Sarah Barnard Design Wins 2022 Best of Houzz Design Award

Sarah Barnard Design has been awarded 2022 Best of Houzz Design. This award season marks the 10th anniversary of the Best of Houzz program and Sarah Barnard's sixth consecutive year earning the Best of Houzz Design award. Recipients of the award represent only 3% of the millions of home design professionals on the Houzz platform. The Best of Houzz Design award recognizes home design professionals that provide extraordinary design services and whose Houzz profile was most popular among the design community in the prior year.

Sarah Barnard's Ocean View Penthouse project is especially popular on Houzz. The Ocean View Penthouse project features an inspirational birds-eye view of the coastline, thoughtfully designed with references to nature to calm the senses. Sarah Barnard carefully curated a collection of eco-friendly furnishings and natural textiles, creating a serene space to promote Zen and wellness.

Custom, low-profile seating made with natural materials create a cozy space for conversation around a maple coffee table with a collection of organic objects next to a striking view of the ocean.

The dining area features a custom table made from maple and chrome, highlighted by a delicate chandelier reminiscent of a starry night. For the primary bedroom, Sarah Barnard selected eco-friendly finishes in leather, rattan, maple, and wool to complement a beautiful piece of custom commissioned artwork.

Throughout the years, Sarah Barnard Design has received ample praise from the Houzz community as she exhibits a fantastic source of inspiration for homeowners looking to improve their lives through wellness-focused home design. In addition to her 2022 Best of Design award, Sarah Barnard's Houzz profile was saved over 50,000 times by Houzz users. Her popularity on Houzz has given her several Houzz badges, including Star Houzzer, the Influencer Award, and the Recommended on Houzz badge. As a WELL & LEED accredited interior designer, Sarah Barnard is an expert in sustainable home design with a focus on personal health and mental wellness. With her passion for eco-friendly home design and immense knowledge of non-toxic materials, like-minded clients can achieve a healthy and happy home personalized to each individual's unique needs and sensory desires.

Sarah Barnard, WELL AP + LEED AP, is a leading designer of personalized, sustainable spaces that support mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. An advocate for consciousness, inclusivity, and compassion in the creative process, Sarah's work has been recognized by Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Vogue, HGTV, and many other publications. In 2017 Sarah was recognized as a "Ones to Watch" Scholar by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).

Top 5 Design Resolutions for 2022

Happy New Year! The past two years have taught us that creating a space that is highly personalized to its residents can help foster a positive, healing mindset that is key to preserving mental and physical wellbeing. As a result, home design that is conducive to wellness is more important than ever. In hopes of inspiring change during this time of year, interior designer Sarah Barnard shares her top 5 design resolutions for 2022.

1. Make design decisions based on your needs, even when they defy expectations. 

It's common to get stuck on how we think our homes should look or be and end up ignoring how we are genuinely using our spaces. In a recent Robb report article, "No Visitors, Please: Why America's Biggest Homes Are Designed to Discourage House Guests," Sarah discussed the phenomenon of larger houses unintended for hosting. While at first glance, this may seem counterintuitive for a large space, there is something for designing a home to meet your ideal needs and uses. Whether you are an introvert using extra spaces for personal activities, or an extravert with a banquet hall instead of a dining room, defying expectations may bring you the most joy in your home. 

2. Embrace Nature.

Incorporating nature into your home environment may have many benefits throughout the year, especially in the wintertime. With early nightfall and cold evenings spent inside, having an interior association with nature can help brighten your space and foster a connection with the outdoors. When spending more time huddled indoors, having a reminder of the nature outside may boost happiness. Sarah believes that incorporating nature into your home design is timeless, and thinks we will see an increase in nature-based design as a top design trend in 2022.

3. Let your personal goals carry into your home design. 

Are you trying to eat vegan? Hoping to exercise more or build more creative practices into your day? How we choose to design our homes has the power help us achieve our lifestyle goals subconsciously. Making a creative space easily visible with instruments or art supplies or intuitively reorganizing these spaces may make those activities feel more accessible and easier to incorporate into your day naturally. We may move more at a standing desk or feel inclined to eat more vegetables if our kitchens highlight attractive produce storage. If you're going vegan, making home design choices that are in line with your eating habits may also serve as a reminder of your goals. Sarah spoke with Business of Home about participating in the first Vegan Interior Design Week and designing your home with veganism in mind. 

4. Plan ahead.

While Sarah often discourages clients from designing for the next homeowner, there are a few choices worth considering if selling is in your future. In "4 Things You Shouldn't Do If You Want to Sell Your House," Sarah shared a few items to consider when planning for your home's future.

5. Create time and space for rest. 

Despite the past few years causing additional stress for many, few of us have taken extra time to slow down and care for ourselves. By creating space in your home to rest and rejuvenate, you may find yourself prioritizing time for calm and care. As Sarah discussed in a Review Journal piece, you may choose to create a soothing bedroom space. Or, you may opt for a separate room for yoga and meditation, a cozy corner for reading and daydreaming, or a particularly relaxing bathroom space. No matter how you go about it, devoting areas of your home to relaxation will encourage you to acknowledge the importance of calm.

On behalf of everyone on the Sarah Barnard Design team, we wish you a happy, healthful, and healing New Year!

Sarah Barnard, WELL AP + LEED AP, is a leading designer of personalized, sustainable spaces that support mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. An advocate for consciousness, inclusivity, and compassion in the creative process, Sarah’s work has been recognized by Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Vogue, HGTV, and many other publications. In 2017 Sarah was recognized as a “Ones to Watch” Scholar by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).

Birds, Butterflies, and Biophilic Designs: Sarah Barnard Becomes Exclusive California Rep for Botanical Eco Textile Line

Sarah Barnard is now the exclusive California representative for Tradescant & Son through Kale Tree Shop's online marketplace. The line features a wide range of nature-inspired luxury eco fabrics and wallpapers made with a sustainability-minded production process.

The foundation of Sarah Barnard's practice is a belief that home design should contribute to wellbeing, both emotionally and globally. Barnard's work focuses on sustainability, emphasizing the importance of nature, both through conscious sourcing and as the inspiration for many of her designs.

The designer's use of natural themes and environmentally conscious materials spoke to the sensibilities and priorities of Tradescant & Son, who recognized Barnard as an ideal representative for their line. Tradescant & Son director Amy Hardman says, "Our 100% linens and the relaxed yet stylish look to our designs promote a holistic and contemporary feel. This, together with the fact that we share a commitment to ensuring sustainability wherever possible by using locally woven fabrics and printers, is a fantastic and exciting foundation for our relationship with Sarah Barnard Design."

The fabrics and wallpapers feature a wide variety of natural themes, from a graphic striped wallpaper composed of vibrant hummingbirds to linen textiles inspired by historic entomology archives from the University of Oxford Museum of Natural History, softly patterned with moths or beetles. With a range of bird fabrics, butterfly patterns, and botanical prints, the timeless patterns nod to historical, scientific illustrations, while their colors and design have a contemporary feel suitable for a diverse array of settings.

On the collaboration, Barnard noted that "As a birder, naturalist, and avid gardener, I was drawn to Tradescant & Son's collection of biophilic prints. Particularly when designing homes in metropolitan areas, I like to turn to natural motifs to stand in for nature that may not be as readily available for someone with a city view. The entire Tradescant & Son collection offers an impressive array of options when looking to bring the experience of wildlife into an interior."

These products are available for purchase through the website www.kaletree.com. Additional support is available for design and trade professionals by contacting shop@kaletree.com.

Sarah Barnard is a WELL and LEED accredited designer and creator of environments that support mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. She creates highly personalized, restorative spaces that are deeply connected to art and the preservation of the environment. An advocate for consciousness, inclusivity, and compassion in the creative process, Sarah's work has been recognized by Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Real Simple, HGTV and many other publications. In 2017 Sarah was recognized as a "Ones to Watch" Scholar by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).

NKBA Honors Sarah Barnard with "Praiseworthy Pick" for 2021's Person of the Year Award

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Interior designer Sarah Barnard has received praiseworthy recognition from the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) for the 2021 "Person of the Year" award in their official publication, Kitchen and Bath Business (KBB).

Photo of upcycled Copper sink in bathroom retreat.

Barnard was selected as a praiseworthy pick due to her innovative and influential approach to home design focused on wellness and sustainability. Being both WELL & LEED accredited, Sarah Barnard sets the example for California home design by creating livable spaces that benefit both our bodies and the environment.

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Working with clients who prioritize personal and environmental wellness, Barnard encourages inclusive collaborations where clients feel safe to share details about their lives and unique preferences. By exploring solutions that fully support her client's lifestyle, Barnard provides an approach to home design centered around their physical and emotional needs. Additionally, her studio embraces the principle of one size fits one - every person has individual needs and will require an individualized space for optimal health and happiness.

In particular, Sarah Barnard's designs promote a relationship with nature, a connection known to help people feel calmer, happier and healthier. When nature isn't available, incorporating art into home design can help improve wellbeing. There have been studies about the reaction we have when viewing artwork, finding that beautiful art activates pleasure centers in the brain similar to falling in love.

Photo of pollinator themed bathroom.

Barnard also emphasizes the importance of sourcing non-toxic materials to produce environments that optimize our home health. For example, creating a space with improved indoor air quality can help to better sleep, reduce headaches, and in some cases, may help with allergies and breathing.

Sarah Barnard's notable accomplishments from 2021 are her bathroom designs created to serve as a peaceful retreat from the current world. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, homes must now work harder to meet the needs of families. Stay-at-home orders removed many former sources of relaxation, and some clients feel as though the days of enjoying a spa in a group setting are gone forever. Because bathrooms are one of the few spaces in a home affording privacy, Barnard focuses on creating tranquil bathroom retreats that enrich daily moments of ritual and calm.

