Holistic Interior Design: A Mindful Guidebook | Clear Studios | Skillshare

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Holistic Interior Design: A Mindful Guidebook

teacher avatar Clear Studios, Holistic Interior Design

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Project


    • 3.

      Origin Story - Why It's Worth It


    • 4.

      Our Approach To Holistic Interior Design


    • 5.

      Connection To Place


    • 6.

      Find Your Style and Ah-HAH


    • 7.

      Natural Inspirations


    • 8.

      Maximize Your Budget


    • 9.

      Join the DIY Movement


    • 10.

      Hiring a Team


    • 11.

      Design Process and Planning


    • 12.

      Human Scale


    • 13.

      Take A Seat


    • 14.



    • 15.

      Art and Decor


    • 16.

      Wrap It Up


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About This Class

We believe that our home environments deeply impact our well being - so while it is important to consider the aesthetics of space, it is equally as important to consider how the space feels. 

This is the foundation of our approach to Holistic Interior Design. 

This is our second class in our Holistic Design series. Our first class was a general introduction to our principles and techniques of holistic design.  In this second class, we share specific tools and methods to utilize in the design of a dream project. This class is a deeper dive and in-depth look through our professional process

Our aim is to give a toolkit for our students to create an actionable plan for their redesign. This class is for the design enthusiast or for someone who is aspiring to work with clients. A client can be your roommate, family member or yourself. 

We hope our class empowers you to connect with your space in a deep and meaningful way.  Remembering that the space around you impacts the space within.  Our mindful guidebook invites you to create spaces that feel alive, connected, and harmonious.

We recommend watching our 1.0 class, Holistic Interior Design: How to Transform your Space, to familiarize yourself with our concepts and principals. It is not a prerequisite as our classes are intended for all levels of personal enthusiasm, knowledge & background for design.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Clear Studios

Holistic Interior Design


Based in New York City, Clear Studios specializes in the design of holistic space. We create feeling-based environments through a multi disciplinary lens. Our collective works within the design fields of: interior, architectural & installation. 

We begin our design process through consideration of mindful design and creative solutions to elevate the experience of space. Through a holistic approach, our design process considers all aspects and celebrates interconnection. We work with our clients in meaningful collaborative ways to develop a story & vision. We learn from the processes of nature to build more natural welcoming spaces.

Our classes aim to empower you in your journey of holistic interior design.  The goal is for you to create a home living sp... See full profile

