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Restorative Real Estate is Popping Up in San Diego

Alexandria Abramian | May 23, 2019 | Home & Real Estate

As wellness permeates every aspect of our lives, we are now asking: Can our homes make us healthy?

Design Works creates bathrooms that evoke the serenity and aesthetics found in a spa.

Cancel that gym membership. The age of wellness real estate is upon us, with San Diego architects, designers and developers creating an entirely new breed of residential environments: homes that help maintain and maybe even restore health.

Whether you want to decompress or get fit, get restorative sleep or stay alert, homes are now being designed with a new bottom line in mind: the long-term physical and mental health of residents, a mission that extends to every room of the house. “As new design and technology adjust the settings of acoustics, light, scent, temperature, smart control and virtual reality to biophilia, where nature is brought into the home environment to soothe the senses and promote happiness, the home is emerging as a mecca for positive healing and happiness,” says San Diego real estate agent and interior designer Cathleen Shera, who is currently designing two luxury properties complete with thermal pools, family spa rooms, massage and meditation space, reflecting ponds, water sound and light therapy, and more.

Cathleen Shera designs clean, open outdoor areas.

“Our clients want to feel like they are stepping into a wellness retreat, a place where they can unwind and relax at the end of the day,” says Design Works founder Robin Strickler when describing the evolution of the bathroom into a full-fledged spa. “The average master bath we’re designing these days is about 500 square feet.” While the national master bathroom averages 200 square feet, Strickler needs the extra space to house elements like Japanese-style soaking tubs, steam showers and saunas.

One Oak homes have spacious outdoor areas.

For San Diego builder Bill Davidson, health starts in the bedroom. “A good night’s sleep is a luxury amenity,” says Davidson, who is currently completing a 58-home enclave, The Estates at San Elijo Hills, where one floor plan includes a second-story room that could be screened and converted into a sleeping porch designed to facilitate uninterrupted rest. Future design concepts include a “snoring room,” built as a soundproof space adjacent to the master bedroom, offering a silent retreat for a weary spouse. “Sleep is priceless. Who wouldn’t want an option like this if your partner snores?” asks Davidson.

Design Works prides itself on promoting healthy lifestyles through spa-themed bathrooms.

At Encinitas luxury home community One Oak, a collection of 28 homes comes with health-promoting amenities that extend beyond property lines: Residents have access to a series of wellness events that underscore organic living and even restorative design. “Health is more than eating your vegetables and jumping on the treadmill,” says Vanessa Linn, vice president of sales and marketing for Shea Homes’ San Diego division. “This curated series will help promote overall well-being, and showcase local purveyors and artisans that can enhance our homebuyers’ lives by connecting them to their local community.”


Photography by: Design Works courtesy of design works | pool photo courtesy of cathleen shera designs | bathroom photo courtesy of design works | outdoor photo courtesy of shea homes