Honey-toned bathroom with marble  floor tiles and inlaid bees.

She recently designed a bathroom looking to pollinators as inspiration. The bathroom is honey-toned, with gold and copper-hued wall tile, warm lighting inspired by honeycombs, and has custom floor tiles made with marble and inlaid bees. The bathroom design is rooted in biophilic principles, inspiring a renewed nature-brain connection with each visit.

When personalized functionality, a visual connection to nature, and a non-toxic environment work together, design can help contribute to healthier, happier lives.

Photo of Sarah Barnard.

NKBA's praiseworthy pick recognizes Sarah Barnard as a leader in Kitchen and Bath design nationwide. Barnard's involvement with NKBA is longstanding, and she recently spoke at the KBIS Voices from the Industry event on "Creating Inclusive Environments." To learn more about how Barnard's team of wellness focused Los Angeles home designers can create a custom-tailored space to meet your specific needs, please book a consultation.


Sarah Barnard is a WELL and LEED accredited designer and creator of environments that support mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. She creates highly personalized, restorative spaces that are deeply connected to art and the preservation of the environment. An advocate for consciousness, inclusivity, and compassion in the creative process, Sarah’s work has been recognized by Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Real Simple, HGTV and many other publications. In 2017 Sarah was recognized as a “Ones to Watch” Scholar by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).

Creating a Safe Space for Neurodivergent Children to Thrive

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A home is a place of rest and comfort, providing a sense of belonging. It is full of elements that we interact with daily- texture, lighting, furniture. A beautiful aspect of being human is that we all have unique experiences with these tactile elements. Even better, we can design our home these elements to facilitate more comfort and joy. Lately, our studio has been thinking specifically about how home design can improve the experience of Neurodivergent children within their own homes. 

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Our health and wellness-focused interior design studio works with families to create soothing spaces that support everyone in the home. We've found that boosting the wellbeing of a child will, in turn, increase the wellbeing of the parents and care providers. When we hold space for our loved ones, we can begin to find ways to coexist with peace and ease. It's critical to understand that no singular solution works for everyone, so facing challenges with empathy is key to understanding the unique needs of the child and family. We approach building healing spaces through human-centered home design modalities, prioritizing human interaction with the built environment. For children who may struggle to communicate their needs verbally, it is essential to create a healthy and comfortable environment to support their mental, physical, emotional, and sensory wellbeing. 

Some ideas on creating a safe space for a neurodivergent child to thrive: 

Offer Choices. Through adjustable and adaptable features, you can empower your child by offering choices to meet their needs. 

● Adjustable, thoughtful lighting: Dimmer switches can offer autonomy and create a customizable experience to meet a child's shifting needs. 

● Reconfigurable furniture: an interior designer can help create a layout suitable for furniture that a child can freely rearrange themselves. Modular seating, for example, is easy to customize and move within a space to suit the ever-shifting needs of everyone in the household.   

● Privacy vs. open space: Consider a bed with curtains or a canopy to offer a safe, private space for a child to find comfort and solitude.  

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Make it intuitive. Designing an intuitive space can help your child interact with their environment, providing a greater sense of comfort and independence. A great example of this at work is at the Bancroft Raymond & Joanne Welsh Campus in New Jersey. KSS Architects created visual psychological cues throughout the campus, such as a sensory trail and specific textures and colors related to designated spaces.[1] 

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● Utilize visual cues. The rug pictured above brings in references to the natural world while creating a known pathway and added safety in shared spaces. 

● Create spaces designed to help with transitions utilizing psychological cues. For example, if your child is hesitant to go outdoors, consider a sunroom with expansive views to the outdoors so they may watch from a safe space until they are ready to go outside.  

Consider materials. 

● A home designer can help you source high-quality materials that can withstand heavy handling and potential emotional episodes. 

● A highly sensitive child might also be sensitive to odors from adhesives, stains, paints. Wellness-focused home designers can help source non-toxic low/no VOC materials. 

● Thoughtfully selected textures and colors can create a soothing, tactile experience. Individuals respond to textures and colors differently, so it is best to utilize samples to assess the physical response between the residents and any proposed materials.  

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Keep the senses in mind. 

● Appeal to unique sensory needs. Because neurodivergent children may have different sensitivities that fall under hypersensitive or hyposensitive, the interior design team should work collaboratively with parents and caregivers to create an individualized strategy. 

● Weighted blankets can aid in creating a therapeutic experience for a child. Our studio has worked with families to design custom weighted blankets in natural and organic materials. 

● A well-designed bedroom or playroom can incorporate sound-reducing walls. If you are not ready for remodeling, consider acoustic panels, white noise machines, or heavy, interlined draperies to customize the sound experience. 

● Many people have specific sensitivities to color temperature. Our studio recommends the residents experience and respond to the proposed color temperature of the light before installation. Consider an "all off" switch for the power in each room, which turns off all power to provide ease for a child sensitive to hums and electromagnetic waves. 

● Incorporate artwork: Art can help influence our emotional experience, as viewing art can have mood-boosting effects. Curate a positive experience for a child by selecting artwork that considers their interests. 

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Incorporate Biophilic Design. 

Biophilic design aims to make healthy and comfortable interiors by meaningfully incorporating natural elements into our home design and work environments. We've found that the healing power of the outdoors is one of the best ways to facilitate a healthy environment. Healthcare studies have reported that exposure to nature can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, provide pain relief, and contribute to healing and recovery from illness. [2] 

● Utilize nature within the child's space. You can do this using indoor plants, decorating with found objects from nature, or sourcing furniture made from natural, sustainable materials. 

● Evoke a sense of nature through items like art, wallpaper, or other nature-inspired decor items. 

● Consider designing a room with a view of the outdoors so your child can observe and respond to natural processes like the shift of daylight or changing seasons. 

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We know that home design can help support a healthy, happy environment for growing children and that personalized supportive environments can be especially helpful for the wellbeing of neurodivergent children. The CDC has estimated that one in every 42 boys and one in every 189 American girls are on the Autistic spectrum. Mindful and empathetic design practice empowers us to create spaces that provide comfort and inclusivity, encourage independence, and improve mood. Creating spaces that consider different needs reduces environmental stressors and triggers, maximizing space for children's strengths to shine. 

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Sarah Barnard is a WELL and LEED accredited designer and creator of environments that support mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. She creates highly personalized, restorative spaces that are deeply connected to art and the preservation of the environment. An advocate for consciousness, inclusivity, and compassion in the creative process, Sarah’s work has been recognized by Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Real Simple, HGTV and many other publications. In 2017 Sarah was recognized as a “Ones to Watch” Scholar by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).

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[1] Bancroft Raymond & Joanne Welsh Campus in New Jersey is a learning center for individuals with neurological challenges, autism, and intellectual and developmental disabilities. The facility was designed by KSS Architects and completed in 2017. [2] Robert Ulrich (1884) facilitated a study of patients recovering from gallbladder surgery and assigned them randomly to hospital rooms. All rooms had windows, though some had a brick wall view, where others overlooked a tree grove. The patients assigned to the rooms with the brick wall view had slower recovery times and greater dissatisfaction with their care than their tree overlooking counterparts

The Nature Brain Connection: A consciously designed home feels like a joyful expression of our best selves.

Designer Sarah Barnard seated in contemporary minimalist condo.

As a WELL and LEED accredited home designer, I focus on environments that support mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. As our climate continues to shift, I find it increasingly crucial to consider how we engage with and support our natural world. In our studio, the design team makes ongoing efforts to evaluate the larger implications of our lifestyles and acknowledge the role we have in affecting our planet. 

Black Desk with open book surrounded by plants


How can designers create environments focusing on our client's health and happiness while applying equal consideration to planetary health and wellbeing? Our research has turned to the philosophical school of cosmopolitcs for an alternate perspective on human interaction with the material and living world.  


Albena Yaneva, in her introduction to What is Cosmopolitical Design?: Design, Nature, and the Built Environment, explains that "Cosmopolitical thinkers...see nature as no longer being unified enough to provide a stabilizing pattern for the experience of humans; it is not 'out there,' a simple backdrop for human activities."

Purple bed against darker purple wall, wooden side table with white vase and pink flowers, and white spider sculpture

 Cosmopolitics distinguishes itself from cosmopolitanism by positing a relationship working with nature instead of imposing dominance over nature. As Yaneva writes, "These thinkers abandon the modernist idea of nature as being external to the human experience—a nature that can be mastered by engineers and scientists from outside." 

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While cosmopolitics might seem like a far-out, philosophical idea primarily contemplated by academics and architects-- because designers, environmentalists, and vegans all value the connectivity between ourselves and the natural environment, these core concepts are more accessible than they may initially seem.

Ceramic dodo by Corinne Malesy

Ceramic dodo by Corinne Malesy


Many of my clients have found their way to veganism because they are conscious of the effects human decisions have on the planet and are acutely aware that we are merely part of a much larger ecosystem. Mindful, compassionate interior design considers the impacts of our decision-making when designing a space and asks how our choices shape our environment, our community, and the world around us. 

Kintsugi table by Joshua Luker

Kintsugi table by Joshua Luker


Home design paired with conscious intent is a significant first step that can begin simply by considering how local and migrating wildlife might be supported rather than harmed by our lifestyle improvements. 

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When planning for a home remodel, it's important to care for the plant life that our birds, mammals, reptiles, and insects call home. To preserve existing animal habitats, I advise clients and contractors to protect existing trees, shrubs, and leaf litter when possible and make conscious efforts to minimize sound and light pollution from construction.  

