Specialty Home Spaces

Personal Interior Design That Feeds The Soul And Well-Being

Interior design, masterfully done, is the driver that creates mood, temperature and “experience” in even the most architecturally non-remarkable spaces. Even a square box of a room can become something spectacular, something memorable, with strategic interior design.

Given the magazine's theme of health and wellness this month, it seems fitting to cover a few pointers about creating at-home nurturing specialty spaces – think yoga or a pilates studio, art studio or prayer room – all in support of greater wholeness and ease.

In essence, we can 'peace-up' our lives in creative ways.

Prayer Room Option:

An Interiors By Donna Hoffman client wanted the rush of water and a soothing space to meditate and pray.

Water cascading down a wall is a soft texture in addition to creating soothing movement and sound. The use of tumbled stone, varied plush fabrics and rug adds more soothing softness.

Tight color palettes with little contrast resonate with this client. When she asked about adding a cross to the water feature, I brought in a local artist and suggested the strength of metal for this holy symbol but designed it to be open in the center so when the water runs, the center of the cross looks dynamic and life-filled. It’s spectacular in-person, and one of my favorite art pieces I’ve designed.

How could we resist heavenly blue? Soft blues with pale creams; sand and sky were intentional choices to elicit calm.

How can you apply this to your own home? Think materiality -- wall coverings, natural stone, plush fabrics and rugs, artwork that stirs the soul, plant material and spiritual symbols.

A Yoga Studio in Process:

For a yoga studio being developed for a different Interiors By Donna Hoffman client, the ask was for a peaceful sanctuary. Here are three key elements we're applying:

We went for soft, touchable and organic. Note a full accent wall of split face cork; the remaining walls to be wrapped in a slubby grass cloth; plus soft cork flooring and multiple round, wicker lighting fixtures (notice -- no shine, no hard angles).

As we came to understand this gentleman’s design fingerprint, we quickly saw he loves when one design element moves forward in a room, some “ta-da," in a space. The cork accent wall, with a staggered series of light fixtures hung 18 inches in front of it, and all topped off with a wall wash of recessed lighting indulges his design fingerprint.

COLOR MATH:  Because the eye naturally looks for differences, we went muted for calm, with little difference in color depth. We leaned into textural differences for interest between floor, walls and lighting. Even the cork accent wall has an intentionally mildly graduated color depth.


My philosophy in design is that a whole home should feed and fill the homeowners' spirit. However, for the new year, let’s share some shorthand about how to create dedicated spaces intended to provide extra nurturing.

Three Keys And Their Definitions:

  1. Texture:
    What one feels, tactically and visually in a space. In design, your brain experiences texture as much as your skin. A space filled with shiny, sparkly items will “feel” differently than one that is filled with a plush, soft, matt texture.
  2. Design Fingerprint:
    Who you really are in design, your total cravings and aversions.
  3. Color Math:
    How different color depths and color combos are experienced.

Donna founded TheInteriorDesignAdvocate.com, which provides on-line courses that empower DIY design overs and design professionals internationally. Her company specializes in high-end, luxury interior design, from single room design to whole homes of 20,000 square feet-plus.

Related Businesses

Fitness Together - Knoxville

Men's Health

Fitness Together - Knoxville

Knoxville, TN

Fitness Together personal trainers will challenge, motivate, and support you to elevate your fitness routine and exceed your...

Cynshine® Pilates & Integrative Movement

Adult Education

Cynshine® Pilates & Integrative Movement

Gilbert, AZ

Cynshine® Pilates and Integrated Movement ~ Voted #1 in Gilbert AZ for Pilates and functional movement clinic & studio. This...

See More

Related Articles

See More