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1. Introduction: We believe that our home environments deeply impact our well-being. So while it's important to consider the aesthetics of space, it's equally as important to consider how the space feels. Developing a holistic design practice allows you to integrate a healthier lifestyle that starts to connect deeper with your physical environment. I'm stuffy and this is Mary of Clear Studios. We are holistic design studio focusing in the works of commercial restaurant, residential, environmental installation, and even art. This is the second class of our ongoing series, holistic interior design, a mindful guidebook. We hope to share tools and tips for you to utilize them for your smaller bedroom renovation projects to your larger scale home improvement projects. This class is intended for the design enthusiast or even someone who's looking to work with clients, knowing that that client can be your family member, your roommate, even yourself. Our aim is to share more of our professional tools and methods that we use when we're in the field on our projects. So that you can create home environment that's super nurturing, grounding, and connecting some of those tools that we'll be sharing. Our finding your style, your inspiration, your aha moment, finding what you connect with and what your story is. We want to encourage you to join the DIY movement to really gain the confidence to do things yourself. And also, what is a moment that you should hire professional so we can expand your inner vocabulary so you can start to communicate like a holistic interior designer will be providing templates for budgeting and how to create an actionable plan. Stress-free and realistic. This class is meant for you to utilize these tools. So you can adapt them and truly turn this into your own unique style and take on holistic design. We're so excited to share our tools with you. So make a pot of tea and bring a notebook, and let's get to class. 2. Class Project : Welcome to our class. Thank you so much for joining us. We're excited to dive deeper into this topic of holistic interior design. The class project is going to be taking the tools that we present and putting them into action. It's about using these tools. I'm putting them to work. We want to encourage you to use these tools on your smaller design projects as a benchmark. And using that as a learning curve where you can start to gain confidence on these larger scale design projects. The intention with this class is that you can learn these tools, start to apply them into something small and then over time grow into applying them into something larger. Taking a scalable approach and knowing that these tools can be of service to a variety of different types projects. With a step-by-step approach, we want you to gain the confidence so that you can use these tools on all aspects of scalable design, from those smaller design projects to those larger projects that you've been putting off and have been feeling honestly intimidated by. What are the tools that we'll be covering in this class. Mary and I will start with our origin story, how it all began. From there, we will discuss our approach to holistic interior design. After that, it's delve into the connection to place, what that means to us and exploring your personal space around you. Then it gets into the fun stuff where we start to examine your own personal style. What is our own process as designers to discover our own style that leads to our a-ha moment on most of our projects. Then we expand on our connections to nature. Finding that natural inspiration, and using biophilia and biomimicry as our leading inspiration for design. Then once you've found that inner style, we'll move into some of the more pragmatic aspects of the course. Starting with how to maximise your budget. Then we'll move into the design process and planning. From there, we will share some of our pro tips from the DIY movement, as well as how to hire a team. If that's gonna be necessary for part of your project. Then the final layer is human scale. How do you relate on a one-to-one scale to the environment around you. And then terriers. This will expand on the furniture, lighting, and art within the space, will then wrap it all up. Share our tips for how to bring a project together in the end and give some words of encouragement for your process ahead. We're so looking forward to sharing with you this entire step two step process of using this mindful Guidebook as your own. The class has a flow to it. We do suggest that you take it lesson by lesson, tool by tool. And at the end of each lesson there's a prompt where you can interact with that tool and we hope integrate and put it into practice. A reminder to grab a notebook so you can start to write down some of the different prompts that will be offering and different tips and tricks that you can start to apply to some of your small to large scale projects that you're excited about achieving. We suggest that you go to the Resources section within the class and download the mindful guidebook PDF that we've provided to help you move through the class. We're so excited to have you join our class and look forward to seeing before and after photos posted below in our project tab. We look forward to commenting on your before and after photos of your personal projects. So next we'll get into our origins story and share with you why it's worth it. 3. Origin Story - Why It's Worth It : In this video, we'll talk about our origins story and why it's worth it. We always get asked the question, how did you get started? And to be honest, it's a question that we've just heard an answer very recently. And are five years of working together and having our design practice in the earlier stages of our career, it almost felt very experimental, like we were taking many different directions with our studio and embracing all aspects of both commercial installation and Environmental Design. And just recently as we've been able to reflect on many of those years, our practice just started to solidify. It started to make sense that these stepping stones in this one direction actually lead to the next thing that we were very excited about. And again, embracing that holistic quality of our studio. So Mary, can you share a personal anecdote about how you got started? Yeah. So for me the journey started studying architecture in university, then moving to New York City, getting a job in Soho, working design firm. From there, we ended up leaving our jobs, traveling for a bit, coming back. And for me design, I was always so interested in it because it's about creating beauty. And there also is this deeply rooted human need of shelter and home. And over time it was starting to just investigate how two different spaces make me feel and noticing the different qualities of those spaces. And then when the pandemic hit and a lot of our client projects kinda fell off. We then turn to education and have found a really nurturing space to move into education and share a lot of the things that we've learned over the years through our professional practice with people like yourself, and to be able to empower everyone to learn holistic design and incorporate it in their lives. And that's been really amazing to bring, I think what we've learned and make it more accessible to many people. What about you stuffy? How did, how did you get started and into this field? I studied industrial design at school, and it really offered me a wide variety of industrial sort of learning how things get made in so many different mediums. And I really loved that idea of studying furniture, product, shoe design, and even transportation design. And so for me, a lot of the design was inspired by the human scale of one-to-one of how humans exist with objects. And after I graduated from school, I worked at an architecture office, learning to design furniture around the space and environment that exists in sort of this like influence of knowing where the objects and how your seating also relates to that environment, which then led to a huge passion of doing space design. And so my personal journey was growing my scale and things that inspire me just kind of had this realm of smaller objects to them, the space. And I really want to encourage anyone to start exploring your medium. This idea of multidisciplinary approach and the Jack of many trades experience can all loop into the current design that we do today, which is space down to all the objects that exist within that space. Over the years, we've found that this practice, it's so worth it because our homes are where we spend so much of our waking life. And to be able to consciously connect and be mindful about the space that we're curating around us has deeply impacted our sense of well-being. And through offering these courses now are able to pass that gift on and share it with others. It's definitely a feedback loop of the energy that you put into it is the energy that you receive. And again, nothing is perfect. We spend long hours sometimes on these projects and it ain't easy. But I want to remind everyone that nothing feels better than reaching that