Birdbox in field of yellow flowers

Beyond avoiding harm, our home design may actively support wildlife. For example, well-researched landscaping that incorporates native plants can create opportunities to sustain and shelter local animals and migrating birds. Including flowering plants for bees and butterflies and access to clean drinking and bathing water can also encourage animal and plant life success. A simple 10" saucer provides drinking water for visting deer, racoons, and bobcats in my garden. Birds and lizards bathe and even bees and wasps stop for a drink. I use a good sized rock as a small bird and bug escape raft, but I know many people have equal success using a stick for the same purpose. 

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The physical boundaries of our home can sometimes create a sense of othering between us and our environment. It is easy to disengage when we are deep inside our homes. Creating space outside that we feel inclined to make frequent use of can encourage a consistent connection and consideration of our environment. For example, relaxing outdoor areas inspire restoration and observation, while active spaces like vegetable gardens encourage movement and a relationship with our source of nourishment.

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We recently designed a rooftop space as a second living room for a young family to relax and socialize. Low-profile furniture was utilized to keep the view open and encourage a personal connection with the expanse around them. 

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When inside, designing to highlight our exterior views can help maintain a connection to nature, even while indoors. In spaces where natural views aren’t available, incorporating artwork and materials that reference nature into your home design can help keep the nature brain connection active. 

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When we work collaboratively with neighbors, we can extend these benefits further. Home design gives us the option to live in harmony with nature rather than attempting to contain it.  

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Physical Considerations are one of the initial items to evaluate when creating a cosmopolitically inclined vegan home. Ranging from the materials we use to the layout of the space, physical considerations will often have the most prominent and direct effect on our health. 

When our studio designs a vegan home, avoiding materials made with animal products is a clear first step. We find it essential to examine all product elements to ensure that the most responsible options are available to our clients. 

Many of us are familiar with closely examining ingredient lists and investigating the steps of food production. Vegan home design follows a similar approach, using extensive research, building relationships with local artisans similar to how we might have previously formed relationships with farmers at local markets. 

Supporting our client's health goes beyond sourcing vegan products. It's common knowledge that many vegan alternatives are made with synthetic fibers and harmful chemicals that can release volatile organic compounds, polluting indoor air and causing discomfort. Ethically sourcing natural options with low or NO VOCs helps ensure that our home's materials serve our health now and in the future.

While every room is vital in the home design process, I've found that the kitchen is often the most significant space in a supportive environment. Over the years, the most common recurring request is dedicated space to accommodate a large quantity of produce. For some clients this challenge is resolved with a sophisticated combination of under-counter refrigerator drawers combined with wall-mounted baskets and bins for room temperature items. Our household manages with a simple collection of large bowls filled every few days. Integrating produce storage in a visually appealing way can add color (and nature) to our kitchens. 

A beautiful and practical walk-in pantry, can serve as a high functioning auxiliary kitchen, this one utilizes a large refrigerator paired with additional freezer drawers and additional storage drawers for dry goods and root vegetables. Ample counter space provides room to work or countertop storage for items that need to be instantly accessible. 

A large island provides the client with room to prepare meals and offers additional seating for guests to socialize or assist during food prep. The kitchen layout also encourages views to the exterior and provides a pleasant view whether drinking coffee or cutting vegetables. 

A focus on functional kitchen design, supported by natural materials and a connection to the outdoors, can contribute to the ease of healthy food preparation, directly impacting our physical and mental wellbeing. 

A consciously designed home that feels mentally supportive incorporates our values into the design process and feels like a joyful expression of our best selves. 

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Beyond the peace of mind provided by selecting natural and organic materials, creating a home that encourages rest, rejuvenation, and fosters a connection with nature can help us restore our energies and improve our mood. 

In recent years, we've created an increasing number of dedicated wellness spaces for residential clients. Having a room devoted to wellness prioritizes our mental health and holds space for us to take a time out when needed. For example, a wellness room could be a space for napping, floating, practicing yoga, or creating artwork. When we devote space physically to rest and wellness, our minds engage more naturally in these practices. 

When additional space to devote entirely to wellness may be lacking, bathrooms can ritualize the process of waking up and winding down, offering a space to cleanse and calm during a chaotic day. Each room creates a personalized hub inspired by patterning and imagery in nature. For example, a recent seaside project is an homage to pollinators, with a color palette inspired by honey, with bees inlaid on the tile and honeycomb patterning featured in the floors and referenced in the lighting. For a half bath, a field of flowers illuminates the ceiling, a theme continued in a subtle, abstracted floral patterning dotted in the tiles. Both rooms encourage the user to pause and enjoy their surroundings, making something as simple as hand washing a meditative act. 

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By considering a cosmopolitical perspective throughout the home design process, we can make conscious and compassionate decisions that are physically and mentally supportive of ourselves and the environment at large. 

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Sarah Barnard is a WELL and LEED accredited designer and creator of environments that support mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. She creates highly personalized, restorative spaces that are deeply connected to art and the preservation of the environment. An advocate for consciousness, inclusivity, and compassion in the creative process, Sarah’s work has been recognized by Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Real Simple, HGTV and many other publications. In 2017 Sarah was recognized as a “Ones to Watch” Scholar by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).   

pink wildflowers in fields of greens.

Sarah Barnard is a WELL and LEED accredited designer and creator of environments that support mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. She creates highly personalized, restorative spaces that are deeply connected to art and the preservation of the environment. An advocate for consciousness, inclusivity, and compassion in the creative process, Sarah’s work has been recognized by Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Real Simple, HGTV and many other publications. In 2017 Sarah was recognized as a “Ones to Watch” Scholar by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).

Vegan Interior Design Week

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Join us at the inaugural 2021 Vegan Interior Design week, as Sarah shares her experience designing spaces for vegan clients to improve their health and happiness.

Hosted by interior architect and animal rights activist Aline Dürr, this year's event will feature a wide range of global speakers, including Sascha Camilli (PETA) and Johannes Schmidt (Institute of Building Biology and Sustainability). Speakers will discuss a range of topics exploring ethical design.

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Sarah's talk, "Interior Design for Well-being: an Empathetic Approach," will discuss how vegan home design plays a part in personal and planetary wellbeing. She will explore how home designers can push the boundaries of interiors to improve both individual and global health through physical, mental, and cosmopolitical considerations. Many people are already acutely conscious that, as humans, we are participants in a much larger ecosystem. Sarah will share how we can expand ethical values into our interiors while caring for ourselves and our planet.

As a LEED and WELL AP, Sarah supports vegan clients through sustainable home design that encourages physical and mental well-being. Sarah's vegan design work has been featured in several publications, including The Hollywood Reporter, LIVEKINDLY, and Aline Dürr's book "Vegan Interior Design."

Vegan Interior Design Week will take place November 01-05, 2021. To register for the event, please visit https://www.veganinteriordesignweek.com.

Sarah Barnard is a WELL and LEED accredited designer and creator of environments that support mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. She creates highly personalized, restorative spaces that are deeply connected to art and the preservation of the environment. An advocate for consciousness, inclusivity, and compassion in the creative process, Sarah’s work has been recognized by Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Real Simple, HGTV and many other publications. In 2017 Sarah was recognized as a “Ones to Watch” Scholar by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).

The Magic of Mangroves: Kale Tree by Sarah Barnard Design releases new rug for summer

Living room in neutral tones with mangrove rug

Just in time for Summer, Kale Tree by Sarah Barnard Design is releasing an exclusive mangrove patterned rug honoring one of nature's greatest natural healers.

Crucial for sustaining a vast ecosystem, mangroves provide food and shelter for local wildlife and offer filtration. Found above ground but rooted in saltwater, the plants connect land and sea. Their presence improves water quality, particularly beneficial to coral reefs, another crucial ecosystem. Mangroves will also naturally absorb water when typhoons and hurricanes hit, serving as a protective barrier to those living near the coast.

Coastal development, farming, and industry are all contributing to a rapidly decreasing presence of mangroves. These plants are not only beautiful but offer incredible ecological support for a great range of life in the ocean and on land.

Kale Tree Shop is known for its dedication to the environment. Its newest summer collection highlights the value of this incredible plant life. Interior Designer Sarah Barnard, LEED and WELL AP, says, "As an environmentalist, I've always been inspired by coastal nature and am committed to its preservation. Mangroves are such an incredible natural resource." Sarah believes that the mangroves speak to the earth's ability to heal. "As humans, we have a role as stewards for the planet. We are part of a rich ecosystem, and acknowledging that relationship is a huge step in appreciating our earth through care and intentionality."

Beyond hoping to draw more attention to vital mangroves, Kale Tree Shop will donate a percentage of all net proceeds to the Mangrove Action Project. They are self-described as an organization that “empowers local stakeholders to mitigate mangrove stressors, and teaches them how to use mangrove ecology and biology to facilitate natural regeneration."

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The rugs are available in several sizes, in 100% New Zealand natural wool or vegan bamboo silk, which offers a soft sheen. Two colorways, Land with warm mushroomy browns and Sea in soothing blue-greys, have neutral palettes pulled from two worlds the plant occupies. Each rug is made to order, and colors and sizing can be customized to fit individual needs.

Kale Tree Shop offers beautiful and unique home design products inspired by nature that acknowledge the need to care for our earth through conscious sourcing and material selections. In addition to the Mangrove Rug, Kale Tree offers a variety of home decor products, including abutilon-inspired wallpaper and textiles. Kale Tree's previous collections include its Moth Rug and a light inspired by its host plant, the ginkgo tree. Sarah is an avid birder and gardener, and her inspiration comes from time spent outdoors.

As the heat comes in and more and more people make their way to the beach, Sarah hopes the rug serves as a reminder to cherish our coastlines. The rug will be available through https://www.kaletree.com beginning June 21st to welcome in summer.

ducks on the water at the saltan sea with mountains

Sarah Barnard is the founder of Kale Tree and a creator of environments that support mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. An advocate for consciousness, inclusivity, and compassion in the creative process, Sarah has been quoted by Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Vouge, HGTV and many other publications.

