Holistic Interior Design Expert Phoebe Oldrey guides us through the importance of creating a space that is both practical and good for our wellbeing. Phoebe runs her own successful innovative holistic interior design practice in Tunbridge Wells, where she specialises in designing interiors for human happiness. Phoebe Oldrey is an Interior Designer who wants to remind us to think less about the following trends and the pretty things, and discover more about the layout of spaces and the impact that has on our productivity and wellbeing. Read on to learn a few inside tips on how you can tackle your own holistic interior design project…
That Aha Moment
Q. Hey Phoebe, how did your holistic interior design journey begin?
I had been in Interior Design for 10 years and was finding chasing the “trend” had worn thin. At the same time, I was aware that there was a huge rise in depression and anxiety in the world, with people I love going through some tough times. I wanted to know if what I did for a living was just about make things prettier or could be used to make things better.
It was about this time I attended a talk which outlined how the interiors and colours used in prisons helped lower the suicide rate of inmates. I was hooked on the idea that I could make a difference and became fascinated with how interiors could have a phycological impact on the people who use them. I buried myself in my research and used that knowledge to truly turn people’s homes into a haven, a place to heal and a place to express who they are. I had re-found my reason for designing and would talk about it when ever given the chance. I was lucky enough to be asked to do a TEDx talk to share my passion.
Planning Your Holistic Interior Design Project
Q. What are the tops things I need to consider when planning a holistic interior design project?
The word “holistic” means everything is connected, so how we design a space is connected to how people express themselves, how they live and how they feel. So designs need to cover those three different areas.
“Interiors need to function well, they need to look great and they need to FEEL great.“– Phoebe Oldrey on Holistic Interior Design
Elements You Need To Include…
Q. What elements are vital to a holistic living space?
It can be different for each person and each space, so for me it is about really understanding the client and what is required for their lifestyle to work well in the house. All too often people design for a life they don’t really lead and create spaces that are meant to impress others and therefore don’t serve the people who live in them. That’s when they feel restless in their homes, like a child fidgeting in a dress they don’t like. It might look nice but it just doesn’t feel comfortable. Here are a few points to consider…
Identify How You Use A Space
If you take into account how you really live in your house and your habits (where do your children leave their school bags, on the floor or in the cupboard?) and a good design solution will fit those needs.
Consider The Layout
The next step is getting the layout right, Having your furniture in the wrong place isn’t just uncomfortable physically it can be uncomfortable psychologically – No one likes to sit with their back to a door and no one likes a bad view of the TV.
Storage is important, clutter can have a huge effect on our mental health so it is important to tame it.
Make It Personal
Finally, you need to create a look that represents you. If you love colour and travel a lot, then create a home that is colourful and full of large prints of the places you have visited and tablescapes (fancy word for styled objects on tables) with the items you have returned with from your adventure.
“Your home should bring you joy and isn’t about making the neighbours happy.“– Holistic Interior Designer, Phoebe Oldrey
Things To Avoid
Your interior can’t just be about the what it looks like. If you design a house as a pure beautiful trend fest then there’s a good chance it wont work very well or feel good to be in. I call this “PRETTY” awful design. Also, that’s not a sustainable way to design, because trends come and go like water through a sieve which means you will constantly be altering your home to keep up.
Interiors And Wellbeing
Q. How does holistic interior design improve our wellbeing?
We spend around 90% of our time inside, normally this is divided between workplaces, leisure and home. This means that the way we shape those interiors has a huge effect on our day to day lives. Retailers have been using psychology for years in the way they design shops to persuade you to buy more. Companies like Facebook and Google have followed the research and created spaces flooded with light and plants, as these increase productivity and reduce workers sick days. In our designs we have read in depth about the neuroscience of better sleep and create our design to help the circadian rhythm to be balanced, so our clients can sleep better. It is all these small considerations that lead to better health and happiness.
Q. Why is holistic interior design on the rise?
I couldn’t 100% say why people are starting to recognise the benefits of designing more holistically. I guess, before now people didn’t know that Holistic Interior Design existed, but now they have realised they can use the same knowledge supermarkets use to make us buy more to create a home they are proud off and that looks after them from the inside out, who wouldn’t want that?
Big thank you to Phoebe for sharing her wisdom. Phoebe is running a series of FREE Online Webinars if you are keen to learn more about Holistic Interior Design.