So by now, you have probably realized that this is not your everyday interior design blog. And I’m probably not what pops into your mind when you think of an interior designer. You see, my background is in health and wellness. I deeply believe that I am meant to bring healing into the world. And in all my pursuits, including my creative endeavors, my abiding intention is to contribute to the elevation of your overall health and well being – to help set you up for positive life transformation.
Achieving a home design that resonates and empowers requires more than quality furnishings, pretty fabrics, and a thoughtful layout. While these things are important, what’s needed is a connection. A mind-body-spirit connection to be exact. Enter the concept of interior medicine…
The design of our homes should support our lives – both as they are and as we wish them to be… Are you hearing me, friends? Your home interiors are meant to give you a safe and stylish place to land on the daily. But just as important are the ways that interior space will propel you forward into the life you desire to live. And getting there means we have to do a bit of digging to be aware of what ‘that life‘ looks like to us. We have to become visionaries about the possibilities for our lives and dare to dream. That’s the other component to ‘interior’ design – the part that reflects the involvement of the mind-body-soul (our interior monologue, emotions, thoughts, perceptions, beliefs, memories, imagination, intuition, etc.).
To me, the medicine of interior design starts with anything that breathes life to our journey. From the food we enjoy eating to the hobbies we are passionate about pursuing. For this reason, you won’t be able to put what we share together on the blog into one single box. Instead, I’ll share with you the many modalities we can use to nourish and elevate our soul and surroundings.
So, let me ask you something. Do you acknowledge that you have a relationship with your home? I hope your answer was yes because we most certainly all do. We have a relationship with everything that holds space in our lives. Is your relationship with your home a healthy one? I mean, for a moment consider what it would mean to you if your home were stripped away from you. That sentiment can easily and instantly invoke some pretty strong emotions, illustrating what home truly means to many of us.
How do you feel when you walk through the front door of your home? Do you feel a sense of refuge? Do you have a sense of dread? When you wake up in the morning, do your surroundings make you feel welcome or do they frustrate you? If you wake up in the middle of the night, do your surroundings gently nudge you back to sleep?
A first step in establishing a healthy exchange with your living spaces is to take stock of what you feel dissonance within your home, what feels other to you.
You may be surprised that something that felt totally like YOU 10 years ago is now something you have outgrown or that is now associated with pain, shame, or guilt -or at least is associated with a time of life that you are ready to move on from. Nothing is wrong with that. Thank that piece of your past for what it has taught you and let it go.
Additionally, take some time to consider what you need from your home. Are you seeking an oasis from the busy, hectic world outside your doors? Do you need to feel energized? What items in your home bring you a smile or a pleasant memory? Do any of them invoke the love and support of your family and/or ancestors?
A connection is nothing if not energy. And every connection is a reflection of the energy we pour into it. There is a constant exchange of energy between us, our homes, and our belongings. I believe that exchange of energy affects us on many levels including the ability to impact our physical, emotional, and spiritual health. One of the best ways to establish a healthy connection is to ensure our exchange of energy is positive and flowing – flowing in a circular fashion from you to your environment and then back to you. In this way, both (all) parties are literally fed by the other. As you pour into your home, the sentiments you desire to feel/acquire from your home are enhanced and reflected back to you. On the contrary, energetic blocks will hinder this healthy, positive exchange.
Spend time in your home doing things you love. Think about it. We don’t go on a date to do things that we abhor. We go to have fun. And through these positive exchanges, we hope to grow more and more fond of each other. And typically, we put effort into the experience. We select a nice location, ensure mutual interests, and we take care in how we present ourselves. When you spend time doing things you love in your home, you are much more likely to treat the space with a high standard and create a space suited to the beloved activity. This could be reading a good novel, writing in your journal, cooking your favorite meals, creating art of any form, engaging in your spiritual practice, and/or spending time with friends and loved ones.
Pretend as though the most important person in the world is coming for a visit. We’d all at least clean up the place and clear out all the visual noise and clutter. Maybe you’d prepare a delectable meal or order a lovely spread and a great bottle of wine. Maybe you’d put fresh linens on the bed and in the bathrooms. Maybe you’d burn incense or light a candle. Maybe you’d use the fine china. Maybe you’d buy fresh flowes. Maybe you’d wear your favorite dress. Maybe you’d put a care package in the guest room for their comfort. In short, you’d treat this person like royalty and likely make use of your ‘good things’. But guess what? That most important person is YOU. Treating your home with adoration is really about creating an experience for yourself. It’s an exercise in owning your value; an exercise that is a reflection of our own self-worth and love for ourselves.
