Where Home Design Intersects with Your Wellness Philosophy
Making your home your personal zentuary.
The ideal actualization of your home environment is a space that reflects your authentic core — the inner sanctum of your essence, where you can be completely at ease. A home environment that evokes a ‘safe space’ can drastically impact your sense of well-being and thus impact wellness tremendously. From the pieces of furniture that you can sink into to artful touches that invoke your inner values, former fashion stylist Sarah Solis firmly believes in designing from the intersection between home and wellness.
How this plays out in interior design comes from your unique tastes and preferences. In practice for Solis, it means designating areas of the home that prioritize self-care, incorporating natural materials, and mindfully tapping-into emotional well-being when envisioning a space. She strives to reflect clients’ philosophies on life and optimal well-being into their homes, rē-spinning their abstract beliefs into the material surroundings that make up their personal space.
Just as we change and evolve as humans, so can our spaces. As summer approaches and we prepare to welcome friends and family into our homes, it is the perfect time to check in and confirm that your “zen-tuary” still faithfully aligns with who you are at your core.
Honing in on our beliefs
“We create environments that feed the soul and nourish the desire for comfort and safety,” Solis explains. “They create opportunities for restoration, serenity, and strength. The very core of our brand is about timeless design and transcendent spaces.”
Solis begins the process with attunement to feelings. “I believe that spaces [come with] emotional responses. Think about how you want the space to feel. Start with that feeling, and you’ll be able to layer upon that foundation in an authentic way,” Solis tells rē•spin. This entails reflecting on your personal philosophies for optimal well-being to transform your home into a reflection of you willfully. Different aspects of interior design – from what is used to construct fixtures to how it is sourced or what is depicted in art that fills the space – can be selected to align with the needs of mind, body, and spirit.
Solis’ life and work have been immensely inspired by the concept of wabi-sabi, the Japanese art of discovering beauty and finding value in life’s imperfections. She adds that the concept has become “an integral part of both my life philosophy and perspective as a designer” for its “expression of gratitude for the weather of life.” For Solis, this means “celebrating the cracks, crevices, and all other marks that were created by time, weather, and love.”
The philosophy also acknowledges the cycle of growth and decay that is inherent in life; in the same way the eternal and fleeting converge in the concept of renewal, you can decorate — and rē-decorate — your space to suit your evolving needs and taste.
Translating ourselves into our home design
There is no right or wrong way to begin the process of aligning your homes with your wellness. The key is identifying the intention to make your wellness a part of your design and then making various dimensions of your health focal points as you design. If reading brings you a deep sense of calm, create a reading room or a nook with the coziest chair. Let’s say you like to write as a pastime, decorate with a vintage typewriter. If napping is more your cup of tea, take special care in selecting your bed, mattress, and linens. (And don’t get us started on the joy that can come from organizing a special tea collection!)
Not every choice will be for moments of solitude. If hosting friends and family provide you with the connection that nourishes your soul, focus on creating indoor and outdoor dining areas where you can enjoy one another’s company.
Other dimensions of wellness in home design
Solis also centers her creating philosophy around what she calls “special moments” in the home. For these spaces, she aims to source pieces made from materials that align with and promote healthy lifestyles. “In my practice, I really only use natural fibers/materials and those that ensure a low carbon footprint.”
She also favors natural materials from the earth, including clay and plaster for walls. Not only does she love using non-toxic materials, but it can also be even better when they decrease indoor pollution. Finding ways to conceal or camouflage additions like air cleaners, or allowing for ample sunlight for your indoor plants, can serve similar functions.
The common link in all these choices is intentionality. “It’s very important to be intentional,” she adds. “I try to design meditative moments and create sanctuary-like spaces. Using natural materials in variations of earthy, organic tones have always proven to feel grounding and serene.”
It makes sense that a home environment tailored to your tastes will cultivate the ultimate safe space for you. But the underlying premise here is that having such a safe space to rē-plenish and fine-tune your most authentic expressions is a form of wellness. It is no secret that the environment you find yourself in plays a significant role in your social and emotional well-being, so why not cultivate one that impacts you advantageously?