one-year projects, that anniversary of when we started that project. And finally, the doors open and we get to experience people sitting in a restaurant that we've designed, enjoying the food, the ambiance, the experience. They're sharing stories around the dining table. And it just has a life of its own. So it really is this moment of like awesome, like it feels so worth it. Something I want to encourage anyone who wants to get more involved with doing their own interior design is to really jump into it. Start to work on your own projects where you can build a portfolio and document your process so you know where you started. And you can always reflect back on those past images. It really just is a portfolio where you can start to share with other people. Where then your surrounding community, friends and network can start to recognize what you're capable of doing. Remembering that no project is too small. I think in the beginning we really didn't document very well. And over the years we've learned the importance of that. To be able to reference back for your own personal process, but to share with people and to be able to show how you've grown and the work that you've done. Another deep inspiration of our origin story is linked to travel. Getting out of an environment that we were super familiar with being in, located in New York City. And being able to travel and seeing how other people live, exploring various communities and having that sense of newness and exploratory ***** and adventure has had a huge influence on our studio. Yeah, especially traveling to these areas of the world that life is so different from what we're used to. It really helped us to expand and connect to what we really need as humans on this very fundamental level to feel that sense of belonging and to feel the sense of wholeness. And those experiences were so transformational for us personally that when we did come back to New York City and then started our own studio, it really helped inform the way that we approached these spaces in our own unique lens. The prompt for this lesson is to really take a moment of reflection and think back to your own origin story as it relates to design. And take a moment of journaling and writing that down and a reminder that you don't have to be a designer. This can be an inspiration that you start with that can take you to the next level of creativity. Start to take a document of where it started and where you'd like to go. And in our next video, we'll get into our own approach to holistic interior design. 4. Our Approach To Holistic Interior Design : In this video, we're going to share a bit about our approach to holistic design. The first-class that we offered in Skillshare, we shared our five principles and six techniques of holistic design. For us, holistic design is all about noticing not only how the space looks, but also deals with this. We developed these five overarching principles. The first one being senses, noticing how all five of our senses are activated in any space. The second one is comfort. How do we find comfort in our spaces? Our third principle is mindful materials. Being aware of the materials that are surrounding you and your environment. The fourth one is biophilia. It's our love of life and our connection to nature. And the final one is care. Having this ongoing relationship to our spaces will continue. Use these five principles of holistic design and reference them on our ongoing class. These are the foundational elements that will loop the holistic practice where we're not just looking at one element, the design. We're considering. All the different elements of both how we feel, how we're experiencing, and the physical environment that we're walking into. These all share different balance and maybe uncertain times. One will take more of a precedent than the other. But it's really during that moment for you to decide and to find that balance as it's always changing. The next expansion of holistic design is our techniques, observation through feeling, space planning, ethical sourcing, working with plants, organization and seasonal clearing, and color and light. We encourage you, if you haven't, to also take that class and dive deeper into these technical skills. Now that we've refreshed our holistic design principles in our 2 class of holistic interior design, a mindful guidebook. We're going to be carrying this class more towards a tool based approach. This class is meant to guide you further with holistic interior design and offer you the tools so you can apply them to your own personal projects. Our prompt for this lesson is to think about which principles or techniques we offered are specifically applicable to the project that you're working on. Write them down and perhaps even revisit the first-class and refresh yourself deeper on that topic. In the next video, we'll get into the connection to place. 5. Connection To Place : Connection to place. Another way, holistic design can be looked at as a balance of psychology, physiology, and sociology. You can almost imagine a Venn diagram of these three circles merging together. And wherever they intersect is where there's similarities and they all relate to one another. Psychology is our mindful state and how we feel from the inside. Physiology is our connection to place, It's our environment, our understanding of bioregion, where home is located, the environment that it's surrounds the home. Sociology is your community that surrounds your environment. Who are the people that live there? Are you located near a community farm, a local park, many different organizations that you can be a part of. And have you ever said hi to your neighbor when you walked outside your home? All of these elements intersect in a really beautiful way. And that moment of awareness is where we can understand how we are impacted with the space around us. Yeah. So one of our projects that we did, it's called general Irving. It's located in Brooklyn and it was an old dentist office connected to an auto mechanic shop when we first came into the project and we renovated it to be a cafe and community space. And the project, I think, is a good example of this because it's located on a park and it had one existing garage door, and we decided to install two more garage doors. So now this entire space can completely open up and it's very poorest to the park. There's also a bus stop that's right there. It's become this place now in the community where people come, they might grab a coffee or a sandwich and sit down and be able to connect to the park, or even just go out and sit in the park. And I think this is a great example because this topic of connection to place, it touches into that, to have a sense of well-being and wholeness in our lives. It's very connected to feeling that connection to wherever you live, not feeling isolated. And we love creating these types of spaces that people can come, have a conversation with each other, be in proximity with each other, while also being open to the natural world. Having the fresh air come in, having the visual connection to all of the plants in the park. We've found it's just a really pleasant experience to be in that type of space. We really tried to utilize local resources and local artisans to create the actual space in hopes that then it wouldn't feel like this alien spaceship that just dropped into this community but felt like it was being grown from what was already there. Yeah, definitely having a grassroots approach to allow the projects we work on and understanding where the location is and what we're trying to beautify always adds to the neighborhood. We are so lucky to work on these different projects that seem to always happen to be on a corner, like on an intersection where we're lucky enough to have either that bus stop or a subway stop where there's just so much visual narrative and story that we can tell. Our one project we did in Chinatown, Joshua haha, Pontus mexicana. The first one of the three locations was actually located right on the line on Broadway stop. And it adds such a beautiful experience of considering how people travel and that specific intersection. And the way that they come up to the subway is actually the first thing that they see is that restaurant. So adding a really beautiful paint. Another experience of bringing nature onto the wall. Having a really fun sign that says, Hey, we see you like tacos, really encouraging people that we're not just adding this as Mary's saying, just this spaceship dropping into that intersection, but also livening up people's experiences and their commute. Another project we worked on recently is another intersection. It's right on the corner of a area that's up and coming in Chinatown as well. And understanding the history of where that location is. Most oftentimes when we do demos off the walls and remove all of that layer of drywall and metal and whatever it was to cover up that space during that time. It's interesting to see all of the cross-sections of what was built up and what's sort of the pure original walling in that space. So the connection to place has a large inspiration and discovery and investigation. When we remove all