We are now, I have no idea how many days, into this quarantine but I know we are somewhere around five weeks into it and I have to express my gratitude for all that I have been able to realize. This time has required me to slow down and take an assessment of what is really important in my life, what I want in my career and what I truly enjoy.

First, I have completely realized how much I miss being on construction sites and doing site visits. It is completely not the same to get pictures of all that is going on instead of seeing it first hand. These moments are truly best experienced first hand.

Each and everyone of these moments are turning points for the designs and mark points where you can see all that was in your head come to life. I have always said that I see in 3-D. That a drawing is not just a drawing but so much more and I can see myself walking through it as I am creating it. I am having to do that more right now and I am so insanely grateful for that ability. I know that I will never again take for granted or be frustrated for having to run to a site unplanned. I am going to savor the moments and be grateful for the opportunity to create something beautiful.

The second thing I have realized when it comes to my career is that I don’t really need an showroom. For so long I bought into the idea that I had to have a showroom and that the bigger the better and that it had to be in the best location. Over the past five weeks I have been designing from my home office and surprise surprise everything is still getting done and in some ways I am more efficient than when I was at the showroom. I know that I have a specific time to get things accomplished as I will have to also help out teaching math and other subjects. I am still able to keep to a schedule and I can balance my time. We can still have meetings, although now on Zoom or Skype and we can still go over plans and share ideas. I miss seeing my clients in person but using the strategies I already had in place for out of state clients we are still moving forward on projects. Houses are still being built, rooms are still being furnished and I am still creating beautiful spaces for people to soar from. I am insanely grateful for WiFi, the cloud and email!

I have learned that life is so much more about how we connect to it and that as a designer I need to be aware of more than just the physical elements in the space. In a few posts back I talked about taking this time to increase my knowledge on design for well-being. I am happy to say that I have completed Yale Professor Dr. Laurie Santos’ class The Science of Well-Being. It was hugely eye-opening. In parts it was a refresher of things that I had learned years ago but with modern updated scientific studies. Even more so it has been a huge driving force to work harder on design for well-being, design harmony and incorporating the entire person in the design. Every single day we make decisions based on our environment without realizing it. We allow others thoughts and decisions to drive our thinking and how we live. But what if we could use design to help us to overcome environmental driving factors? What if we created spaces that are designed to keep us in the present and happy with our lives? If meditation and exercise can be more beneficial than any prescribed medication than why can’t we design spaces that incorporate what we know to be healing to the mind and body? And more to the point why aren’t we? So for me I am making the decision that my designs will focus more on the health and well-being of each occupant and user. I have always said that a good design gives you a hug as you walk through the door. I can do more than just the hug at the door. I can create designs that give hugs, peace of mind and clarity throughout. I can incorporate aromatherapy, forest bathing, color therapy, sound therapy and layouts to create not just beauty but healing. So on this journey of design for better health I am continuing my education with social psychology so that I can better understand how to design for peace of mind.

I am excited for this continued journey as I increase my skills and learn how to better design for health and well-being. In design school, we take a class or two on it, nowhere near enough to truly incorporate it into design. And if you aren’t specializing in healthcare design you may never take any classes past color theory. To have this time to increase my credentials and learn more about how our interactions with our spaces around us truly effect our well-being I am so grateful. I have learned that when we focus on what we are grateful for and savor those moments we can stop the anxiety and fear. So today I am savoring the ability to teach my children, spend time with them, continue my education, maintain a design business from afar and learn how to connect with others without being in the same space as them. What are you going to savor today?

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