.

GLR Hack: You might not yet have conveniently placed composting receptacles built right into your countertop, but any effort to manage your food waste in a more environmentally sustainable manner is a step toward a greener future. If you are ready to venture into composting, outdoor products like The Earth Machine composter will help guard against animal interference and make for easier maintenance and accessibility, while Green Lid—a compostable compost bin—makes discarding kitchen scraps a cinch.

Back to the Basics

[Design by Rachel Allen. Photography by Jessica Comingore]

Future Track: Clutter is out; minimalism is in. According to Rachel Allen, a residential and commercial architect featured in the report, “People are replacing upper cabinets with open shelves so they can see spices, living herbs, and plants. The new design is more like a commercial kitchen with open space and areas that accommodate several people working or socializing at the same time.”

With the ability to acquire products on demand being quicker and more efficient than ever before, accumulating an endless supply of bulky kitchen appliances will be swapped in favor of simply renting or borrowing as needed. In essence, homeowners may be more focused on entertaining the Jones’s than keeping up with them.

GLR Hack: Let’s be honest—not everyone is ready or willing to box up all of their kitchen appliances right here, right now. That doesn’t mean you can’t borrow from this theme to transform your kitchen into a more inviting space. Tuck away those appliances that you don’t often use and instead opt for a clean, spacious countertop with just your basics. Bring a bit of greenery into your kitchen, even if it’s the most low maintenance of plants, and maximize your light potential. Oh, and don’t forget to invite some friends over. Make mealtime a social experience.

For more information about “The Wellness Kitchen,” be sure to check out the full 2018 Global Wellness Trends report. And remember, even small changes in our day-to-day can make a big impact on overall wellness. Let your cook space reflect your headspace. Today, your kitchen fuels the body, but tomorrow it could inspire the mind.