When it comes to wellbeing, we do our best to take care of our bodies, and our minds – yet often ignore the very spaces we live, sleep, work and play. Today we chat with nora bouz, founder of Lucida Wellness by Design, a leader in Holistic Interior Design. nora is bringing awareness to this dynamic concept by transforming homes and lives. Placing wellbeing at the centre of her design solutions, she builds relationship with her clients that ultimately promote their health and wellness, while creating magnificent spaces that reflect the uniqueness of their individuality.
It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to connect with you again, nora! Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey to becoming a professional in the Holistic Interior Design world?
I started in (regular) Interior Design 15 years ago. Architecture and Interior Design had always been a passion and an interest of mine ever since I was a small child. I had been in practice for 11 years when it felt that something was not right. My personal and professional life were lacking meaning, and like many people, I went through the personal journey; a search for greater understanding of life asking myself “who am I, what am I doing?”
My journey took me to nature, here in Canada—in the Rockies—and to the Amazon jungle. I came to the realization that my outward life was not aligned with my inner self on many levels. Among other things, I realized I wasn't well in my home. It was beautiful and trendy but, on many levels, there was a disconnect. I started searching for what I could do to make my home more authentic. Everything pointed in the same direction—our mental and physical health are affected by our built-in environment.
My study and research in the field of Environmental Psychology helped me understand the 'why'. I went back to school and obtained an advanced diploma in Holistic Interior Design and made the shift to use design not only to create beautiful spaces but also spaces that support health and wellness
What is holistic interior design? What does a "holistic home" design mean to you?
Holistic interior design is a design practice that is concerned with one thing: the wellbeing of people and our planet. It uses Environmental Psychology to understand the connections between people and their environments and applies this to design, technology and innovation to attain the right solutions.
Our wellbeing has two folds, the physical and the psychological. A Holistic Home is a space designed to promote all aspects of our wellbeing: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and social.
What are the most common aspects you see of someone who has been neglecting their inner needs or unaware of the well-being of their home?
Our strive for health and wellness to exercise and diet will always be incomplete if we don't consider the spaces where we live and work. Decades of research show the impact of our surroundings on our physical and emotional health, especially when we live in Canada with extended cold and dark winters and spend most of our time indoors. Many emotional and physical issues increase and even are caused by, these conditions.
Indoor air quality is 2 to 5 times more polluted than it is outdoors, yet we want to install a granite countertop before we consider upgrading the HVAC system (the lungs of the home) or adding a negative ions generator. When we chose colours, we are more concerned about the look and trend rather than the emotions colours evoke. When we chose lighting fixtures, we neglect to pay attention to how we can use artificial light to substitute the lack of natural light and our increased need for light as we age.
Life can be too busy and expensive to keep up with the current design trends. What do you feel is most important when selecting a design and change for a space?
I believe that trends should be used but not followed. Be mindful of what truly makes you happy! This is important. Take time to reflect. Go inward rather than outward! We go to magazines to see what is trendy, what the colour of the year is or what celebrities are doing. Only when we stop listening to the outside world and start listing inward, can we rediscover what truly is beautiful and meaningful to us. Try to remember what places really made you feel good.
If you could give just one or two tips for someone wanting to improve the well-being of their home or space, what would it be?
Inherently, wellbeing encompasses many elements, so suggesting only two tips would not represent this practice. Overall, home should be an authentically beautiful place that nurtures the body, mind, and soul. It’s about how our home makes us feel and how it responds to our physical and emotional needs.
Try to maximize the natural light as much as possible. Use technology and innovation to bring solutions into the home that can improve light and air quality. Don’t follow trends, but rather use trends and new products to serve your needs. Colour impacts our emotions—use the power of colour to elicit feelings and moods and even healing.
Remember that all products and materials around us affect us, so before you buy a rug, couch or even kitchen cabinets—do some research on what goes into the making of these items. Think about your home’s health the same way you think about your body’s health.
I have read on your website the testimonials of the positive impact you have had on residential as well as commercial /community projects such as The Canadian Mental Health Association. How important is it for you to be active in the community and what is next for you this year?
Supporting people and organizations who see the benefit that holistic design adds to their lives is a true delight. There is always an opportunity to learn and contribute. Whether a residential or commercial space, the challenge is always present as individuals and organizations are unique, and my job is to reflect their uniqueness and respond to their specific needs to promote their wellbeing.
For volunteer work, I will be working with the Make-A-Wish foundation to fulfil a wish for a room make-over. I am continuing also continuing to work with Keys to Recovery to redesign one of their residential units downtown based on the holistic design principals, so the space supports the occupant’s journey to healing and recovery.
In addition, I am continuously working on workshops here in Calgary and Edmonton to spread the awareness about holistic interior design, and share the tools to make the transformation themselves. My mission is to co-create interior environments that help people become their best!
Thank you so much, nora! To learn more about Lucida, please visit their website here.
How do you encourage wellness in the home? Is it something you've thought a lot about, or are just beginning to learn more about? Let us know below!