In Harmony with Nature: Sustainable, Judgement-Free, Vegan Home Design

Succulents in planter on wooden table

When considering eco-friendly home design, interior and architectural designers recognize that our clients seldom seek to achieve environmental perfection but rather hope to make an increased commitment to sustainability, health, and wellbeing through home design. While there is a consensus regarding individual actions to minimize ecological harm (recycling, limiting single-use plastics, and reducing our meat and dairy intake), there are instances where it may be challenging to weigh some benefits over others. For example, is it better to ship a sustainable material from far away or use a less sustainable material sourced locally? Should recycled, upcycled or vintage leather be used if it means not replacing an item as frequently, or is it preferable to entirely avoid animal products? 

Painting by Karrie Ross

Painting by Karrie Ross

With our studio's focus on wellness and sustainable home design, many of our clients ask for eco-friendly and vegan design that aligns with their values. Veganism has become increasingly popular. GlobalDate reported that between 2014 and 2017, the vegan population in the US increased by 500%. (1) An additional study by Nils-Gerrit Wunsch found that about 50% of millennials were interested in a primarily plant-based diet. (2)

plate with tropical fruit and vase with orange and green flowers on kitchen island

Similar to vegan eating, there are many approaches to vegan home design. While some people may want zero animal products in their home, from avoiding beeswax finishes to adhesives made from animal bioproducts, many people are just beginning to consider vegan home design options. As with all our design clients, our goal with vegan clients is to understand their values, priorities, and needs and offer well-researched options that align with their ethics and design goals. 

Weaving by Aneesa Shami

Weaving by Aneesa Shami

One of our studio's core beliefs is that one size fits one. While there are numerous positives to adopting a vegan lifestyle, there are many reasons that veganism is not entirely suitable for everyone. Acknowledging and respecting cultural practices, dietary restrictions, accessibility of food and resources and health choices, it is vital to avoid alienation and sweeping judgment. While we strive to offer vegan home design options to all of our clients, it is crucial to consider ranging beliefs and personal needs, including options that acknowledge a wide range of views.

When we do use materials such as wool or leather, our studio takes extra considerations into the sourcing and use of these materials. Researching these items enables us to make conscious selections in the options we share with our clients and offer alternatives when appropriate. We can also ensure that these products are well crafted and enduring to sustain generations of use. 

Orange leather chair and ottoman with brown wooden legs next to wooden side table with white vase and purple flowers. Green plants and beige drapery in background.
Wooden hand carved sconce with plant in foreground.

We frequently work with local artisans and small businesses to create custom items directly suited to our clients' home design needs. By fostering close relationships with craftspeople, we can participate in every element of the process and ensure that we know where and how materials are sourced. Working with artisans also gives us flexibility when designing for vegan clients, making it easier to communicate and customize to avoid animal products. 

Painting by Renae Barnard

Painting by Renae Barnard

In our online shop, Kale Tree, you will find our design philosophy reflected in our product options. While every product offers a vegan option, we will occasionally incorporate materials like wool, which we find offers many benefits as a natural, biodegradable, and durable home decorating material. Additionally, most of our products are highly customizable and can be tailored to our client's needs, no matter how they choose to incorporate their values into their lives. 

Closeup of decorative silver wire lighting with multiple tiny light bulbs

With a non-judgmental approach, our studio hopes to reach the widest number of people, whatever their relation to vegan design, and leave the door open for vegan options and materials that a client may not have previously considered. We welcome clients to be open about their preferences to support them in creating personalized, sustainable home design for their specific lifestyles and needs. 

White floating bookshelf with Jane Austen novels and small metal hexagon vase with green spotted plant.

Sarah Barnard is a WELL and LEED accredited designer and creator of environments that support mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. She creates highly personalized, restorative spaces that are deeply connected to art and the preservation of the environment. An advocate for consciousness, inclusivity, and compassion in the creative process, Sarah’s work has been recognized by Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Real Simple, HGTV and many other publications. In 2017 Sarah was recognized as a “Ones to Watch” Scholar by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).   

Scupltural woven gold basket on tall gold bird legs, holding pink, purple, and green flowers.

Sarah Barnard is a WELL and LEED accredited designer and creator of environments that support mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. She creates highly personalized, restorative spaces that are deeply connected to art and the preservation of the environment. An advocate for consciousness, inclusivity, and compassion in the creative process, Sarah’s work has been recognized by Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Real Simple, HGTV and many other publications. In 2017 Sarah was recognized as a “Ones to Watch” Scholar by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).

Inclusive Design Language : Building a Foundation for Wellbeing

Scrabble game, tile holder with tiles spelling "home" on brown table next to green plant.

The first step in any home design process is learning who you are designing for and their design needs. Particularly when designing for something as intimate as a residential space, effective home design requires a great deal of honesty, vulnerability, and open communication with all parties. When clients are open with us, we can design genuinely supportive spaces. If clients feel embarrassed or guarded, they may not feel comfortable being honest about their lifestyle, limiting the ability of the designed space to serve them.

Open book on black desk with plants, agate inspired wallpaper, and black pillow with embroidered face.

For example, someone who fears judgment may not want to admit to the amount of time they spend curled up watching movies in the evenings, despite being a common way to escape the day and recover. They may perhaps instead overemphasize time spent devoted to their yoga practice. A home designer may then place ample attention on building a dream yoga studio instead of investing in a beautiful, ergonomic, and supportive movie viewing space that would contribute more to daily life. While this is a lighthearted example, there are many instances where this may play out in a more harmful or isolating way. Creating an open dialogue is crucial in preventing any missteps when designing a home.

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One piece of creating open and safe relationships with clients is by using inclusive design language. Inclusive language is defined by the Linguistic Society of America as language that "acknowledges diversity, conveys respect to all people, is sensitive to differences, and promotes equal opportunities." Considering language choice does not only help create a more understanding environment between designer and client, but the entire studio team, vendors, and tradespeople. Using inclusive home design language is a small but crucial step in creating open communication and trust between everyone involved in a project.

Blue vase with heliconia vellerigera

There is a long history of home design, grounded in tradition. Learning the historical context of the language used both within design and frequently in any workplace helps us understand if the language is supportive or can cause hurt or harm. Our design studio encourages continued education and learning for our whole team. At our weekly meetings, we share information we've learned in classes we've taken, articles or books we've read, or even conversations that may have opened our thinking. Recently, we have put effort into considering the language surrounding home design.

Table with small objects and thank you card

Recently there was a push in the real estate and home design community to eliminate the term "master bedroom" due to its loaded history, replacing it with "primary bedroom." This step towards considering the legacy of language so frequently overlooked had us wondering, where does other common design language originate? How can we improve our communication to match our intentions as home designers and create welcoming, inclusive, and adaptive spaces?

Yellow white and green floral arrangement in blue planter on wooden table


Through conversations and research, here are a few of the terms we have opted to replace as a studio and the alternatives we have adapted:

Powder room: While the term originated to reference a room where one powdered their wig, the phrase later took on gendered connotations around "powdering one's nose." The language has been replaced with "half-bath" for a more approachable and less gendered option. 

Ladies and gentlemen or guys/gals: We have opted for folks, team, or friends for an option that does not assume or exclude gender identities. 

"Man" as in, man the front desk, manmade, manpower:  Our studio is replacing these with human-made, human power, staff the front desk for options that do not assert gender dominance or preference. 

Grandfather: This phrase, commonly used in home design practices to indicate a non-conforming, pre-existing condition that may remain in violation of the building code, originated in the American South in the 1890s to defy the 15th Amendment and prevent Black Americans from voting. We've opted to use legacy or exempted.

Tipping Point: The phrase was first popularized when referencing white families leaving a neighborhood when a certain number of Black people moved in. We have opted for climax, peak, or crossroads.

His and hers closets or bathrooms: While commonly used in housing and real estate, the wording is gendered and assumes a hetero-normative lifestyle. We have switched to dual closets or dual bathrooms to describe the spaces without attaching any presumptions to their use. 

Walk-up building: We are opting for non-elevator building to avoid language associated with ability. 

Allowed: Frequently used conversationally, allowed implies power over another person to grant permission, and is being replaced with invited. 

Discovered:  In the context of "we discovered this artist's work," the word reinforces colonialist language and systems. We are opting for "we have learned of". 

Blind approval: We are instead using unquestioned approval, automatic approval. 

Idioms: Our studio is making an effort to avoid any idioms and instead speak literally. Many of these phrases have loaded historical origins, and because they are often regional, they may also be confusing or unclear, muddling communication.

If you are interested in learning more about inclusive language, here are a few of many available resources: 

A Progressive's Style Guide 

Conscious Style Guide 

Diversity Style Guide 

While language is only a piece of creating a safe and welcoming space, it is an important one to set the stage for accessibility and break a language pattern that carries an outdated and harmful legacy. This process is an ongoing one, and we are continuing to learn and adapt, both in our language use and in our design practice. We encourage you to join us in a collaborative effort to adapt, update, and improve our communication and continue in the ongoing conversation surrounding compassionate home design.

Matilija Poppy

Sarah Barnard is a WELL and LEED accredited designer and creator of environments that support mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. She creates highly personalized, restorative spaces that are deeply connected to art and the preservation of the environment. An advocate for consciousness, inclusivity, and compassion in the creative process, Sarah has been quoted by Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Vouge, Real Simple, HGTV and many other publications. In 2017 Sarah was recognized as a “Ones to Watch” Scholar by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).

Can the Design of Your Home Aid Recovery From Past Trauma? Research Says 'Yes'

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As interior designers, we operate from an awareness that because we create the built spaces that our clients inhabit, we exercise tremendous influence on their lived experiences and the ability to make a tangible difference in our clients' mental, physical, and emotional health. (1) While it is easy to accept this as a given in more passive terms, there is an increasing necessity around the active, rather than incidental, cultivation of safe and healing built spaces. At Sarah Barnard Design Studio, we aim to bring an inclusive and trauma-informed approach to home design.

