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The Health Benefits of Sunshine in your Home Design by Betty Ross

In 1926 a Russian architect named Konstantin Melnikov, received funding from the government to build a private home designed for health. One of the most prominent features of this healthy home was that it allowed in an abundance of natural light. This historic venture and iconic sunlit house still stands today.

Even before that, in the 1800s, heliotherapy, a medical therapy involving exposure to sunlight, was used as a cure for tuberculosis. It also has been shown to ameliorate skin conditions such as psoriasis. Additionally, with approximately 50 percent of Americans lacking vitamin D and upwards of 80 percent of expectant moms and nursing home adults, it is essential that we get ultraviolet light for the synthesis of vitamin D. Vitamin D aids in absorbing calcium and preventing osteoporosis. It lowers cholesterol and blood pressure thus increasing heart performance. Sunlight regulates healthy cell growth while preventing many types of cancer such as prostate, breast, colon and ovarian cancer. In addition, sunlight impacts our mental health. When we lack sunlight we are at risk of developing Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD. This is more common in the winter months when the days are shorter.

Since we all know that sunlight promotes well-being, we all should take the sunny disposition of Melnikov’s home into consideration when designing and decorating our own homes.

Betty Ross is a certified interior decorator and owner of Betty Ross Decorating based in Monroe. She has a passion for realizing the sun's benefits to our wellbeing and the ways in which it should be incorporated into design. She can be reached at 987-6909 or

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