A sensory room can be used for therapy or to help a person relax. (Tatiana Syrikova - Pixabay)

A sensory room can be used for therapy or to help a person relax. (Tatiana Syrikova - Pixabay)

Kelowna designer brings sensory room to KGH

A sensory room can be used for therapy, as well as relaxation

A Kelowna-based interior designer is building a special room in the Pediatrics Ward at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH).

Lindsay Krieg, owner of Three Temples Design, is not your typical interior designer. She builds sensory rooms and spaces, which are designed with an individual’s sensory needs in mind, instead of focusing on what the room should look like.

The goal of a sensory room is to be part of a therapy plan, as well as to stimulate and relax one’s senses.

“That can include lighting, sounds, textures, and so on,” Krieg said.

“A sensory space is designed for someone’s particular senses and it’s a room that can be controlled by the user. So it doesn’t have to be one room for one person, it can be a room with a multi-sensory purpose which the user can control to cater to their needs.”

Krieg said she finished designing the room at KGH and is now just waiting for the last of the materials to arrive before installation can start.

The idea of sensory rooms comes from the Netherlands’ “snoezelen” spaces, which are rooms intended for non-directive therapy and designed for people with autism, dementia, brain injury or other developmental issues. But Krieg is taking it a step further by showing people these rooms can be used in someone’s daily routine, especially now that more people are staying in and the stress of the pandemic continues.

“People need to think about what they like to feel and what bothers them. For example, be aware of the scents around you, the ones that bother you and the scents that relax you. There may be scents that trigger good memories… surround yourself with those scents,” she said.

Krieg also said changing a room’s lighting and putting in carpets, pillows and other materials with textures that tend to calm you will also help ease anxiety. If sounds and music cause you to stress, Krieg suggests playing meditative music, nature sounds or even a white noise machine to calm you.

For more information on sensory rooms, visit Three Temples Design’s website.

READ: Clinicians worry pandemic is worsening youth mental health

Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
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