Respite Room Concept

A place to just breathe.

New research has found that one in four people suffer from a mental health condition each year. One in five will experience a mental health condition during their lifetime. Mental health is the precipice of priority, with depression predicted to be the leading healthcare concern by 2030

M+A is proud to introduce our newest concept, the “Respite Room,” designed by our award-winning interior design team and created in partnership with our internal Research and Innovation team. This space, designed for change, is rooted in evidence-based design and psychological studies and is designed to support the central nervous system, decreasing hyperarousal.

This full immersion, multi-sensory room is a place for fast relief. Complete with sensory tools - weighted blankets, stim tools, ear plugs, eye masks, and more - designed to calm the parasympathetic nervous system, decreasing stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, and increasing a sense of calm and mindfulness. Having partnered with professionals from The Ohio State University, The National Institute of Health, psychologists, and integrative medicine practitioners from a variety of healing modalities, the space is a cumulation of research and evidence-based design.

The M+A Research and Innovation team has begun conducting qualitative and quantitative research, with a post-occupancy attitudinal survey demonstrating a perceived 33% decrease in stress levels in just 20 minutes. Research demonstrates the investment of mental wellness resources in your company, and employees, not only demonstrates the value you place on your organization but encourages a healthy company culture and an environment that empowers employees to reach high productivity and profitability. A study from Mind Share reports every $1 invested in employee mental wellness returns $7 in productivity.

Key design principles like color and light theory tap into our reptilian brain, engaging a consideration of dappled light as shaded safety on the plains, and the open sky as free from predators or a place of calm by the sea. By creating a play of shadow with light in the room, the lighting allows the brain to feel a sense of safety. Curvilinear forms play a key part in the design philosophy, with research from neuroscientists proving sharp forms activate the amygdala, which induces stress, whereas curved forms are shown to soothe and comfort, like our settee bench included in the space. Visual anxiety and clutter can be calmed by taking out the stress of having too many materials, textures or other visual stimuli. Using calm monotone materials our respite room was designed with intentionality to include only necessary tools and pieces that would assist in the support of the sympathetic nervous system, calming the brain and body.

Our wellness engineers are strategically creating spaces that allow users to de-escalate and recharge. Using evidence-based research that centers around the mind and the body, these spaces reduce stimuli that trigger the sympathetic nervous system, activating fight or flight mode, anxiety, or other constant stressors in our various work environments. Proud to establish ourselves as thought leaders in designing and defining spaces to support mental wellness, we’re dedicated to starting the conversations that will bring the positive changes our world so desperately seeks.