The Power of Wellness Design

Interior Design: Sarah Barnard, Artwork: Renae Barnard + Ruben Vincent, Photo: Steven Dewall

Interior Design: Sarah Barnard, Artwork: Renae Barnard + Ruben Vincent, Photo: Steven Dewall

Wellness is not a buzzy topic, but is sure seems like it this year. Forbes declared 2019 the year of the wellness revolution, Vogue called it the new luxury status symbol, and Fast Company highlighted the industry’s $4.2 trillion valuation.

Earlier this summer, Sarah Barnard Design attended a panel discussion on Design x Wellness at the Helms Bakery District. The event was held in conjunction with the LA Design Festival and was moderated by California Interiors Editor-in-Chief Kelly Phillips Badal.

Three panelists, all from various design backgrounds, contributed to the lively back-and-forth, which centered around “achieving a healthy and organized life.” There were a number of takeaways to be gleaned from the discussion, including how organizational systems can combat stress and how proper lighting can improve sleep quality.

The panelists had only 45 minutes to discuss the topic, but a lot more could be said about the wellness movement as it relates to interior design. A holistic approach to wellness design goes much deeper than organizing and lighting. There are a multitude of things to consider — the paint on the walls, the upholstery of a chair, the artwork on display. “It’s the interconnectivity between all the different elements that makes the space healthy and well,” offers Principal Designer, Sarah Barnard.

Interior Design: Sarah Barnard, Artwork: Karrie Ross, Brian Johnson, Renae Barnard, Photo: Chas Metivier

Interior Design: Sarah Barnard, Artwork: Karrie Ross, Brian Johnson, Renae Barnard, Photo: Chas Metivier

Skilled interior designers leverage their knowledge of sustainable, non-toxic materials and finishes to craft healthy, personalized spaces for their clients. “For chemically sensitive clients and clients who value organic interiors, most often furnishings and artworks are handmade for them,” says Barnard.

A recent project for a highly-educated, well-traveled client featured the use of bespoke antique reproductions. “It gives us control over the materials, natural finishes, the scale, and it allows us to support the local economy,” says Barnard. Every detail was carefully considered, from the organic linen draperies to the custom designed floor sofa and the handmade, FSC-certified walnut dining table. “These are things a client would never find on their own because they are not sold in stores, and they just can’t be had otherwise.”

Interior Design: Sarah Barnard, Artwork: Milly Ristvedt, Renae Barnard, Abby Sin, Photos: Steven Dewall

Interior Design: Sarah Barnard, Artwork: Milly Ristvedt, Renae Barnard, Abby Sin, Photos: Steven Dewall

For the owners of an oceanfront penthouse, Barnard customized not only the furnishings, but all of the materials and finishes. “In this home, everything is healthy, natural and unadulterated,” notes Barnard. “We used natural waxes instead of stains and sealers, natural latex foams, organic cotton batting, and organic wool batting that was spun from sheep that are only shorn in summer.”

The clients selected the colors of the natural fibers artist Renae Barnard used to create a hand-woven sculpture for their home office. Crafted from wire, sash cord, cotton clothesline, wool, yarn, fleece and linen, it’s a truly one-of-a-kind piece that doesn’t compromise the chemical-free integrity of the home. “It’s very much of them, for them,” says Barnard.

Art, in particular, contributes to our overall sense of well-being. “It stimulates your mind in the same way as the natural world,” adds Barnard. One study from the University of London found that viewing art produces the same effect in the brain as falling in love, causing a rush of dopamine, a.k.a. the “feel-good hormone.” Another from Drexel University revealed that making and viewing art can lower cortisol levels, the hormone linked to the body's stress response. “When we can provide views of nature, that’s the first choice. But in any instance where we have a blank wall and not a window, then the next best thing to have is art. It makes us happier,” explains Barnard.

Wellness is often touted as a trend by lifestyle magazines and social media influencers, but for Barnard, it’s the ethos of her interior design practice. “Our clients know better and they choose healthy,” she says. Organic textiles, sustainable materials, non-toxic finishes, inspiring artwork, bespoke furniture made by local craftspeople — all of these elements support our mental and physical well-being. And designers with robust knowledge of healthy home design have the power to change lives for the better.