Invite your friends and family over to visit. A healthy home makes room for love and happiness. By creating happy memories inside the walls of your home with those closest to you, the connection between you and your space is deepened. It’s kind of like the heirloom that your grandparent passed down to you. It may be a seemingly normal object to everyone else, but you will always connect those positive memories to that object.
Make your home a sensual experience. If you love flowers as I do, keep a vase with fresh flowers or branches whenever possible. Even better, create a garden where you can enjoy them in their natural setting. Use candles, essential oils, or incense to make the air smell sweet. Choose a color palette that emulates how you want to feel in your space. In color psychology, each color has particular traits and moods associated with it. Make sure your palette supports the desires and goals you have for your life. If you need help with this, I’d love to consult with you. Invest in bedding that you love. Sleep is a vital aspect of life and the quality of your sleep impacts your mood. This is one area I don’t believe in cutting corners. (Guess you can see this lady loves her sleep.)
Use non-toxic cleaning products. This is an exercise in intentionality, which is a necessary component in all healthy relationships, including a healthy home. We come in contact with plenty of pollutants and chemicals on a daily basis. They are in the air we breathe and in the food we eat. The last place that I want to have reservations about what I’m touching, breathing, and ingesting is my home. To that end, I have over time created my own cleaning solutions, laundry detergent, and even perfumes. What’s crazy is that most of the ingredients needed for these things you probably already have in your house.
Clear out the visual noise. Organization and decluttering are a key layer to creating transformation in our lives. It’s not really about owning less stuff, it’s really about alignment. “It’s the intentional pursuit of the things we value the most and the removal of anything that distracts us”, as quoted from Joshua Becker, the founder and editor of BECOMING MINIMALIST. When I walk through the front door of my home, I don’t want to be overwhelmed by the piles of stuff everywhere I look. Instead, I need to feel a welcoming free flow of energy. Likewise, when I open my eyes in the morning, I want to be lured me out of bed by soft surroundings and with the promise of new beginnings and possibilities each day. But if I wake up to clutter or mess, I feel defeated before the day even really begins. This leads me to our next step…
Have a morning and bedtime routine. The tone of the day is set within our first hour of waking. How we spend this time has a direct impact on how we perceive the rest of our day. I was motivated to implement a morning routine because I was tired of feeling defeated and frustrated at the start and end of every day. But the changes I implemented have had far more effect on my life than I anticipated. It turns out that my morning routine has actually helped me to ‘renew’ my mind and essentially rewire my brain for positivity. I highly encourage you to read Shawn Achor’s research on happiness to find out more about this subject. In short, my days have not only become more positive but also more productive and more aligned with what I envision for my life. I also attribute this practice with greater resilience in dealing with stressors and triggers, leading to some healing in relationships in my life that were sorely in need of it.
Introduce earth elements to your interior design projects and decor. The more connection we attempt with Nature, the more connected we inevitably feel to ourselves. Mother Nature has a way of reminding us of who we are and showing us ourselves in the absolute purest of light. By incorporating plenty of natural tones and earthy elements, we can impact our mood, memory, productivity, and ability to learn in a positive way. Some items to consider: natural stone or handmade clay tiles, eco-friendly paints made with clay, minerals and natural pigment, woven tapestries, linen fabrics, wooden furniture pieces, and of course, plants. Plants add beauty, improve air quality, and enhance the calm of a space by absorbing sound.
Plants that do well indoors include (not an exhaustive list):
Bring in plenty of natural light. Sunlight actually causes a chemical reaction in our brains that helps to elevate our moods. Without sunlight, many people actually experience or enhance their risk of experiencing depression, insomnia, and anxiety. So make sure to bathe yourself and your home in as much sunlight (and fresh air) as possible on a daily basis. A healthy home and a healthy you may actually depend on it. I actually make drawing back the drapes and standing in the sunlight a part of my morning routine.
Adopt a no-tech zone approach to your bedroom. There are numerous benefits to not having your telephone or a TV in the bedroom. I personally prefer to reserve the bedroom as a place of mindfulness. It’s where I rest. It’s where I share myself with my husband on many levels. It’s where I reflect on what I am grateful for in life. It’s where I dream, journal, read. In other words, its a place where I do not welcome distraction. This is not just about healthy home life; this also encourages a healthy energy exchange between my husband and me.
Thank you for coming along on this journey with me, love. I’d love to know what you do to feel healthy and happy in your home.