Between 1995 and 1997, Kaiser Permanente conducted a study looking at the health effects resulting from the trauma of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). (2) The parameters around this study were narrow, focusing primarily on abuse, neglect, and domestic strife, without including factors such as trauma due to racism, deportation, illness, or war. The study's participants were also far from a broadly representative group, with nearly 75% of participants identifying as White. Yet, even within these minimal boundaries, the findings were stark—approximately 66% of the study's participants reported ACEs in their personal histories.

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If we consider the types of trauma the study excluded and the adverse experiences that occur in adulthood, the implications of this study are significant. It is fair to assume that traumatic experiences are widespread among adults. Particularly in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the mental and emotional fallout of which we are only beginning to understand and measure, addressing the effects of trauma has taken on a new urgency.

Table top with gems, colored pencils, note and drawing mannequin

Much of the discussion around trauma-informed home design has focused, understandably, on public and institutional contexts often directly connected with health and social services (3). As understanding around the way that physical spaces affect our mental, emotional, and physical health have expanded, so too has demand for spaces designed with health and healing in mind. Where once function and safety were the primary concern in, for example, mental health facilities, home designers are now looking at how to make these spaces soothing and restorative.

Furry textured mushroom grey headboard, with warm grey linen pillows and white and green floral arrangement.

Knowing what we know about how widespread the experience of trauma is, it is reasonable to expand our thinking beyond institutional spaces and apply the principles of trauma informed practice to home design, as well as to the way we interact with clients. Our goal is to create spaces that manage the effects of trauma by reducing sudden sensory arousal, while also being actively healing and restorative.

This process begins with creating a safe and inclusive environment for our clients from a project's inception to completion. While it may be safe to assume that most adults carry some form of trauma with them, we don't know what a client's background is unless they feel safe to tell us. We aim to approach our clients with a sense of inclusiveness and sensitivity, allowing ample space to voice their needs. A certain amount of vulnerability and humility lies on us as designers as we hold ourselves accountable for maintaining this safe space for our clients. This accountability allows us to create homes that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also personalized and inclusive to each individual and their needs. As designers, we must keep an open flow of communication between ourselves and our clients, ensuring that communication remains understood on both ends. 

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Creating an inclusive space starts with mindfulness and care around the way we communicate(4). There is no default listener. Our intention is to allow people from all walks of life feel heard and understood. We are committed to educating ourselves on inclusive language, as certain words may carry racist or ableist subtext. Finding alternatives to non-inclusive language is one component of this, and it helps to avoid language that presumes the ethnicity, gender identity, or experiences of the listener. To maintain our goal of holistic inclusion throughout our studio, we apply these communication values to our client interactions, internal conversations, and interaction with vendors. By holding ourselves accountable even out of sight of clients, we ensure that inclusivity remains a core principle of our studio.

Art

Painting by Michelle Jane Lee

When we begin each project, our goal in taking a trauma-informed approach to home design and decorating includes finding ways to reduce sensory overstimulation. Sensory triggers can be hugely disturbing for neurodivergent people (particularly those on the autism spectrum), as well as people with chronic migraines, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Alzheimer's, and other chemical or sensory sensitivities (5). Spaces designed with inclusion in mind for neurodivergence and disability will create an environment that feels safe for all users along various spectrums of need. However, even neurotypical people can experience stress from sensory overstimulation, impacting their health and emotional resilience (6). We address this need in home design by creating varied paths to shelter from intrusive sounds, odors, and light. In addition, we empower our clients to limit and customize their exposure to sensory stimuli (7). One way to achieve this is to create smaller sensory retreats within the home, balancing the calming quality of openness with the comforting sense of being enveloped. We use color psychology, textures, and other sensory elements to comfort our clients. Some of this may overlap with general design knowledge of what is considered calming, and some may be specific to each client's taste and sense of comfort.

Painting by Kevin Moore

Painting by Kevin Moore

Our goal as a studio is to create spaces where clients can relax and restore their senses. We achieve this in our projects by intersecting the client's sensory needs with their aesthetic tastes. There is much importance in including art in the spaces we design. At Sarah Barnard Design Studio, art is considered an integral part of home design. Great care is taken not only in the selection of art but also in how and where it is displayed. That said, while there are general notions of what makes a piece of art soothing for a viewer, from the color to subject matter. Ultimately, the most crucial factor is what the client wants to see every day. Clients will benefit most from seeing art that evokes a sense of calm or happiness; however, what that can look like varies widely from person to person. As designers, we offer our guidance and expertise in selecting art for the home.

Open book on desk with plants and couch in background, agate inspired wallpaper

We can achieve restoration through home design by providing access to nature and integrating natural themes into the spaces themselves. The biophilic design movement has focuses on making nature an integral theme in the home. Biophilic design has tremendous benefits for our emotional, mental, and physical health (8). Views of nature, particularly ones that provide a sense of continuity with the indoors and outdoors, can be one way to achieve this. Prioritizing the use of natural and organic materials can also promote restoration and wellness for our clients. A connection to nature can be undermined by toxic materials that are produced in ecologically harmful ways. On a more symbolic level, we can incorporate nature into an indoor space through organic imagery that evokes the natural world through shape, texture, and color.

White floating bookshelves and large woven pendant light in foreground

Recently, our homes have become even more of a center point in our lives. For many of us, our home has become a workplace, school, and place for recreation all at once, increasing the need for therapeutic and restorative spaces within the home. Unfortunately, mental and emotional restoration has become harder to achieve now that our homes serve more functions than ever. As designers, we must be creative in our approach. We can create boundaries in the home without putting up walls, for example, using a screen to designate an area as a workspace, where the day's stressors can remain out of sight when it's time to relax. We can place extra care and attention into places in the home that offer privacy, letting them act as retreats from the rest of the living space. Thinking beyond a room's most basic function in this way can open up opportunities to create calming, restorative environments in less traditional spaces.

reed planted partially dipped in black paint holding succulent, with figurine of a person next to it

As designers, we have a tremendous opportunity to alleviate trauma by creating healing spaces for our clients while implementing a warm, understanding, and inclusive design process. We may never know or see our clients' struggles, but we can approach each project with empathy, compassion, and practical design knowledge to address their needs. As gratifying as having our clients appreciate our work, it is even more gratifying to know that we can make a tangible difference in their health and happiness.

Ceramic slug by Joseph and Marjorie Lake 

Ceramic slug by Joseph and Marjorie Lake 

Sarah Barnard is a WELL and LEED accredited designer and creator of environments that support mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. She creates highly personalized, restorative spaces that are deeply connected to art and the preservation of the environment. An advocate for consciousness, inclusivity, and compassion in the creative process, Sarah’s work has been recognized by Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Real Simple, HGTV and many other publications. In 2017 Sarah was recognized as a “Ones to Watch” Scholar by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).   

Sarah Barnard in black shirt with glasses and long brown hair

Works Cited

(1) https://dcf.vermont.gov/sites/dcf/files/OEO/training/2019/Trauma-Informed.pdf

(2) https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/aces/about.html

(3) https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/05/business/mental-health-facilities-design.html

(4) https://www.linguisticsociety.org/resource/guidelines-inclusive-language

(5) https://www.hksinc.com/how-we-think/research/sensory-well-being-for-adolescents-with-developmental-disabilities-creating-and-testing-a-sensory-well-being-hub/

(6) http://universaldesign.ie/What-is-Universal-Design/The-7-Principles/

(7) https://www.asid.org/lib24watch/files/pdf/8477

(8) https://www.fastcompany.com/90333072/what-is-biophilic-design-and-can-it-really-make-you-happier-and-healthier

Sarah Barnard is a WELL and LEED accredited designer and creator of environments that support mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. She creates highly personalized, restorative spaces that are deeply connected to art and the preservation of the environment. An advocate for consciousness, inclusivity, and compassion in the creative process, Sarah’s work has been recognized by Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Real Simple, HGTV and many other publications. In 2017 Sarah was recognized as a “Ones to Watch” Scholar by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).

Secluded Staycations: Luxe, Little Known, Los Angeles Birding

One of the most rewarding aspects of birding is finding new and unexpected spots to point your binoculars. Bird enthusiasts in Los Angeles have an abundance of options when it comes to the sheer diversity of bird species and places to observe them in the local region, but the hunt for new places to explore is always part of the fun, and the more unlikely the better.

peacock ruffling feathers

One surprising alternative to the same heavily trafficked parks and hiking trails is hidden in plain sight—some of the best hotels in the L.A. area feature spectacular birding from the comfort of their grounds and even the privacy of their rooms. In this time when we find ourselves keeping closer to home, these hotels offer opportunities for tranquil birding staycations without risking travel or crowds.

Goose with goslings by lake

A Quiet Canyon Retreat

The Hotel Bel Air is a birder’s paradise with Old Hollywood pedigree tucked away in the canyons. The Bel Air has an elegant and distinctly Southern California style, updated in 2011 with a more contemporary feel that still nods to its rich history. The best birding at the Bel Air is on the canyon side rooms, which attract a host of avian visitors to their secluded private patios.

If you want to stretch your legs, the grounds of the Bel Air are extensive and designed almost like a botanic garden, with plant species labeled and ample room for observing the wildlife attracted to the lush foliage. One of my favorite garden flowers at the hotel is the pink abutilon that trails along the walking paths on the lake side of the property. The lake itself draws a variety of indigenous waterfowl and is also home to the Bel Air’s beloved swans, whose images appear as a recurring motif throughout the hotel. The Swan Lake Suite (a favorite of Cary Grant and Gene Kelly) boasts a breathtaking view of its namesake.