the walls, sometimes the brick on the wall is made with horsehair. And that really says so much about how people used to build buildings way back in the day, the turn of the century. And how we feel you can connect to the place that you're in is to think about where you are in the world. Perhaps what are the local materials or resources around you? Is there a tradition of a specific type of local craft? And consider bringing some of those aspects into your space. It's powerful how one simple object or exposing one original architectural detail in your home can help bring about this sense of connection and sense of being where you are and feeling held within that space. Your connection to place can also be a memory of travel. It can be a place that you've arrived for the first time. And I've had the sense of homeliness that starts to grow. And I think that's such an interesting experience when you're in a new location. And it actually reminds you of a little bit of your own home. And so we encourage you to have these relics close and have them be a representation, a moment within your own personal space to remind you that home can be many different locations. And again, things are always changing and evolving. And you can always have that be a memory of your past, present, and future. Our prompt for you is, can you think of any object or art or memory that has helped you connect with your entire region or a memory of travel. Think if there's something specific that brings you that sense of connection, this idea of connection to place will link into some of the future tools. So keep it percolating in your mind as we move forward. In the next lesson, we'll get into finding your style and that aha, moment. 6. Find Your Style and Ah-HAH: In this class, we'll discuss finding your style and your aha moment. As designers, we're always walking around looking for inspiration. I feel like we always have this designer hat on. My biggest inspiration that I find is when I'm traveling. And I actually had a super a-ha moment on a project I was working on in the city where it was Salvador Dali inspired. And I was traveling through Portugal and walking through the streets of Lisbon and finding these little nooks and crannies of walking down the streets and getting lost. I think that that's the best way to find inspiration. When you see just a connection of materials coming together or a really beautiful palette where there, it just almost seems like it's been there forever. Like there's no design actually, I all, and so for me, finding inspiration in specific areas or a moment that I find where it's just not designed, like someone just put it there out of a sense of resourcefulness, a sense of play, or just a sense of just, It's just going to live here. When I was walking down the streets, I found this really beautiful portal and it had this massive key mounted on the top of it. And it just was so perfectly placed that I took a photo of it and got so excited to come back to New York and really make this one of the main inspirations of the project. And I'll show you also another rendering. Here's the key of what it looks like, and here's the rendering of what we're able to come up with. Finding these moments are key. And again, having a more natural process at discovering them. Don't be too hard on yourself because it's one of those experiences where the moment actually finds you, for me, being in a space of openness. And that experience of discovery always lends itself to some of my most favorite design inspirations. So when you're thinking about how to find your style, we really encourage you to think about what is the story that you're trying to tell? Where are you getting inspiration from? And we can't stress enough how much personal authenticity really shines through in finding your style and your own aha moment. This inspiration and this story can come from personal travels. It can also come from a beautiful art piece. It can come from a piece of fashion that you love or jewelry. There can be many different avenues that aren't only reference space images that maybe you're finding online. We really do encourage you to get out into the world and notice how you feel about these things, not just how they're looking, but is there a sense that's evoked within you when you perhaps come across something that has this more emotional impact and take note of that. And we encourage you to really find that, that personal authenticity, we feel that's the best way to find your style. Finding your style is that way of authenticity, looking deep within and having, again, what we're saying, this mix-and-match. I think a lot of times there's pressure for us to fit into this one specific genre in the way that we're designing. And really the most exciting spaces come together when you tap into that memory or you tap into playing with an inspiration of specific jewelry piece where you look at that and you love to form and then you can grow the scale of that. A play of scale is always a really large way of making something feel more vast than it is, or more smaller than it is. If that's your way about binding that arrangement of balance within your style and in holistic design in this topic of style. For me, it's a lot about really considering how do I want to feel in this space. Maybe not leading with how do I want this space to look? So personally, for me in my bedroom, I really value feeling like a very calm, serene type of space. And for me that shows up as a very neutral palette, then I can have these very special objects that I move in and out of the space over time. So in this example, it's, it's about tuning into also how you want to feel in your space. Perhaps in my living room. I take a different approach because that's where I'm gonna be hosting people and I want it to be more lively. And so I have more patterns and colors and more eclecticism coming into that space. So tuning into also. How you're going to be occupying the space and the different activities that will be happening there can also help you find what your style is for that specific space. Another way of inspiration is exploring your local community. Seeing what galleries are popping up, different museums that you can go to. And if travel is something that you might not have accessibility or have the space to during this moment, it's totally okay. I think there's an idea of being a tourist and your own local area where you have this new lens of newness walking down the street with maybe camera. I mean, these days, even our cell phone cameras are so great at capturing and documenting high-quality images. And so it's this idea of you walking down your own familiar street of your city, local neighborhood, and just observing how things are in a new light so you can find inspiration in that way. I love just jumping on my bike and bicycling around our neighborhood. And sometimes something will catch my eye and the sun will hit it in a specific way where I find that to be my aha moment. I go up there, I investigate it. What colors, what patterns, what textures, materials are coming together in that moment, where you can find that as your inspiration. And it's all around us. And so using this as a tool to help guide you with finding inspiration is just having an open mind and really, really connecting to that sense of new. And once you've found your source of inspiration is then a tool that we use all the time is making a mood board. This can either be done through printing things out and organizing them on a table with physical materials coming into play. How do you take that moment that you got the inspiration from and then translate it into your actual space. We find creating these moodboards help us to do that. And that can be in a physical way with printing things out. You can also create a mood board in a more digital format, which we often do for a lot of our client projects. You can do a folder in Pinterest or even on Google. There's various free softwares out there that can help you organize your different inspiration images and even grouped them into categories like maybe I'm inspired by the plantings in these images. Then in this grouping of images, I'm inspired by this specific type of pattern that I'm wanting to bring into my space by organizing and seeing what are those common themes and then extrapolating those themes out. That's how we can translate from the inspiration then into our actual spaces. A large tool is creating your own library, like we're walking libraries of different memories and archives and These definitions of specific categories that are always ongoing. And so when things are organized in a way where you know how to find them, then you can always pull them from your different libraries and then it turns into a new thing. And so it's using the visual imagery as a tool. So you can then Catalog, Archive, showcase, and put things together. When working with a client, we always use our visual tools and narratives to help convey an idea, because during that moment, we might not be able to build it. We might not be able to model it out and show that as a visual. And so when there's something that we use strongly as an example, it really helps sell that idea and push that concept forward. So as long as you know your references and know how to go back to your library and reuse things and then put them back whenever they've served their, serve their purpose. Our prompt for you is to find an inspiration and turn it into mood board. It can be both digital or physical. However you feel works best for you to demonstrate your moodboard. In our next class, we'll get into natural inspirations. 