The Path to Creating Sanctuary
Since developing the concept of sanctuary as a pillar of my design work, I think twice when someone asks me how I’m doing. Before “I’m well” can roll off my tongue, I wonder, am I?
Wellness is more than the absence of illness. It’s a state of harmony between body, mind and spirit, and our living environments have a huge impact on it. As designers, I believe we have an obligation to create living spaces that promote wellness for our clients.
Wellness has become such a touchstone of my design work that I’m seeking a masters—and may even tackle a PhD—in the field. Being more informed in the science will enable me to create more healing designs. My goal is “cosagach,” the traditional Gaelic/Scottish word that means cozy, warm, well.
A huge body of research indicates that our emotional and spiritual well-beings are inextricably linked to the natural world. Yet we spend 90 percent of our time indoors. For wellness, we must extract elements from the outside world and incorporate them in our interiors.
Only when you are in a space of balance and harmony can you reach the truth of who you are. Only then, can you answer the question, “how are you?” with an authentic, “I’m well.”
What are some of the personal objects—furnishings, fabrics, art—that feed your soul? Can you name one special piece that has brought you comfort? I’d love to hear what helps you achieve wellness for you and your clients — and about your progress on the path to creating sanctuary.
Lisa Kahn, ASID, launched her award-winning interior design firm, Lisa Kahn Designs, in 2000 in Naples, Florida. Designing homes across the globe, she has always been intrigued by the relationship between the built environment and the human spirit. Hallmarks of her design style are a raw, organic beauty contrasted with refined elegance, and the tranquility imparted by symmetry. In her work and her writing, she explores how to create nurturing spaces for both the body and the spirit. As an extension of her design work, and an expression of her lifestyle, Lisa developed the Finding Sanctuary blog and an online course, Seven Days to Sanctuary. A book on the subject is projected for 2020. In addition to her successful design business, Lisa is completing her Master’s degree in transformational psychology. Her residential design projects have been featured in Traditional Home, Gulfshore Life, At Home, USA TODAY Home and Home & Design magazines.