Greener Pastures on the East Side

The Langham in Pasadena is the East Side’s answer to the Hotel Bel Air, with a more traditional feel to its design. The Cottages at the Langham have patios that open onto the grounds, where the flowering plants attract hummingbirds and other pollinators just outside your door. If you choose instead to stay on the seventh floor of the main building, you’ll be treated to an eye level view of woodpeckers as they flit and peck about the treetops. Strolling the grounds in the early morning or dusk, expect to see (and hear!) geese flying in formation overhead.

woodpeckers on a palm tree

If you’re looking to venture beyond the hotel grounds, the Huntington Library and Gardens and Descanso Gardens are both close by and offer more opportunities for safe and distanced outdoor exploring and are each home to more than one hundred species of birds. Both gardens currently require advance ticket reservations to maintain a reduced capacity for safe distancing.

A Breath of Fresh Air on the Beach

Lovers of sea and shorebirds will find their birding utopia at the modern and beachy Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica. The ocean-view rooms claim breathtaking Pacific Ocean vistas from their balconies where you can watch gulls soar through the air, sandpipers scamper across the beach, and pelicans make spectacular dives for fish.

Small brown bird on a branch eating grub

If you keep your eyes on the waves, you may be treated with a view of a pod of dolphins or migrating humpback whales (look for the spouts!). Although the ocean is the main attraction at the Miramar, you can also roam to the readily accessible hiking trails in the nearby Santa Monica Mountains, where red-tailed hawks make their home.

In Los Angeles, we’re lucky to have the biodiversity of the natural world so deeply integrated into the city itself, where it’s easy to enjoy the wellness benefits and calming presence of nature alongside the comfort of a polished urban environment. For bird loving Angelenos, adding new species to your life list while recharging in a serene environment is just a reservation away.

Tiny round bird on branch with berries

Sarah Barnard is a WELL and LEED accredited designer and creator of environments that support mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. She creates highly personalized, restorative spaces that are deeply connected to art and the preservation of the environment. An advocate for consciousness, inclusivity, and compassion in the creative process, Sarah’s work has been recognized by Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Real Simple, HGTV and many other publications. In 2017 Sarah was recognized as a “Ones to Watch” Scholar by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).   

There's No Place Like a Healthy Home for the Holidays

2020 is already coming to a close, so that means the holidays are just around the corner! This year has been a challenging one, so let’s spread some holiday cheer by following some simple, yet meaningful home design ideas to brighten up the holidays.

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Reconsidered Rituals

Part of having a healthy, happy home is creating family traditions. An easy practice anyone can start implementing is home decorating for the holidays. No matter what your family celebrates, it is fun getting into the winter spirit! Decorating can be anything from fashioning a homemade wreath for your front door to making your own candles for your menorah. Many of us are celebrating the holiday season differently than we have in the past, creating an opportunity to incorporate new traditions. Exchanging ornaments and a handwritten note is a special way to connect with loved ones you may not be able to see in person this year. This simple act may help you feel closer to family far away!

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Reuse, Recycle, Rejoice

Fabricating handmade winter decorations is a great activity for your entire family! A fun and simple idea is to string together your own felt garland. Felt balls can be found in nearly any color imaginable to match your family’s needs. So whether you want red, green, and black for Kwanzaa or blue and white for Hanukkah, the options are endless! Felt garland is not only pretty to look at, but is made from wool, an inherently renewable and recyclable material. We like sourcing wool from small sustainable farms where the sheep are treated like family.

Choosing decorations inspired by things you love all year round will help your decor seem more personal to your family. If you're a bird lover, use this as a starting point when decorating. Look to local artists or online shops who make bespoke decorations that fit the holiday theme of your choice.

goldfinch in a tree
Round ornament painted with a bird design on a tree

If your family celebrates Hanukah, you may want to opt for beeswax candles for your menorah since they don't produce any toxic chemicals or soot. Or if you’d rather use a vegan alternative, there are now organic vegetable wax candles made specifically for menorah’s!

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The Serotonin Schedule

Decorating for the holidays early may alleviate stress and anxiety. According to Business Insider, psychologists have found that those who decorate early are much happier because it helps you tap into the holiday excitement before everyone else and leaves you feeling less stressed come Christmas time. Additionally, you can use this time of year as an opportunity to slow down, tend to your home mindfully, and take that time to appreciate and enjoy your home design. Take stock of what you have, and cull any items for donations that no longer serve you. Connecting with and expressing gratitude for your home is a great first step of decorating that may be a grounding and mood-boosting experience.

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The Indoor Forest

Biophilic design goes hand in hand with holiday home decor. Biophilia is our innate desire to be close to nature–and biophilic design aims to make healthy and comfortable interiors by meaningfully incorporating natural elements into our home design and work environments. A large component of holiday home decor is foliage. Greenery can be anything from a leafy garland on your mantle to mistletoe in your hallway. This holiday season, try decorating your home in more natural elements such as pinecones, nuts, and branches. If you live near a woody area you can forage for these items yourself, or if that isn’t an option for you, look to your local farmer’s market or nursery for help. Your house will feel like an organic winter wonderland full of crisp natural scents and foliage that's unique to your home.

Your incorporation of nature doesn't have to stop once the holidays are over - you can enjoy the benefits of biophilic home design all year round! Kale Tree Shop, founded by Sarah Barnard Design, is a great resource for nature inspired home goods. Each product takes inspiration from the natural world, ranging from abutilon wallpaper to ginkgo leaf wall sconces to upholstered chairs influenced by the silhouette of a great dane. Biophilic home design elements can bring joy and warmth to your home, no matter the season!

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The Holiday Hormone Connection

Decorating for the holidays is not only fun, it can contribute to spikes in your dopamine levels, which is a hormone that boosts feelings of pleasure. One factor that leads to these enjoyable feelings are the bright lights and colors. Chromotherapy increases happiness and boosts your energy levels. Another prominent factor at play are all the cozy scents that come from Christmas trees, eucalyptus and pine scented candles, and homemade treats. So this year you may feel extra gratification when putting out holiday décor knowing that there may be real health benefits!

Blue and gold Christmas tree with blue and gold wrapped presents in room with staircase

As you begin to prepare for the holidays, remember the importance of creating traditions with your family. Although the holidays may not be quite the same this year, surrounding yourself with winter décor that you thoughtfully sourced, may bring you some needed joy this season. So remember, think handmade, look to nature, and surround yourself with home design elements that make you happy, and you’ll have a beautiful winter wonderland right at home.

The Sarah Barnard Design family wishes you all the warmth and happiness!

Sarah Barnard is a WELL and LEED accredited designer and creator of environments that support mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. She creates highly personalized, restorative spaces that are deeply connected to art and the preservation of the environment. An advocate for consciousness, inclusivity, and compassion in the creative process, Sarah’s work has been recognized by Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Real Simple, HGTV and many other publications. In 2017 Sarah was recognized as a “Ones to Watch” Scholar by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).

The Healing Power of Interior Design: Design's Impact on People, Places and the Planet

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Leading wellness home designer, Sarah Barnard, WELL AP + LEED AP speaks as part of the 2020 American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Virtual Conference.

Transcript: Hi, I'm Sarah Barnard, WELL AP, LEED AP and ASID Ones to Watch Scholar. Design has the power to profoundly impact healing. As we collectively navigate this new way of living many of us face challenges maintaining our wellbeing amid trauma and chronic ambiguous loss. When we embrace empathy as the foundation of our design process we help to increase agency and reduce adversity. Together, we can make all built environments supportive, restorative spaces.

What’s Next? Design’s Impact on People, Places and Planet (Opening Keynote) and State of the Society. "ASID turns the traditional keynote on its head with a virtual, crowd-sourced program mining the best names in design as they explore the meaning of "Design Impacts Lives." Then join ASID leaders for the annual State of the Society address...Design has the power to impact lives and tackle challenges on a global scale. What’s next? Hear from those impacting design and those impacted by design in a collaborative keynote that shows the power of community in the digital age. This special, crowd-sourced program will highlight diverse thoughts from clients, end users, consultants, manufacturers, educators, students and of course, designers as we share what’s next for design and the personal stories demonstrating the impact the profession has on the people and world around us."

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Sarah Barnard is a WELL and LEED accredited designer and creator of environments that support mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. She creates highly personalized, restorative spaces that are deeply connected to art and the preservation of the environment. An advocate for consciousness, inclusivity, and compassion in the creative process, Sarah’s work has been recognized by Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Real Simple, HGTV and many other publications. In 2017 Sarah was recognized as a “Ones to Watch” Scholar by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).

Cosmopolitcal Design: A New Modality Harnesses the Connection between Home and Nature

With global society and climate in flux, mapping out new ways to live and create in the world has become an essential project. Amid the competing approaches to this transformation, the philosophical school of cosmopolitics, as its name suggests, addresses this challenge in a uniquely holistic way and presents an entirely new perspective on the human relationship with the world.

Albena Yaneva, in her introduction to What is Cosmopolitical Design?: Design, Nature, and the Built Environment, explains that “Cosmopolitical thinkers...see nature as no longer being unified enough to provide a stabilizing pattern for the experience of humans; it is not ‘out there,’ a simple backdrop for human activities.” Cosmopolitics distinguishes itself from cosmopolitanism by positing a relationship with nature and its non-human denizens defined by cohabitation rather than dominance. As Yaneva writes, “These thinkers abandon the modernist idea of nature as being external to the human experience—a nature that can be mastered by engineers and scientists from outside.” 

