Healthy Home Design: Natural Interiors

The impact of sustainability can be addressed both in terms of the built environment, and its effect on the day-to-day lives of the people who inhabit these design spaces. Sound environmental design should create a symbiotic relationship between the user and their environment. Designer Sarah Barnard’s holistic approach considers the psychological and emotional factors within a model to promote wellness.

Healthy Materials

When choosing the basics, one should keep in mind the range of organic materials that offer health benefits. Sarah believes that eco-friendly and natural material selection is the basis for a healthy design. “Creating a restorative environment begins with sustainable choices. Even the smallest decisions matter and can have profound effects on our health and the environment.” Her holistic approach towards material selection includes raw fibers and natural textiles, such as wool, cotton, and linen.


This all natural (non-toxic) sofa pairs with a handmade, live edge coffee table displaying a collection of the homeowner's favorite things: agate slices, ammonites and an array of rose and lavender colored thistles. A group of brightly colored floor cushions provides the perfect casual living room seating. Natural fibers like wool and linen are comfortable and healthy and can be organically dyed.

Intricately hand carved sconces in American Walnut were designed by Sarah Barnard specifically for this “Scandifornian” style home. Natural woods are another excellent material with an array of attributes that can become a defining focal point within your design. From stunning colors to unique knots and grain patterns, natural woods such as oak, walnut, and maple provide various utility and elemental beauty within a home. Sarah Barnard works closely with local artisans and craftsmen to realize her custom furniture and lighting designs. This beautiful walnut dining table was custom made for this room from a single fallen tree.

Elemental Accents

A key component of biophilic design is to incorporate natural elements within an artificial environment. We spend so much of our time indoors that the objects we surround ourselves with become very important. Recently, Sarah Barnard completed a sustainable penthouse on Ocean Avenue for an out of town couple with super meditative space requirements. Think total relaxation and harmony with the universe. By utilizing furniture and accessories as an expression of nature, Sarah’s custom designs bring the outdoors into the home. Elemental accents such as stone, concrete, minerals, ceramics, and plants create a sense of grounded balance.


Sarah designed a concrete fireplace specifically for this home with features such as subtle, etched lines that reference the movement of water. The mantle displays specimens from the homeowner's collection of minerals. Delicate orbs are a soothing and repeated design element throughout the home. Sarah worked closely with a local artisan to realize her vision for custom designed wall sconces. This piece of functional art was hand-made from ceramic clay and fired in a kiln using traditional glazing processes.

A handmade table with a live wood edge feels close to nature drawing attention to its organic form. When displayed among collected shells and family photographs, large mineral specimens diversify a typical collection. Sarah believes it is vital to surround yourself with things both meaningful and beautiful.  "Live with what you love. Surround yourself with beauty and positive energy." Her design philosophy recognizes the importance of creating contemplative spaces that highlight her clients valued mementos and personal collections.


Another beautiful hand made wood table was made to fit perfectly within the foyer alcove providing a gentle, welcoming display of objects meant to inspire, protect and enlighten. The subtle sheen of the pale blue wallcovering references the nearby reflective sea and accompanies delicate coral inspired wall sconces.

Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art.

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit

Photos by Steven Dewall