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Your home looks great, but is it making you happy?


Lockdown is forcing us to spend more time at home than ever before. Perhaps you are pretty happy with the way your place looks, but what about how it makes you feel? "Mindful interior design" is a concept that is gaining traction in the industry. But what is it?

We all want our homes to look good, but do we pay enough attention to how they make us feel?  Have you ever considered that the chair in the corner of your home office (bequeathed on you by a relative) might be making you sad? Or the colour of your walls (copied from a magazine) sucking out your energy? Now that we are spending so much time at home, the moment has come to look underneath the surface aesthetics and consider how your home is actually making you feel.

Emily prefers to refer to herself as a "Home Designer" rather than an "interior designer".  This is because she sees the place her clients live as so much more than a series of interiors to be designed. They are, first and foremost, a home and this carries with it many layers to be unravelled before the design process can even begin.  "The starting point" Emily says, is to "look at your house and recognise that it is a reflection of you."   She encourages her clients to look at the room they want help with in the context of their life as a whole and ask themselves intimate questions such as: Are their relationships positive? Finances in good health? Are they experiencing any stumbling blocks? "People don't realise that they store energy - good and bad - in their home.  The interior of their home can be a metaphor for what is going on in their wider life."

Emily tells me about a recent design consultation she gave.  Her client 'hated' her north-facing living room, and never used it.  During the consultation it transpired that most of the furniture was passed down to her by her mother and, along with it, a negative emotion: that of feeling controlled.  Digging deeper it became clear that this emotion was being repeated elsewhere in this client's life.  The fact of acknowledging this was the first step towards turning that room around, and indeed alleviating that emotion.  Emily showed her how she could take ownership of the pieces by repositioning, repainting, re-covering or repurposing them.  Once the feeling of being controlled was released, the client felt calmer and clearer, and could establish which items of furniture / decor were serving a purpose, (and which weren't) resulting in the room regaining its balance and positive energy. This was echoed, in turn,  in a more positive relationship with her mother.

Colours are another way Emily helps her clients address the positve and negative energy in their home. She uses the "Colour Mirrors" system, where each of our 7 main chakras is represented by a colour.  Sadness, for example, is represented by violet and happiness by yellow.  Each colour has the power to enhance positive emotions and "clear" negative ones.  Using special Colour Mirror bottles, Emily starts out at a very personal, conceptual level with her clients to enable them to discover which emotions are being chanelled  by their home and how to enhance or 'clear' them through the use of colour.  This approach also helps her clients engage their own creativity so that the design process becomes truly collaborative.  The end design results are always sense-checked against, not just "Does this look good?" but also, "How does this make you feel?". 

Try this little exercise in mindful interior design: 

1.  Look around your room.  How does it make you feel?

2.  Consider the objects in it.  Which of them is generating this emotion?

3.  Where else does this emotion crop up in your life?

4.  If the emotion is positive - great! If it is negative, can you take ownership of those objects and clear the negative energy? Try: repositioning/repurposing/upcycling or, simply replacing for improved flow within the space and all areas of your life.


To find out more, contact Emily Rose Smith @the_energyofspaces

To find your perfect interior designer, get in touch at

Photos by Martha van der Westhuizen Photography for Colour Mirrors