7. Natural Inspirations : In our first-class, we spoke about biophilia as one of our principles of holistic design. We're going to delve a bit deeper into this topic as the natural world is one of our biggest inspirations in our studio. Nature is so vast. It's the world that we live in. And we find there's so much that we can learn from observing and looking deeper into our natural world. Biophilia is the love of life. It's our way to look to nature for its fast inspirations. Biomimicry is a study of innovation to create products through different levels of technology, to observe and witness the solutions that nature has taken for it to both heal itself and go through its own problem-solving. Our world is constantly changing, which means that the plants and the animals on this earth are always problem-solving and shape-shifting. And looking to these as examples of our teachers is such a great way to adapt. Different methodologies that we've used through technology and product. Nature has done so many advances to self heal its own biome. And with that nature is always adapting. I'm looking to its own problem-solving solutions. When you look at a force, there's so many different layers for it to create its own balanced ecosystem. Like looking at this cross section. Cross-section basically means you're taking maybe a form and cutting in half and splitting it open. And with that, you can witness all the different cross-sections and areas where there are natural moments of those layerings helping each other through the forests natural ecosystem. When you look at these images that are deeply inspired by the cross-section of a forest. You can notice that the root structure is very similar to what we see in nature. It starts from the pillars down to what forms above it, and then how it spreads out to hold that architectural ceiling. It's a similar connection to what's happening to nature. And it also beautifies and brings in this sort of sense of natural inspiration. Another way that we are really inspired by the natural world is the fact that everything is always changing. Never is this moment in nature where things are fixed in stay the same. And with that, we take that into our practice of home design in that our spaces always can change as well. Instead of needing to have that perfect setup and have something reached this place that then it stays fixed forever. We really embrace this constant change, changing out things with the season, changing out objects in your space as you change. Seeing that this is such a natural way that the world is, change really is the only constant. And we embrace that. And we hope that that can help you not feel any sort of stress around meeting to have something be this perfect manifestation of your space. And with the cycles of the seasons, whatever that looks like where you live. We also get inspired to shift our homes and to take action perhaps when spring comes, spring cleaning and allowing these moments of seasonal transition to be reflected within our space. Again, goes back to that point of connecting to place and through noticing these shifts in the outer world and bringing them in to your inner world. It can help to bring about this sense of connection. We recommend connecting with artists, designers, and various locations that connect deeper to nature. This example of seeing the way that different people have been inspired by nature as such a great way to see that continued inspiration. So the best way to find natural inspiration is being out there. Go for a walk, go for a stroll, walk down the beach and see how specific shall speak to you or different pebbles that you feel gravitated towards. If you're walking outside in a park, notice how the tree branches are. For example, right behind us, we actually picked whatever tree that was outside, bringing the branches outside in to just create this better connection to our nature and our surrounding environment. It truly is the simplest experience of you being outside and connecting on a deeper level where you start to notice the really small details and nuances of the patterns of nature that you can start to bring more interior home. The final point on this topic is something we touched in the first-class related to the principle of care and the technique of working with plants. We love having living plants within the home. Whether that is something that is an indoor plant, or if you do have a small balcony or outdoor area, growing a native herbs and having this sense of growing plants and caring for them can be a super direct way to connect with the natural world. One great advice that I got when I first started growing herbs that I could then use for making tea, my friend, she said just start with one. Don't try to get a million. Just start with one, develop a relationship with it. And it was a super practical and approachable way to go about it. So I want to pass that on to you. Growing plants can be extremely therapeutic and help us feel a sense of balance within ourselves. Our prompt for you is to find your natural inspiration on your next project. That can be walking on a hike, going down on a stroll. But really, really noticing the natural patterns and formations that you can apply for your next project. And for our next class, we'll get into maximizing your budget. 8. Maximize Your Budget: How to take your budget to the mat, to the max, maximise your budget. It definitely starts with a clear plan. Even though the work that Mary and I do feel is very creatively driven, it always starts with a solid spreadsheet. We try our best to have organization and to make sure that we're plugging in all the information at hand. This plugin, it's depends on what aspect of the project it is, but there's always this balance of time, money, and quality. And of course that's an obvious statement to say that things cost money, but to be honest, how much does it actually cost? So at this point, we're always focus to just plug in all that information in. So that when we're dreaming big and we have all of these vast concepts that we like to guide our client through. We know at the end of the day how much this will cost. Being an estimator definitely takes time. It takes time and experience for you to understand how much something's going to cost and what the process of that. To find that cost, I filled out one of our main roles on most of our projects is to make sure that those dream concepts come to life. And a lot of that has to do with making sure that it's also within the budget. So thinking about where you can start for your own project. One of the tools that we use is to write down all of the dreams that you have for your project. Make a list very comprehensive, and then take that list and reorganize it. Ranking all of those dreams based on priority level. This can help you realize what are the things that you really, really want to have be part of the project and what things would be great to have, but maybe aren't essential. From there, we've provided you with a mock budget sheet that is interactive. So you can find that in the resources tab of the class. And we encourage you to work with that. We have it organized where there are these larger general categories that your project might include. For example, furniture, painting, electrical work. There's a few various categories there. Take the ones that are relevant for your project and delete the other ones. We like to organize it where we have these broad general categories. And then there's a lower part that starts to get into a line item for each specific item within that general category. It's helpful for me to think about it in this way and not get so into the nitty-gritty initially into each individual one. But more. Think about your rod budget and how much you can allocate to those different parts of the project. You can always look back to that list you made of what you really are trying to accomplish and tweak as needed to make sure that those big dreams are being able to be encompassed within your budget. Another pro tip is to know that things always tend to cost more. So think about if you really have a fixed budget, go about 15 to 20% lower than that, and just anticipate that through the process, things unexpected might happen that might increase that budget. We've found that by doing this, it can help just alleviate any stress of things than going over budget. And sometimes then we have extra leftover at the end. And then you can look back at that list and maybe be able to accomplish another one of those lower priority items. It's definitely a dance and the way that we approached the budget. And again, even though this might not sound like a really creative direction, we do love to find the creativity instead of the black and whites systematic approaches that we take on most of the projects. There's also liberating experience where when things are plugged in an organized manner, you know, when things can also shift as well, finding that organization beforehand can then bring more creativity to your projects. Another aspect of the budget is considering the things that you can do it yourself and the things that you may need to hire a team for. In the next two videos, we'll get into that deeper. But in general, if you do things yourself, they're going to be less than hiring someone else. So considering that also as you approach your budget can be really helpful. So circling back to time, quality and money, we recommend focusing on the quality and having that be the first step for your project because you can always revisit the other aspects at a later time. For our prompt, we encourage you to check out our mock budget and start plugging in a specific dream project that you had in mind. See where all of the different details come into play. And if this is a project that you can set forth to do both yourself or hiring a professional. And on that point, we're gonna get into do it yourself, DIY versus hiring a team in the next two videos. 