Sheree Vincent, principal of Fusion Designed, has been helping people design spaces of well-being for over 25 years. In fact, Vincent is a certified Feng Shui Master, certified Green AP, and an award-winning interior designer. (She even won first place in the 2022 Midwest Home Design Awards’ sustainable design and biophilic design categories.)
MH: What does a space need to have (or not have) to be considered “holistic”?
SV: Holistic interior design takes the approach of creating for the whole person—supporting the mind, body, and spirit in thoughtful harmony with traditional interior design practices. Holistic design helps to ensure the home promotes physical, mental, and spiritual balance, along with form and function, for those who live and work within.
Design professionals who align themselves with holistic design will also offer design practices that include sustainable design, Feng Shui, biophilic design, and accessible design that optimizes overall well-being of both the person and space. Some might also specialize in aromatherapy, color psychology, or lighting design. The primary goal is to bring into the process techniques that bring a balanced and cohesive outcome to the design environment.
What are the benefits to a homeowner?
Science has shown that holistic-designed spaces promote health and wellness by reducing levels of stress and restoring balance and harmony. Your home’s interior becomes aligned with the way you want to live your daily life. It can also improve your physical and mental health, along with your productivity. The holistic interior design approach is based on designing a home that is specifically designed to your unique requirements.
Why do you think interior spaces are trending in this direction?
I believe the COVID-19 pandemic is largely responsible for this interior design movement. Quarantined in our homes, we soon discovered how they either did or did not support our well-being. Working from home, online learning, and social isolation caused feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, and stress.
Now, three years later, we are moving back into our pre-COVID lives with a deeper understanding of how we want our homes to feel when we walk in the door. We want a nurturing and harmonious interior that considers our physical and spiritual well-being. It’s worth noting that although this feels new, Feng Shui is actually over 4,000 years old. Rachel Carson wrote “Silent Spring” in 1962, warning us about the detrimental effects of pesticides on the environment and the powerful (and often negative!) effect humans have on the natural world. The word biophilia was first used by psychologist Erich Fromm in 1973 when he described it as “the passionate love of life and all that is alive.” What is “new”? It’s no longer considered weird or “woo woo” to talk about or take time to care for our mind, body, and soul.
What are your top three tips for a homeowner who is interesting in exploring this approach within their own interiors?
- Before beginning your interior design work, set clear intentions for how you wish to live in your home.
- Improve the flow of energy by clearing out any clutter.
- Choose color palettes and design styles that speak to your soul. Let your personality shine through.