Sarah Barnard, WELL AP + LEED AP designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art. The ideas most essential to her practice and design process are wellness, historic preservation, and the infinite ways in which design can enhance life.

Barnard has been featured in publications internationally and was named a “Ones to Watch Scholar” by the American Society of Interior Designers. In 2018 Locale Magazine named Barnard “Los Angeles’ Favorite Interior Designer”. Barnard holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Claremont Graduate University as well as undergraduate degrees in Art and Interior Architectural Design.

For more information about Sarah Barnard visit www.sarahbarnard.com

 

How To Stay in Your Home Forever

For many, a home is a place of comfort. It acts as a sanctuary, where people can escape the busyness and hectic atmosphere of life. The benefits of making a home a place of comfort, luxury, and accessibility will not only be beneficial for immediate satisfaction but will also allow people to stay in their homes for as long as possible. By utilizing the resources that are available such as hi-tech designs, strategies that benefit everyone in your home, and spaces that focus on the emotional value, homeowners can enjoy being in the comfort of their own home for many years and will benefit from its results in their daily lives.

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Homes designed for everyday ease-of-use can benefit everyone from toddlers through grandparents. By utilizing available technology, everyone will be more comfortable in his or her living environments. One current emerging design in the industry that has benefitted its users is the addition of motion sensor lighting to rooms. Not only are these developments benefitting people practically, but it also helps the environment by saving electricity. Another developing design that benefits its users is smart appliances. Appliances that offer sensor operating systems also can positively impact day-to-day living by making food preparation and kitchen storage simple and easy to use.

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Redesigning a home can seem like a daunting process; however, the results will ultimately make a home more luxurious, safe, and accessible to its users. Living in a comfortable environment should not decrease the aesthetic value of a home. Interior designers can be used as helpful tools in this area to create and organize a unified living environment that meets all the needs of its users, while still being a beautiful space. By integrating designs with features such as walk-in showers, sensor faucets, under-counter appliances, and larger pantries, homeowners will see the immediate results that can improve their day-to-day living.  Spaces that are open and barrier-free can create an inviting and spacious feel to the bedroom and living room areas while being safe and functional spaces for everyone. This consideration not only can improve the lives of many but also help homeowners through every stage of life from having young children and the elderly in their homes. These small changes will enhance the quality of living that everyone deserves.

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A sanctuary can come in many forms, but people should be able to call their own home a safe place of comfort especially. Everyone should experience a living environment that is comfortable, easily accessible, and a beautiful place to be. There are benefits of integrating designs and technology that will benefit a homeowner’s life currently, and for many years after. The rewards experienced when investing in making a home the best possible place to live are priceless. It is vital that people have a connection to their living environment, and it all starts with making that first step. Simple upgrades that are available now will have long-term benefits that will impact everyday living. Making improvements will create a better overall living environment, and will cause homeowners to be satisfied with their home now and in the future.

By Melinda Cardenas

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

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Park View Pied-à-Terre: Guest Bathrooms

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This Park View Pied-à-terre features two petite guest bathrooms that make a bold statement. Mid-century Modern meets rustic farmhouse chic in this elegant guest bathroom design. Wall mounted mirrors were custom made from salvaged barn wood to perfectly fit the compact spaces. The black and white modernist furniture provides a bold, contemporary contrast to the vintage light fixtures and rustic details.

Each guest bathroom creates a unique statement it's own featuring custom sink and fixtures. A grey river rock vessel sink pairs with honed stone counters and crackled ceramic backsplash tiles. Incorporating organic elements, such as natural stones, woods and ceramics emphasizes the environmental focus of this French contemporary renovation.

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

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Chas Metivier

Park View Pied-à-Terre: Master Bathroom

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This Pied-à-Terre has a small master bathroom with a modernist feel. Utilizing reclaimed materials this bathroom is brought to life with natural, handmade and local materials. Recycled vanities make fast friends with wall mounted mirrors made from salvaged barn wood. The vintage Danish pendant light (c.1950-1959) made of brass and glass is a functional piece of art for this functional room. A fiber sculpture by artist Renae Barnard hangs just to the left of a recessed wall niche that provides a perfect space for integrating live plants.

Bold minimalism is balanced with rustic details to create this contemporary vintage design. Stainless steel faucets, integral towel bars and coordinating bathroom accessories meld effortlessly with the deep tones of the ebonized vanity. Fresh cut branches add visual interest to the porcelain sinks and bring the outdoors in.