9. Join the DIY Movement: Join the DIY movement. We're here to encourage you to do it yourself. If you have the means, the inspiration, and the ability. A large part of this is recognizing what do you have in your space that you'd like to alter? Is it painting it? Is it refinishing it? And then doing that investigation of what are the steps that it takes for you to get successful and reach your goal from point a to B to C. We're also capable of doing many things. We've found in our practice, stretching our comfort zone, and trying to do things ourselves is really empowering. Also know you can always reach out to a friend or family member. Everyone seems to know someone that's pretty handy and learn from them. Ask them if they'll do the project with you. Using. One of my favorite DIY things to do is refinishing wood. And it's so much more simpler than how it sounds. The first step to this is recognizing what piece in your house you'd like to alter and what type of what is it? There are two different types of woods that most furniture is constructed under. We have our hardwood varieties or veneer. Hardwood means it's the whole part of the word. The tree is forged from the forest and then it's cut. And then planed. Plane basically means that the board of the wood is created flat so it can be cut into many different dimensions, then turned into the piece subset furniture. When you recognize that the wood is a hardwood, the surface can then be sanded down and then you can either restrain it or use some of those more natural finishes that we love to use, like natural beeswax finish. This is one of my favorite products to use. It is from these box and has a natural citrus finish that you can use actually without wearing gloves. And it lets off a really great aroma and it really enriches the grain of the wood. So these are simple ways to recognize whether something is a hardwood. The next type of wood that most furniture is actually made of is a veneer. Veneer basically means that there's many different layers to the composition of the wood. It means that the top coat might be a really thin layer Of would. Generally it's an eighth to a 16th inch thickness. This means that the would actually cannot be sanded down. So with this in mind, you can think of another way to refinished the word, since the surface of the wood is already naturally thin, you can think of an opposite way of looking at refinishing, rather than sanding down what you would do with a hardwoods surface, you can then add more to the surface as in, you can paint it. So these are the two different approaches of refinishing. Would I recommend looking in your room and seeing if you can start to identify the two different types of wood. The next DIY thing that you can do yourself is painting. Painting is a way to really transform a space, to bring in a new color, or to even just refresh it and bring this new clean slate into a space. So a few pro tips with painting. Our, Once you have the color fan or you go to the hardware store and you're looking at all of these different colors that are an option for you choosing your color. And then we recommend choosing a straight lighter, and even consider choosing a shade a little bit darker. Purchase tiny samples of those three different tonalities and bring them into your space and actually paint onto your wall a square of that color. This is helpful to see how that color looks in your actual space, depending on the lighting conditions and how the sun interacts with that specific room, the color can vastly change. After you've painted those tests onto your wall, we recommend giving it a few days, feeling it out, noticing how it looks on a cloudy day versus a sunny day. And just taking in how that color feels to you. That's the way we've found. It's the most helpful to find that perfect pink color for your space. Using. A big aspect of DIY is using power tools. Again, the most important aspect of this is checking in with your comfort level. We have a wide range of what we feel comfortable when it comes down to using various power tools that actually could make louder noises than what we're accustomed to. So always have that check-in. What is something that you feel comfortable with using yourself? And what's the moment that you should ask for professional help from our experience of getting comfortable with using our own power tools. It has certainly opened up a huge range of DIY experiences that we could do ourselves within our own homes. Are you comfortable with the power, Joe? Are you familiar with the different attachments? What about a miter saw? What about a jigsaw? Cutting your own pieces of wood so it fits specifically in the area that you wanted to and your living room or in your bedroom. There's also something calming and meditative about using a power tool. So coming back into that holistic approach of checking in with yourself and having a common experience when you approach any type of wood cutting that might involve a sharper edge or any of these different processes. Looking to different carpenters and also looking at YouTube videos, they always have the sun and quality about them. And I think this should carry on with your entire project when you start to use these tools within your own space. This is also a great example of finding someone you know, who is comfortable with working with these tools. Who maybe we'll come over and show you how to use a drill to assemble a shelf on your wall. There is this middle ground between doing it fully yourself and hiring someone fully professional, relying on your network of people that you know to help you out. Our point of this lesson and joining the DIY movement is for you to feel excited and empowered that you learned something new. And you are the one that finished that project yourself to other simple DIY things that we feel are really approachable for everyone. Our first changing out your HVAC filters. Hvac stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. If you have one of these systems in your home, likely there is a filter that seasonally is best to change out. This helps improve air quality in the space and it helps filter out any impurities that are coming through that system. The other DIY aspect that I feel is super doable by everyone, is making your own natural cleaners spray. We've provided in the resource tab, a really simple recipe that you can use, using things that you can find at most supermarkets, we recommend that you can find a really beautiful spray bottle that you can reuse again and again. And you can mix your own custom cleaner and use that in your home. So make it yourself and do it yourself. We're so excited to share with you our own ways of approaching this DIY movement. For our prompt, we encourage you to look around your space and maybe find something that you can replenish yourself. Youtube can join the DIY movement from here. Well, now in our next video, get into hiring a team for those aspects of your project that perhaps are a little bit out of your comfort zone and that you need help with. 10. Hiring a Team : Depending on the scale and scope of your project, you may or may not need to hire a team. In this video, we're going to share our pro tips for how to go about hiring a team of professionals to work with. One thing to start out with is what a contractor is. This may or may not be a word that you're familiar with. A contractor is basically someone who is a director. They often have a network of different types of tradespeople that they work with. They have electricians, plumbers, mill workers, demo people, the whole spectrum of different types of people that work within the construction industry. Contractors organize the project and help bring in the people at the specific moments that they're needed. They often come at a premium because they are doing this role of directing, organizing for bigger projects. They also often have insurance and licenses, which depending on the scale