Interiors for Well-being

As an interior designer and someone who’s committed to healthy meals and exercise, I’ve observed that first: our most consistent wellness practices begin at home. 

  1. Exercise: You don’t have to go somewhere or stop someplace to exercise, meaning no fancy workout clothes or lipstick is required.
  2. Diet: You have the option to “have” or “not have” in the home tempting wine, dairy or sugary treats.
  3. Rest: Where you can always find a quiet and pretty spot to rejuvenate yourself.

And second: your home has the ability to support and revitalize you, or drain you. 

  1. When the home is well planned, beautiful and nicely maintained it adds balance, support and so much joy to your life.
  2. Or conversely speaking, when it’s worn, dysfunctional and dirty it has the ability to drag you down and discourage you, lending to disorganization, depression and apathy.

To get you started I’ve prepared a list of action steps below! 


The Pain Free Design and Wellness Clean Sweep


Identify the 10-25 things that really bother you about your home. Write them down and save them, then one by one address the items that you can address. For instance, organizing your kitchen is probably doable in a day or two. But replacing a sofa may not be doable for a year or more. So save the list and keep it handy and address just the things you can right now.


Play with Floor Plans (Furniture Arranging)


There is one and only one ideal furniture arrangement (or floor plan as designers like to call it)for each room. You can use a floor plan app like mine from Chief Architecture or by moving things around until you get them right.


Observe where the fireplace is. Observe the doorways and general foot traffic. Place the largest pieces first.


Add Scale


Scale refers to something that is large. It could be an armoire or an entertainment unit or a large set of built in bookcases. Scale is important to your floor plans because it adds a sense of permanence and stability. The rest of the room must be planned around that large scale piece. It is the room’s anchor. 




Give the house a good cleaning and keep it that way. Very few people realize how noticeable dust and dirt are because our conscious eye is accustomed to seeing them. But your subconscious picks up on it and realizes something is uncomfortable. 


Open the curtains and clean the windows. Enjoy the views if you’re lucky enough to have them. Open the windows and let fresh air in.




Being a designer and owner of a design store for years, I always realized how big of an effect accessories have on our homes. But when it really became evident was when I updated my own home with just accessories. I spent around $2,000 US dollars on accessories in 2012. The home was already lovely but moving my existing items around and adding these new accessories updated the style and lightened the mood quite a lot.


If Your Home is Missing Something


If your home is missing something and you don’t know what it is, it’s likely scale, texture or greenery. 


Texture can come from woven baskets, textiles, cane or rush seating, some wood and stone surfaces, and rugs.


Scale can come from large pieces of furniture, like an armoire, an entertainment unit (to house the tellie), or large built in bookcases.


Greenery is obvious. Any indoor plants. I like a pair of topiary in the dining room at the least. And numerous pots of flowers and house plants (3-5) in the living room. 


Interior designer, author and newspaper columnist Shiree’ Hanson Segerstrom established her business in 1999.  She has been seen in C Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee, Modesto Bee and Wall Street Journal online. She creates homes for and coaches women with arthritis and other chronic illnesses. [email protected]. Freebie design/wellness ebooklet for women with arthritis here  


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