How does this cosmopolitical perspective manifest in the world of home design? To Yaneva, “It challenges design...to encourage the enactment of new relationships both within and potentially outside the designed space.” Cosmopolitical home design is deeply tied to its locality and integrated with its environment. Yaneva describes cosmopolitical design as “required more than ever to address the primordial question of what it means to live together. That is, the co-existence of humans and non-humans, of how they share space and find ways to live together in peace.”

Because the cosmopolitical way of thinking is so all-encompassing, the approaches to incorporating cosmopolitics into home design are fittingly varied and can be scaled to projects as vast as urban planning or as circumscribed as landscaping a backyard. Manifestations of cosmopolitical home design can range from home renovation with the local climate in mind (for example, placing windows for optimal warmth or cooling of interior spaces) to pollinator-friendly gardens teeming with plants indigenous to their region.

To interior designer Sarah Barnard, WELL AP + LEED AP, bringing cosmopolitics into her home design practice means cultivating spaces that are specific both to her clients and as well as to the local environment and that encourage an accord with the natural world. Sarah says, “Finding ways to harmonize the design of a space to a specific environment instead of working against it is both challenging and rewarding. When a designed space and its greater environment are fully integrated, the effect is almost easier to feel than observe.”

Sarah explains, “I always look for opportunities to create inviting connections between the indoors and the outdoors. This continuity with the natural world is beneficial for emotional and mental health—it’s not just a source of beauty but nourishment.” For an artist’s bungalow, Sarah created a visual continuity between lush indoor plant life and the garden outside, and then took it a step further. Sarah designed the outdoor garden to support pollinators, birds, and other wildlife. The garden is a Certified Monarch Waystation, providing resources to support migrating Monarch butterflies by providing food, water, cover. Sarah said, “Designing homes for wellbeing doesn’t have to stop at the comfort of the client. Incorporating elements of design that nurture the local ecology deepen our relationship with nature and result in spaces that are unified with their surroundings.”

This particular expression of cosmopolitical home design can be achieved even with limited outdoor space. For an oceanview penthouse, Sarah transformed a balcony into an inviting habitat for local and migrating wildlife by adding potted olive trees and an herb garden. “Considering plants not just for their decorative beauty but also what they can offer to the local environment is a concept that works on virtually any scale,” Sarah says. To decorate the interiors, Sarah selected natural and eco-friendly furnishings and textiles, adding that “Organic materials have a gentler environmental impact, and from a wellness perspective, are kinder to the people who live with them.”

When selecting materials and furnishings for home decorating, Sarah often looks to her clients’ priorities to guide her approach to creating spaces that embody a cosmopolitical perspective. For one high-rise suite, the owner’s love of animals was demonstrated not only through the choice of art and decorative objects, but also wanted this care toward animals extended outside home design and beyond aesthetics. Sarah addressed this by using exclusively vegan materials and furnishings for this project. Sarah explains, “No space exists in a vacuum—every object and material we use has a footprint that goes well beyond the front door, so considering the story of the materials we use and the impact that they have on the world is a way to invite cosmopolitical ideas into home design.”

Sustainable materials can also have unexpected origins. For the kitchen of a historic craftsman bungalow, Sarah installed a countertop made of recycled beer bottles, a non-extractive alternative to a more traditional quarried stone countertop. “Not only is the material beautiful and environmentally conscious, but there’s also a little whimsy in how it reinvents something ordinary and adds character to the space,” Sarah says. The implications behind cosmopolitical home design may be weighty, but there is always room for playfulness.

“When I look at my work from a cosmopolitical perspective,” says Sarah, “I see tremendous opportunity for creativity. We are seeing our way of life change in real-time, and as a home designer, I’m lucky to be able to be a part of facilitating that transformation for my clients.”

Sarah Barnard is a WELL and LEED accredited designer and creator of environments that support mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. She creates highly personalized, restorative spaces that are deeply connected to art and the preservation of the environment. An advocate for consciousness, inclusivity, and compassion in the creative process, Sarah’s work has been recognized by Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Real Simple, HGTV and many other publications. In 2017 Sarah was recognized as a “Ones to Watch” Scholar by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).

Interior Design for Wellbeing: A special presentation at the Helms Bakery Design District

Interior designer Sarah Barnard photographed by Ace Misunias.

Interior designer Sarah Barnard photographed by Ace Misunias.

 

Hosted by OM and PLP SoCal, the inaugural session of OM Chats gathers leading voices in architecture, interior, and product design for a morning discussion about the ideas shaping home design and wellness. Speakers include Sarah Barnard, WELL AP + LEED AP, principal of Sarah Barnard Design, Julie Smith-Clementi, AIA, IDSA, architect and product designer, and Adaeze Cadet, AIA, LEED AP, BD+C, vice president at HKS.

The discussion centered around how to design spaces and products that reflect a broader — more empathetic — understanding of the human experience in the workplace, health care spaces, educational facilities, and wherever people gather and live.

 
 

Sarah Barnard is a WELL and LEED accredited designer and creator of environments that support mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. She creates highly personalized, restorative spaces that are deeply connected to art and the preservation of the environment. An advocate for consciousness, inclusivity, and compassion in the creative process, Sarah’s work has been recognized by Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Real Simple, HGTV and many other publications. In 2017 Sarah was recognized as a “Ones to Watch” Scholar by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).   

Universal Design: When to Incorporate Wellness Into Your Practice

Minimalist white and grey kitchen

Join Sarah Barnard at the 2021 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show to discover how home design professionals can expand their practice into the rapidly evolving field of universal design.

Empathetic Expansion of Universal Design Strategies: Creating Inclusive Environments will explore how universal design can impact physical, mental and emotional well-being, the intersections of sensory sensitivities and cognitive overload, and how design professionals can develop a mindful, inclusive approach to creating public and private spaces.

Sarah in black with glass and long brown hair seated on white sofa

Sarah Barnard will speak at the 2021 KBIS Voices From the Industry Conference, which will have both in-person and virtual components.

Both WELL + LEED accredited, Sarah Barnard is a leading designer of personalized, sustainable and restorative spaces deeply connected to nature and art. Her designs celebrate the natural world while contributing to its preservation. Sarah is an advocate for consciousness, inclusivity and compassion in the home design process. Through her speaking engagements, pro-bono work, and writing, she draws awareness to these critical design objectives.

close up of pink flower bud

When

KBIS from February 9 - 11, 2021
Voices from the Industry Conference, Session 3.3 on Tuesday, February 9 from 12:45–1:45 PM EDT

Where 

https://kbis.com/ 
Orange County Convention Center, 9800 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819

How to Attend

Register here.

About Kitchen & Bath Industry Show

The KBIS trade show allows participants to source the newest kitchen and bath materials from over 600 leading brands. It is the largest trade show of its kind and will host the Voices from the Industry Conference, which offers presentations, workshops, professional development courses, and featured speakers. 

 

For questions, please contact us at design@sarahbarnard.com

kitchen with blue wooden island and white and grey terrazzo countertops

Sarah Barnard, WELL AP and LEED AP, designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that connect deeply to nature and art. Barnard has been featured in publications internationally and was named a "Ones to Watch Scholar" by the American Society of Interior Designers. Empathy and mindfulness are the foundation of her practice creating healing, supportive environments that enhance life.

Curating a Mindful Experience: Focusing on Art at Home

Interior design by Sarah Barnard, Artwork by Renae Barnard.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard, Artwork by Renae Barnard.

Selecting and arranging artwork in a home can be a gratifying process for all involved. While science is only beginning to explore the emotional effects and benefits of art, people have been driven to produce and seek artwork throughout human existence. In a study at the University College London, researchers found that looking at beautiful artwork activates pleasure centers in their brain and elicits a neurological response similar to falling in love. 

Sarah Barnard helped this client curate and collect an extensive collection of feminist artworks.

Sarah Barnard helped this client curate and collect an extensive collection of feminist artworks.

It only makes sense that we should turn to artwork to influence emotional experiences in home design. As an interior designer with a fine art background, I recognize art's incredible power to enhance wellbeing in design. Commissioning artworks or objects by local artisans can be an incredibly rewarding way to elevate a client's home, and invest in the local creative community. 

A diverse collection of local and international artists.

A diverse collection of local and international artists.

When selecting artwork for a family or group, it's key to ensure that everyone has a voice. Inviting individuals to have control over their domains and some level of veto power in shared spaces can aid in decision making in the home design process. Having a say over designated personal spaces guarantees that everyone is getting something they love, at least in one part of the home.  In common areas, everyone should have a choice, and this is where having a designer with additional resources helps. I have developed relationships with many unique and talented artists throughout my career, which has helped me find and commission beautiful and obscure pieces.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard, Artwork by Susan Hannon.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard, Artwork by Susan Hannon.

When approaching all home design elements, it's essential to consider a room's use and intentions before purchasing or commissioning artwork. For family rooms that are often bustling, high traffic spaces, bold, energetic works of art can invigorate a room and inspire conversation. Large scale works can provide a welcome alternative to a television, and offer a focal point in spaces with many moving parts and multiple functions. Shared areas of congregation are ideal for bold abstract pieces or narrative works that inspire investigation and conversation.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard, Artwork by Kevin Moore.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard, Artwork by Kevin Moore.

In a recent home remodel for a family residenceScalar Field by Kevin Moore hangs above a breakfast nook composed of a custom dining sofa and handmade walnut dining table. The warm colors and textures of the pieces play off each other, for an inviting eating space that encourages both quiet daydreaming and lively discussion. The piece's unique, geometric shape adds architectural interest to the corner, expanding the room and adding to the area's significance in the home. The nook encourages a mindful dining experience, inviting the owner and guests to pause and enjoy the beauty and serotonin-boosting effects of an in-house art display. 

Interior design by Sarah Barnard, Artwork by Reid Winfrey.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard, Artwork by Reid Winfrey.