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

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Chas Metivier

Ocean Avenue Penthouse: Contemporary Guest Room

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This Ocean Avenue penthouse would not be complete without a custom designed guest bedroom retreat. Vintage rattan coffee table ottomans pair perfectly with a sleeper sofa and lightweight linen sheer drapery. The sleeper sofa is not only compact but comfortable and versatile. An organic wool toss blanket adds warmth and visual interest. Handcrafted paper wings by fine artist Susan Hannon complete the space.

Active design elements like natural woods, raw textiles and plant life are incorporated throughout the space. Salvaged "live edge" wood was used to fabricate custom bookshelves displaying a collection of the homeowners' favorite books, fossil and mineral specimens. A handmade wooden bowl in the shape of a seashell is the perfect home to a potted plant adding life to the entertainment center.

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

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Brad Nicol

Ocean Avenue Penthouse: Contemporary Kitchen Style

Maple cabinets and natural granite pair with stainless steel hardware in this Ocean Avenue penthouse kitchen. The light maple cabinetry maintains a spacious, airy feeling in the petite modern kitchen. Matching barstools turn a kitchen cut-out into the perfect breakfast nook. The adjacent custom built-in desk provides a tidy corner for paying bills or reading recipes on the web.

Natural wood, rattan and stone accessories make this modern kitchen lively and fun. Cable system track lighting illuminates the natural stone counters and floors. The architectural cut-out around the stove beautifully integrates the kitchen with the rest of the space allowing for more natural light.

The kitchen seamlessly flows into the adjacent dining area where a custom table of chrome and maple sets against a wall of mirrors. Tillandsia plants make a perfect centerpiece for beachfront dining. This modern kitchen design fully utilizes the compact space while preserving an open and integrated feeling with the rest of the penthouse.

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

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Brad Nicol

Ocean Avenue Penthouse: Contemporary Master Bedroom

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The calming blue views of the ocean and sky were the inspiration for this Ocean Avenue master bedroom retreat. By outfitting with eco-friendly finishes in leather, rattan, maple, and wool, the biophilic impact of every detail was considered to optimize health and well-being.

Matching low-profile bedside tables in dark walnut topped with orchids and the homeowner's favorite books flank the master bed. The accompanying wall mounted swing arm lamps are perfect for reading. The custom commissioned artwork is reminiscent of an underwater world and adds peaceful minimalism and balance as a design element.

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A custom wall-hung console tucks away electronics and compliments the deep wood bed frame. Antique stone pottery and a dollop of moss are the perfect home to this indoor bromeliad; touches of nature are everywhere throughout this environmentally conscious design. Pottery and other artisan elements were handmade by local craftspeople and paired with indigenous plant life.

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

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Brad Nicol

Ocean Avenue Penthouse: Contemporary Living Room

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An Ocean Avenue penthouse with a bird's eye view of Santa Monica's coastline is outfitted with eco-friendly furnishings, natural textiles and organic rugs to create a perfect Zen retreat. White fabric poufs provide extra seating for guests and are low enough to preserve the ocean view. A natural driftwood sculpture compliments a collection of organic objects as the centerpiece to this biophilic design.

Fine art can become a unique design element within a room. This one of a kind artwork fashioned from hand-thrown clay disks explicitly created for the living room captures the calming energy of the ocean air. The installation's delicate minimalism and organic formations add dimension and complement the room's natural textures.

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Sustainably sourced organic textiles and fabrics adorn this custom sectional with natural latex cushions, a perfect companion to the organic wool rug and toss blanket. A modern white metal side table with a fun organic shape adds interest.

This modern design preserves the expansive coastline view while utilizing a wall of mirrors to extend the entertaining area visually. The integrated dining area features a custom table of chrome and maple perfectly sized for this compact space.

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A collection of eco-friendly materials, organic textiles, and vintage accoutrements make this Ocean Avenue penthouse the ultimate beach retreat. The delicate chandelier made up of tiny light bulbs, and wire reminds us of stars strung together in the sky. Tillandsia plants make a perfect centerpiece for beachfront dining. 

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

To learn more about Sarah Barnard Design, please visit www.SarahBarnard.com.

Photos by Brad Nicol