of what you're doing, could be something that you need. For a smaller project. You can perhaps assume this role of the contractor and be the one coordinating all of these different types of people. Maybe you just need to get an electrician to do something like installing a new light fixture. Or perhaps you're wanting to switch out your sink faucet and you need help with that from a plumber. You can also take this role of seeking out these specific types of tradespeople. So I'm going to break it down and just a step process of working and hiring a team. The first step is to find someone who is recommended. Whether that's through a friend, a family member, or reading online reviews. We've found it's super important to find someone who you have some level of trust. The second step is to reach out to multiple people to get multiple quotes. This is something that allows you to compare and have this moment of choice and seeing what those different price points come in at. Once. You have your different quotes from the trusted sources. You can then perform a cost analysis for the project and really figure out what things you want to move forward with. And again, revisiting that idea of how to maximise your budget. The final step is once you have selected someone to work with, It's really important to get a written agreement with them that outlines what the scope of work is, how much it's going to cost, and what the timeframe is that they're going to complete that work within we find having written agreements just helps to not have any misunderstandings. So they're down the line. This is something that professionals should naturally provide to you. But if they don't, we encourage you to insist and get that written out documentation from them. For our professional projects, we always work with the contractor because there are so many moving pieces that need to come together. And we encourage you to just assess. If you have a larger project. Sometimes it really is worth it to work with the contractor because they will do what they do best of coordinating everyone. See for yourself what is the right direction for you. Our goal for this lesson is to help you gain the awareness of one you can do something yourself when you're hiring a professional. And what level of project isn't large enough to hire even a larger team? When Mary and I are joining on our professional projects, there are so many different types of roles and people that are part of our team. It's us the designer. We have the client, we have the architect, we have the mechanical engineer, and we have a contractor and a huge variety of subcontractors as well. When you start to look at your own home renovation project, is this project large enough for you to just work with a contractor? Or does it mean that you also have to hire an architect, potentially designers, or in an engineer, to just help advise you on what type of build is the right direction that will help you understand the full scope of your project. When we come on site for a project, it feels that there's a massive juggle of communication were essentially working to make sure that all the communication is flowing between us and the client, the architect, potentially mechanical engineer, and the contractor. We learn every day these different types of vocabulary just to make sure that we're in alignment of what we're talking about. The reason why it involves so many people on these renovation projects is the skill set and the level and attention to detail. And the things that get highlighted on the project are so vast that we require these professionals to help inform us what we need to know when we move forward with our design. The best thing that we can recommend when working with professionals is asking all the questions. There is truly no question that is too small or too large. We ask questions all the time when we're on-site. And the reason why we're always looking to our professionals to guide us. Is there might be something in the project that comes up that we have to problem-solve directly on-site. No project is perfect. And so we come with this mentality that when we enter a project and something is told to us about the specific ceilings caving in. Or there's an economic system that has to get put into place in the ceiling. How tall is that HVAC system? What does it look like? Is that going to alter the curtains closing is not going to alter what finishes we put on the wall. Do we want to paint that HVAC system? All of these considerations impact our design. So as you start to think about your project and your own home, if it does have this larger layer of complexity, just know that there will be things that arise through the process. And like Steffi sharing. Ask questions, have your problem-solving hat on, and just keep a positive attitude and hopefully the whole team around you will as well. Asking questions is a central key part of our project. When we first embark on the project, the questions are large. We just like to get a full ask of what is going on so it can help inform our design. And then as we progress, the questions get more detailed and specific to how we can finalize the project. On one of my first industrial design jobs, I had to design a custom sofa for residential projects. Know Anna told me that there was a maximum length of the actual freight elevator that was going to take the sofa up to the apartment. So when I designed it and everything got approved, we realized that after the sofa was built and it was brought to the building for installation, it didn't it didn't fit in the elevator. And so through quick problem-solving and a lot of shock and paddock coming onto myself. We decided that the best solution was to just cut the Soufan, have real pollster both ends and just have that be when we were installing it in the space. What ended up happening is the client loved the sofa so much that it almost had this actual like modular vibe of the sofa, where we put a side table in the center. And it had a really beautiful opening that separated the two pieces. That in mind after that project, I have never once not asked what the dimensions of the freight elevators. Through these personal journeys and experiences, you start to know what questions to ask. And again, a reminder that no question is too small or large. One question that I always ask a professional that I might be working with is if they've done something like this before, it's super-helpful to work with people who have experience in whatever you are trying to do. So asking, have you done something like this before? And even seeing examples of that work can help you see if that's someone that you want to work with. Definitely having a guideline and a frame of work is super helpful in any project. When you're bringing people on your team, it's just good to know what have they done. So Our prompt for this lesson is to think of there's an aspect of your project that you are going to need to hire professional for. And perhaps as you start looking for someone, think about that main question of asking if they've done it before and seeing their portfolio of work. And in our next lesson, we will take you through our design process. 11. Design Process and Planning : In this lesson, we will talk about our design process. The design process takes a step by step approach. There's almost this calculated measure of one. We know we can expand on an idea when we initially start in our process, it feels like casting a really large net where we let all of those ideas flow. We go approach the project with so many different angles. Sometimes our client, we'll say a specific word and we'll just go for that word and expand on all these different angles and see what catches. This is the exciting part of the project where we get to just really go for a wide range of different ideas. When we're talking about this design process, you can adapt this step. If it's not necessarily client. Maybe when we start saying the word client, you can maybe alter that into maybe the client is you, the client is your roommate, maybe a family member, or maybe even someone that you are actually trying to embark on a project with. So just keep that in mind as we start to discuss some of these tips. Like Steffi is saying, we, in our professional practice, move through these various steps. And it helps us recognize when there are these threshold moments of when we need to make certain decisions, when they're still flexibility at the beginning and as it moves through and gets narrower and narrower, when we have to make firm decisions and move the project into the construction. And manifestation will list out just the steps that we move through. And then we'll dive a little bit deeper into what each of those steps are. So the big picture phase is the schematic design and concept phase. This is where we really look to put the narrative and the story of the project together. This is something that is going to pull us into making sure that we're on the right path. And it's also the fun process where, how is this space going to look like? What are, what are the divisions of spaces? We start to look at the project as a whole and also have that feeling based