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Summer Market   July 26 - 30, 2020

The Path to Creating Sanctuary

Yoga for wellness in body, mind, and spiritSince 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.

Hammock room by Studio IlseWellness 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.




Photo Credit: StudioIlse

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.

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