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What is the Difference between Holistic Design and Traditional Interior Design?

Updated: Jun 8, 2023





I'm not big into annual trends, but when I saw that in 2023, Holistic Design was trending, I sort of did a happy dance on the inside.


And that's because aside from being a holistic designer, I fully believe that holistic design is more than a home trend, but a movement that will change the future of how we interact in our built spaces.


But what exactly is holistic design and what makes it different than traditional interior design?


Holistic design is a modern approach to designing homes and buildings that takes into consideration the impact of the environment on the health and well-being of its occupants. It goes beyond just the aesthetic appeal of a space and instead focuses on creating a harmonious environment that supports physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness.


In this blog post, we'll explore the key differences between traditional interior design and holistic design, and what holistic design takes into account when designing a home.

 


You might have heard of the concept, holistic health. It is a perspective of viewing one's health and well-being as interconnected. For example, one's diet doesn't just solve physical health issues, but it can improve mental health and energy levels. Holistic health practitioners look at diet, stress, sleep cycle, and numerous other aspects in understanding the health of their patient.


It is very similar in terms of holistic homes. Holistic design takes into account the interconnectivity of all elements in a space and how they affect the residents. For example, traditional design might focus on aesthetics, but holistic design would focus on the quality of light, air, and temperature in a space.


In traditional design, the focus is mainly on the visual aspect of a space, but holistic design takes into account the impact of the environment on all aspects of life. This includes physical health, emotional well-being, and spiritual connection. For example, a holistic design might include features such as natural light, quiet spaces, and access to nature to support a resident's physical and emotional health.


To better understand what holistic design would encompass, here are some examples of the aspects that I focus on in my holistic home and design approach.


 

We love a linen bedding that is beautiful and sustainable design!

Sustainability


Sustainability and health go hand in hand. Holistic design focuses on incorporating environmentally friendly elements such as sustainable materials, energy-efficient lighting, and water conservation systems. These elements not only help to reduce the environmental impact of the home, but they also contribute to the overall health and well-being of the residents by providing a cleaner and more natural environment. Remember, the earth is our first home.



Clutter + Organization


Studies have shown that 63% of americans consider home organization a de-stressor. Clutter can contribute to all sorts of health issues, including heart disease, insomnia, and even obesity. A holistic designer takes into account the organization when designing a home and factors in your lifestyle and how to best organize a space for your needs.



Looking at layout through Feng Shui improves the overall flow of energy


Feng Shui


Feng Shui is the ancient art of working with the energies of your environment to achieve balance and harmony in your space and your life. Understanding the energies of your home, you can work with them to improve your health, happiness, and well-being in your space. As a professional Feng Shui consultant as well, I explore a deeper connection of your home and your energy and utilize Feng Shui to help open up energies in other areas of your life all with the help of your home.



Senses


While traditional interior design focuses more on the senses of look and touch, holistic design takes into account all five senses. There is so much more that goes into creating a healing environment than just the aesthetic. I bet you didn't know that your sense of smell is strongly linked to emotions and memory. Adding certain aromas to a room can enhance your mood and bring about relaxation. The same is true to sound. Sound has huge potential to get your body and mind into certain states of being. Incorporating the other senses into a design creates a fuller experience for you to enjoy in your home.



Habits + Lifestyle


I fully believe that we have a relationship with our home, and as important as it is to create a healing home, we must also examine how we are interacting with our space. Do you have a beautiful organized pantry but keep leaving items out everywhere, creating clutter? Want a sustainable kitchen but keep buying plastic ziplocks and paper towels? Adopting a holistic lifestyle can strengthen your connection to your holistic home.



Create a design that reflects your personality, like creating this living room to highlight our client's love of travel


Interior Design


During their education, interior designers actually learn about the effects that design elements such as color, line, pattern, and space have on a person's health and well-being. I would know, I took whole classes on color psychology, ergonomics, and material composition in understanding the benefits they had to designing a space. While some interior designers do take what they learned from school into creating their client's homes, holistic designers will put more of a focus on choosing colors, materials, and patterns that will help in nurturing a client in their space.



 


In conclusion, holistic design is a modern approach to designing homes and buildings that goes beyond just the aesthetics of a space and instead focuses on creating a harmonious and healthy environment for its occupants. If you're looking to design a home that supports your health and well-being, consider incorporating elements of holistic design into your next project. It is so worth it!


Your Holistic Home Helper,


Marissa









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