Design That Connects: Honing the Energy Within the Home
Tapping into the subtle dimensions of physical spaces
Estelle Bailey-Babenzien‘s career has, in many ways, been a creative exploration of connection. She began in fashion, later moving into the music industry, working with artists like D’Angelo and Mark Ronson. In 2015, Estelle co-founded the clothing brand NOAH with her husband, designer, and founder Brendon Babenzien. Along the way, she was continually inspired by the interpersonal connection facilitated via the arts. She rē-invented herself once more to shift her creative vision into the domain of interior design and creative directing.
As the founder of the interior architecture and experiential design studio Dream Awake, Bailey-Babenzien transforms spaces into vessels that foster connection for those inhabiting — or even visiting — them. She rē-envisions homes as spaces to promote connection to self and others. Her work gives merit to the old saying that ‘home is where the heart is.’
Below, learn more about how Bailey-Babenzien provides clients with aesthetically appealing spaces while harnessing the energy of the home to facilitate more connected living.
The conscious curation design process
Design aesthetics can inspire endless feelings — some soothe with minimalistic lines and order, ground with organic materials and earth tones, or inspire awe using scale and material. “[Whether] you feel good, at peace, energized, or in love, then you will in turn radiate that energy to others,” she notes of the infectious nature of vibes. “This is a human connection [that can be facilitated through space] — it’s powerful.”
Bailey-Babenzian’s conscious selection process spares no detail, encompassing even the subtle energy of decor and design. “Everything in life holds energy,” she says. “Who, how, and why something exists matters; the hands that build it, where the materials come from, every detail has an energy that carries forward.” This guides her curation process, from sourcing materials to the brands she works with.
“I try to think deeply about stimulating or relaxing the five senses and, in turn, perhaps evoking the sixth sense,” she says of the goal-ambiance. She focuses on comfort, flow, and lightning, but no detail is spared. In addition to the obvious design elements, such as furniture layout and color palettes, she believes that even the angles, edges, and textures play a role in beautifying spaces with purpose.
Transforming spaces using the senses
When it comes to lighting, Bailey-Babenzien opts for choices like warm, dimmable light sources to brighten rooms. She loves incorporating candlelight and prioritizes beeswax candles to create softer moods and cleaner burns. Candles can also provide a soothing scent in the home, which she adds can significantly affect how you feel.
Because nothing can disrupt the inner zen-like clutter, she recommends finding storage solutions that keep everything concealed functionally. Each item deserves its place to allow for clear spaces and minds. She adds that this will also impact how guests feel in your home. The featured objects in each room should either serve a purpose or play a role in creating an inviting atmosphere that encourages conversation. They can also emit an aura of mindfulness for necessary moments of solitude. Interestingly, she believes that distractions — including televisions — should be given non-dominant roles in the design as they diminish the connective energy within spaces, shifting attention off of self and others.
The spiritual element of spaces
Making your home a haven is a worthwhile endeavor. “Once you create space to become connected, you open up a whole other realm in your consciousness for the universe to work its magic on you,” Bailey-Babenzien says. “You facilitate room for growth of your mind, body, and spirit.”
We can all benefit from a safe space to cocoon or bring together our loved ones to make new memories. You deserve a space that lets you connect authentically. Both to your inner self and those you bring into your home. “It’s unbelievable how some simple [intentional] design shifts can change one’s entire outlook. Something simple to switch your morning mood can affect your entire day. Then you come home to recharge in a place of peace and beauty and do it all again.”