A small, sleek bar becomes increasingly expansive with a dreamy painting of a surfer by artist Reid Winfrey in a beachy bachelor pad. In areas without windows, artworks with natural themes or escapist qualities are often beautiful alternatives to a view. This piece reflects the homeowner's interests and passions, connecting them to natural locations and activities they love, and offering insight into their personality to guests. Creating intentionality in small areas of the house can significantly affect overall mood and pacing, offering small, meditative opportunities. Art can be a useful tool to train the mind to slow down and be appreciative of surroundings and experiences. 

Interior design by Sarah Barnard, Artwork by Renae Barnard.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard, Artwork by Renae Barnard.

Collecting artwork invites a level of personal connection and customization that can create a deep emotional experience of the home. A large wall sculpture by Renae Barnard entitled Aggregate Liberty compliments custom furniture in a residential redesign. Colors and textures in the artwork and the living room mimic each other, softening the boundaries of the artwork and the residence for an immersive and transcendent experience. Quiet rooms for focus may benefit from works that feel calm and soothing. Natural colors and themes help decompress, and textile pieces, in particular, can bring an added layer of comfort and calm. 

Interior design by Sarah Barnard, Artwork by Renae Barnard + Ruben Vincent.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard, Artwork by Renae Barnard + Ruben Vincent.

For a home office redesign, our studio commissioned a sculptural piece by artist Renae Barnard for artwork that referenced the home's natural surroundings. As an alternative to the already prominent ocean view, our studio saught to connect to nearby natural elements that required more careful observation. Ultimately, the studio found inspiration in the finches visiting the olive trees on the homeowner's patio. Noticing them requires careful consideration of the surroundings, inviting the homeowner and guests to become increasingly mindful. The finches' flight to the skyrise penthouse in the clouds inspired the final form of the fiber sculpture Cumulous. 

Interior design by Sarah Barnard, Artwork by Karrie Ross.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard, Artwork by Karrie Ross.

Fanciful imagery in muted earth tones creates an airy and uplifting mood for rest. Displaying artwork near a bed may contribute to peaceful habits before sleep, and provides mind-quieting observational opportunities. A watercolor and mixed media piece by artist Karrie Ross is an atmospheric addition to a residential bedroom redesign. The piece's overall effect is peaceful, guiding the viewer away from chaotic thoughts or visuals before bedtime. The details within the artwork hold the viewer's attention and offer avenues for thoughtful examination, pulling focus away from the stresses and memories of the day. Using the emotional experience of a work of art to guide a room's mood can provide ample opportunities to shape home design support and uplift its residents. 

Interior design by Sarah Barnard, Artwork by Brian Johnson.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard, Artwork by Brian Johnson.

Commissioning or curating artwork is ultimately about inviting positive emotions and experiences into the home. A piece does not need to mirror a pre-existing aesthetic to be the perfect fit for a client's home if it inspires pleasure and supports wellbeing. Incorporating artwork into living spaces can be an enriching process, inviting time to reflect, think, and appreciate the beauty of daily life.  

Interior design by Sarah Barnard.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard.

Sarah Barnard, WELL AP and LEED AP, designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that connect deeply to nature and art. Barnard has been featured in publications internationally and was named a "Ones to Watch Scholar" by the American Society of Interior Designers. Empathy and mindfulness are the foundation of her practice creating healing, supportive environments that enhance life.

This image used with permission provided by  Gregory Firlotte @ LA Design Magazine

This image used with permission provided by Gregory Firlotte @ LA Design Magazine

This article was written by Sarah Barnard for Issue 2 of LA Design Magazine, Celebrating Design and the Arts. Published by the American Society of Interior Designers, Los Angeles, CA.

Ultra Personalized Color : How an interior designer can help create a home that feels like you

Interior Design by Sarah Barnard, Painting by Reid Winfrey.

Interior Design by Sarah Barnard, Painting by Reid Winfrey.

Decorating with color is entirely subjective — we all have our likes and dislikes. And yet, in consultations with home designers, clients often struggle to come up with a suitable color scheme on their own. They might identify red as their favorite color without understanding the physical and emotional reactions it can evoke, especially when used in a restorative space like the bedroom.

Interior Design by Sarah Barnard, Artwork by Renae Barnard.

Interior Design by Sarah Barnard, Artwork by Renae Barnard.

An interior designer with an understanding of color theory and color psychology can help clients define their personal color story by evaluating the hues they like to wear, studying their favorite keepsakes, or delving into their hobbies and interests for inspiration. Home designer Sarah Barnard, WELL AP + LEED AP, has guided many clients through this process, creating healthy, sustainable spaces using colors that reflect their unique personalities. She’s well-versed in the intricacies of color with a Master of Fine Arts degree and undergraduate degrees in Art and Interior Architectural Design.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard, Artwork by Renae Barnard.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard, Artwork by Renae Barnard.

Sarah proposed a purple and teal palette reminiscent of an agate specimen for a client with an extensive book collection and a cheerful demeanor. These colors make the client’s heart sing, bringing her instant joy every time she comes through the front door. In the living room, vibrant colors pair with bold patterns and rich texture. A large wall sculpture by artist Renae Barnard hangs above a custom teal sofa with handmade toss pillows. Two armchairs with mid-century silhouettes are upholstered in a painterly textile, adding chromatic dimension.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard.

The client requested that the primary bedroom “feel like a hug,” so Sarah settled on a two-tone wall color, a marriage of plum and lavender, to envelop the space. The curved, velvet-lined headboard mimics the action of hugging and is complemented by an Egyptian cotton reversible duvet in a custom color scheme. The bedroom delivers feelings of comfort and safety, supporting the client’s well-being.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard.

When designing a bachelor pad in a coastal locale, Sarah took inspiration from the client’s interest in surfing and his desire to feel closer to nature. The palette reminds him of the sea, sand, and sky, from the navy velvet sofa to the burnt orange armchair, and the custom Calacatta marble bar. The rich wood tones observed in the entertainment console and reclaimed side table make the space feel earthy and grounded.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard, Painting by Reid Winfrey.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard, Painting by Reid Winfrey.

A calming environment was essential to the client as he has a high-stress job and needs to unwind at the end of a long day. The outdoor patio is awash in cool blues and weathered acacia to reflect the home’s natural surroundings.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard, Painting by Kevin Moore.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard, Painting by Kevin Moore.

Another project in which the home’s location influenced the color scheme was this family residence that incorporates warm sunset hues and oceanic blues. The tones are representative of the coastal and desert sides of Southern California’s mountain ranges. Within the context of color theory, the chosen hues are energizing and invigorating, perfect for a busy family with young children and active dogs.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard, Painting by Karrie Ross, Sculpture by Kevin Moore.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard, Painting by Karrie Ross, Sculpture by Kevin Moore.

Bright white walls allow the artwork to pop and prevent any single color from overpowering the space. Each room has a different color story to tell, but it all ties together to deliver a fresh, youthful aesthetic.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard.

Sarah is particularly fond of designing children’s rooms and enjoys collaborating with little ones to create spaces that reflect their personalities and interests. She did just that for this family of five, bringing in their favorite colors, personal photographs, and handmade artwork. The lavender bedroom was designed for a teen girl who is passionate about travel and collects elephant figurines. Sarah worked with her clients’ daughter to curate a gallery of photographs from her most memorable trips.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard.

For a boy who loves to read, Sarah designed a custom-made, built-in bed from American Walnut that features floating nightstands with plenty of storage for books. He opted for muted shades of blue and green that are frequently found in nature and feel serene and calming.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard.

The family’s teenage son wanted his room to look like autumn in New England. Sarah painted the ceiling a deep orange, which casts a warm glow, and used pumpkin-colored draperies for a bold impact. A reclaimed wood bed frame and natural log nightstand lend an organic feel, while an armchair covered in a retro-inspired fabric serves a nod to the boy’s effervescent personality.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard.

When tasked with designing a Tudor Revival-style estate, Sarah drew upon some of her clients’ favorite TV shows, specifically the BBC’s Downton Abbey and Sherlock. To achieve the Victorian-era aesthetic, Sarah chose saturated colors with historical significance. The jumping-off point for the formal dining room was the luxurious tapestry that adorns the walls. She pulled shades of forest green, chartreuse, and burgundy from its design and painted the wainscoting a custom color by Fine Paints of Europe.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard.

The library is a contemporary take on that of Lord Grantham’s. The American Walnut floors, oak-paneled fireplace, and coordinating bookcases add a richness to the space. Sarah updated the original fireplace with a new stone slip in a swirl of green and coral with an abstract painting by artist Kevin Moore above it. An antique kilim rug from Turkey anchors the reading area, injecting soft blues and grays into the room. The plush velvet armchair appears to change color depending on the time of day, transitioning from a buttery yellow to toasted oatmeal.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard, Painting by Sara Pae.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard, Painting by Sara Pae.

When conferring with clients looking to redesign their home, Sarah asks them several questions about their personal style: What are your favorite colors to wear? Are there any colors that you would never wear? She will even take a peek in their closet if that’s something they’re comfortable with to get a better sense of their color preferences. She brings a variety of samples to the meeting, including textiles and wallpapers, so the client can see and touch products they might not have otherwise considered.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard.

She observes how they react to not only colors but different sheens like matte or gloss. Curating a color palette isn’t as simple as picking out a few swatches and calling it a day. Home designers are well-trained in color theory and are aware of how color affects our behaviors and emotions. They can harness that extensive knowledge to create a color palette that matches your home to your personality — and when a space feels like ‘you,’ happiness will follow.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard.

Interior design by Sarah Barnard.

Sarah Barnard designs healthy, happy, personalized spaces that are deeply connected to nature and art. With a contemporary approach that employs traditional vocabulary, Barnard’s range of style is innovative yet time-honored.