We are mind, body and soul inside a space. They constantly influence each other and drive us to think, feel and act a certain way. We influence the physical environment with our personalities, and in turn, they help nurture (or keep us from) our purpose. Holistic places reflect what we value and our true selves. They support our health, goals and well-being, while minimizing environmental impact. It’s easier to engage with a new lifestyle, and live our best lives, inside settings that have been intentionally designed to suit that purpose
I completed an advanced diploma in holistic interior design from the United Kingdom’s Holistic Design Institute, led by author Suzy Chiazzari. She is a pioneer in the field of Holistic Design, environmental and colour psychology, colour therapy
A “holistic” perspective looks at a situation (or being) in its entirety – the whole is more than the sum of its parts. In contrast, interior design is the coordination and design of all visual elements in an interior space. For me, when we put these words together, it means designing spaces that help us feel good or “feel whole.” Our immediate environments can help us live better lives through functionality (when they help us achieve our tasks efficiently) and by providing comfort (when they help us feel good)
As a complementary practice to interior design, a holistic approach endeavors to create spaces that nurture the entire human being – from emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. It also recognizes that we are energy, and our surroundings have subtle energies that affect us. Our homes and offices are extensions of our energy fields. This is why practices like cleaning, rearranging furniture, organizing closets and decluttering our spaces have a profound impact on our well-being. Holistic interior design also pulls from green and sustainable practices because it recognizes that we are part of the natural world. This is how it helps to create spaces that support, uplift and connect
Interior designers are trained to focus on ergonomics, color harmonies, craftsmanship and construction. In addition to these, holistic interior designers also draw from environmental psychology, color therapy, feng shui, decluttering, symbolism, aromatherapy, eco-friendly practices, among others. These links across disciplines enrich interior design and make a holistic approach possible. Through this, we can create built environments which reconnect us with the natural world and foster a deeper connection with ourselves and with our loved ones. When we see each space as part of a bigger picture, we can make responsible choices and reach our personal best
Harmonious layouts inspired by eastern and western sensibilities
Insight into our relationship with places and how surroundings shape our behaviors
When we organise our belongings, we refocus our energy and create space for things that truly matter
Our physical, psychological and emotional responses to color and light energy
A way to reconnect with nature inside spaces where we live and work
Thoughtful, environmentally friendly selections for a better life
When the client wanted to combine two units into a single penthouse, I knew I wanted to separate the private and public areas of the home. This part of the floor plan shows the main entry, foyer, dining area, kitchen and bar, balcony, living area, office, workout area, powder room and a hall which leads to the bedrooms. The open plan provides a backdrop to the home’s true centerpiece — unparalleled view of the mountains. With its generous selection of storage solutions which double as decor, and a variety of seating options where the family can share, converse, work, entertain and relax, the functional design ensures that residents feel comfortable, secure and valued.
We are drawn to natural materials because of our instinctive connection with mama nature. The vastness of nature also gives us space to think and create. For the design of this 12 square meter guest bedroom, natural materials were proposed for some furniture, including window blinds, seating and rug. A custom wardrobe also gives the impression of a larger room because it reduces spatial restrictions typically associated with a towering storage unit.
The old adage “too much of a good thing” reminds us that things become unpleasant when they exist in large quantities. We must learn to only keep objects which help us fulfill our purpose and potential, and let go of the rest. Multiuse storage solutions which double as decor are good options. Closed storage conceal and organise objects. While open units, like display shelves, visibly declare what’s important to us.
We live in a world of colors. They are intimately tied into our experiences of environments, both natural and built. Color is created by light energy. Meaning, color is a form of energy. This energy affects body functions and influences our mind and emotions. From color attributes, symbolisms, even psychology, colors have countless meanings. Take complementary colors blue and orange as an example — it’s a dynamic yet balanced pairing.
We are part of the natural world. Much of our physical and mental well-being depend on our love of life and living systems. By recreating these experiences inside built environments, biophilic design enhances our health, development, performance and well-being. House plants are a clear example of biophilia. Plants give a vibrant energy and restorative quality to a space. They also increase happiness and productivity among occupants.
Green design seeks to minimise unfavourable effects of construction on the natural environment and our health. In Interior Design, this can be done by: reusing/repurposing objects, using energy-saving technology, purchasing pre-loved items or buying new and eco-friendly furnishings. Reclaimed pallets and crates are perfect for farmhouse, boho, industrial or rustic spaces. Through good ventilation and regular use of better materials, from low VOC paints, air-purifying building components, natural fabrics, to non toxic candles and cleaning solutions, our health and indoor air quality can improve.