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  • Writer's pictureDann Foley

Health & Wellness: The Living Well Link

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

Health & wellness is downright obsessive for many. The discussions around every aspect of “wholeness” seems to have reached a feverish pitch. We are bombarded with information, advice, products from every side. Though it may be hard to separate fact from fantasy and legitimate from dangerous, one avenue of the living well equation is clear…creating a home that is a true reflection of you (single or plural) adds untold value to your life, your state of mind and your level of comfort. It may actually be one of the only paths to wellness where the route can be as enjoyable as the destination.

After these many years as a designer, I can say with certainty that focusing your attentions on how you live can truly change your life for the better. Think of it as therapy for your soul. Understanding who we are through our choices and how we live is as cathartic as it is creative. Undertaking any endeavor that forces you to explore who you are and make decisions that reveal you to the world can be daunting but, it is also a course of action that helps you to understand what makes you happy, comfortable and gives you a sense of safety and place.

The method you choose may be varied. You might choose to work with a professional like me who can help you to focus your needs and desires and also, give you access to creativity and product that you may not know existed. Working with a design professional also has the added bonus of being able to take your thoughts and ideas about the perfect life for you, and see your desires in a much bigger picture, with many more options and opportunities to express who you are in a more unique and meaningful way.

You may also choose to head down the path of personalized design on your own. Don’t be scared. I always tell my clients to stay open, to recognize that design is fluid, that nothing is written in stone. At the end of the day it only matters how something makes you feel. I like to say that great design in not about themes. Themes are for children’s birthday parties.

Today, we have so many areas to search for inspiration, ideas, products, techniques and even professionals to help us execute our plans. Take advantage of all of them! Build that Pinterest board, scour HOUZZ, do internet searches but, don’t let the design process become obsessive. Remember that the goal here is to complete the project, not just know what every possibility and piece of advice might be. Analysis paralysis is a real thing! Not being able to make decisions is one of the biggest obstacles to overcome for many. Stay open but, stay focused on the prize. Keep in mind that too many voices can create noise that obscures your goals and your vision. Stay true to you yourself. You can never go wrong if your choices are based on what you love.

One of the other conversations I like to have early on in the design process with clients, is the difference between style and trend. Style is about you, who you are and the things that you choose to live with. Trend is about keeping up with the latest fads and is a losing proposition. Both have a place in your home. A trend can manifest itself in a popular color or an “of the moment” piece, like a chair or lamp or coffee table. You might choose a bedding pattern popular today to mix with your existing bedding. Remember, it truly is all about what makes you happy.

I was doing a radio show interview this past week where listeners were asked to send in questions regarding their design dilemmas. I was struck at how many questions asked me if, this is in or this is out and, am I allowed to do…fil in the blank. The issue is even with the wealth of information out there, it can be nothing more than just personal opinion and as I said earlier, it only matters what you think. Your home, your choices, your life. That is true style, honest design and a life well lived.

Each month I like to close by saying that I want you to Live Well! That sentiment is as true today as it has been in every article I have written but, maybe this month as the Standard Magazine celebrates all things Health & Wellness, we can recognize the importance of the home in our wellbeing equation. Design is so much more than pretty things, it is the story of you. What can be more soothing or nurturing than being surrounded by those things, memories, colors and people you love and choose to share your home with. Design is just another form of therapy, where you can extricate the best of you. It can transform and transport you. So, go out there and Live Well!

Designer Dann

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