approach where things aren't technical yet. We really want to make sure that the direction that we're embarking this project with is aligned with what the client and ourselves. So you can think about that. This concept phase is using that idea of finding your style, your story, your inspiration, your aha. And then as we move into schematic, that starts to be okay, how do those ideas start to come into the space? Perhaps making some layouts of what you're trying to do, starting to think about that big picture budget, those aspects. After we approached the schematic process, That's the development process where maybe some of the things that we've cast, our net start to grab and we're going for those actual concepts and ideas. Now when we start to explore these narratives, It's about putting a really large brush stroke on how the vision will be when it comes down. And design development 12, this is an interesting process where we start to navigate between two-dimensional design and three-dimensional design. When we use these reference points to maybe show a client like what about this? What do you, what do you think, how this looks like? And the client actually likes this direction? Then we start to take apart what that is and we start to build it out in model form. So there's a balance of what we do is using some of our more technical approaches to start building things out in space. So when the brushstroke gets painted, we then start honing in on those details and further develop those ideas so that those concepts can start to become a reality. At the end of design development to, we usually have a full set of plan drawings, as well as three-dimensional visualizations that really encompass the intention of the project. From there, we move into the next step, which is construction documents. This is when we even go one level deeper, we start making more detailed drawings of a lighting plan or a custom furniture piece. Also assigning specific materials to each of the aspects in pieces of the project. This is what we do in our professional approach. And we wanted to just share this more nitty-gritty step-by-step in case you want to adapt it to your own project. Or even if you in the future are working with a professional designer and want to understand what the process looks like and what phases in the project you need to be focused on different things like Steffi shared. We really enjoy at the beginning dreaming big and allowing your imagination to really go to the edges. And then through moving through the phases, bring it into something more concrete. Starting with pragmatic and starting out by trying to know exactly what you're doing. Sometimes can stifle creativity and not allow certain things to unfold and be discovered as you move through this more dynamic design process. Also recognizing when you are embarking on a project where you have the ability to skip steps, and that's totally okay as well. We're kind of in this ebb and flow of the way that you are embarking on your own project, whether small or large. And so taking our design process as sort of a template and then adapting that to your own project. And making sure that when you are flowing through each of the steps, you can always reference the step before to help you direct that next step that you're going towards. So now we're going to walk you through our design process and share phase by phase and show on screen some of the visual assets that are part of that step. So starting with concept design, this is where we will create our mood boards. Remembering how you find your style, your aha moment, where are you drawing inspiration from? This is the moment when we create that beautiful visual tapestry of what we're going for with the project. From there, we then move into schematic design. This is where we will make 2D plan drawings and elevations that start to take the concepts and bring them into the actual space in this phase, often we'll also do a few different options in iterations to figure out what the best layouts might be for that space. For example, when you're looking at these layouts, we might have the bar, main dining area, and maybe the lounge entry at different areas. Sometimes even we're exploring the entry point of where the front of the door is. So you'll see in these plans that there are many different options for seeding within the space when we explore design development, that's when we're moving forward with how something more or less as laid out. And we're starting to take things from plan, which is the bird's-eye view, into elevation, which is the side front view. And if you look at a project when you walk into the space, you have the directional point of north, east, south, and west. We also like to use these directional points to dissect our drawings. Now, this is a little bit more of the technical part of the project where with the client we're serving, making sure that all of those areas and dimensionalities and whatever proportions that we have that you're seeing on the wall is correct. And it's moving forward after design development too. That's when we start to jump into our construction drawings. When we're integrating our contractor that we mentioned before into our process. He's the one that's sort of then gets to view our drawings to make sure that all of this is in the right direction of what could be in the realm of building. And we have this sort of back-and-forth with him regarding the budget, price points and also overall timelines as well. Then after that, we hit the ground running, the project starts to move forward and demo starts happening in the space. And that's when the magic happens in the projects. Our timeline for a project like this can range from six months to even a year. We've even worked on projects that have lasted six months. Again, this is a long example of a process that we take within our approach. In observing our own process, we encourage you to adopt your own by looking at the steps that we've taken. It's totally okay to skip out on some of these steps. But starting from that foundational concept to development, to actually finalizing a project when you're looking to remodel your own personal space. What does that initial concept design, where you start to reference your own images and lay out a mood board and a direction that you'd like to take it. From there. The concept design development can be quite simple without any technical ability. Could you pull out a notebook and draw out your plan and see that direction of how you want things to shift within your space. And then from there, seeing the project through maybe it's a DIY experience for your own or hiring a contractor professional to finalize the project. Another thing that you can think about if you don't have these 3D modeling capabilities like we do as professionals, is to just in real time in your space, move things around, even mark things up with other pieces that you already have. Another tactic is to take a photograph of your space kind of emptied out and print it out and then sketch on top of it and start to see how different pieces of the puzzle can come together. We really believe that you don't need to have all of these high advanced technical skills to still be able to work through these different steps of the process. Going from your concept, moving into your plans, moving into three-dimension, and then starting to execute. We hope that you understand this general flow and that it helps you in thinking about making your project more approachable and more accessible for you to do. One last note is timeline. That's something in our client projects that typically we aim to outline a timeline saying, how many weeks are we going to do concept design, how many weeks schematic, so on and so forth. So our prompt for you is to think about the project that you're taking on and to give yourself a little bit of an outline of time. How long do you want to spend developing this process? And it can even be as short as one day and spending a few hours or even 30 minutes on each of these steps. Or maybe that's expanded out to a few weeks or even a few months. So take this step-by-step process, give yourself a little bit of a timeline and see how that can help you stay organized and move your project forward. So tying it back into some of our previous lessons, the concept phase, you've already touched on this. This was finding your style and your aha moment. And perhaps you've already created your mood board. Great concept is done. Now perhaps think about if you started to move into schematic as you were thinking about things that you could do yourself, things that you might need to hire someone for what your budget is and what is actually in the realm of possibility for you to do as part of your project. Think about how you might move from this schematic into design development and eventually into construction documents and execution. Perhaps start to think about a timeline in which these steps are going to play out over so that you can stay organized and really realize this project for yourself. In our next lesson, we will talk about human scale. 12. Human Scale: In this lesson, we're going to talk about human scale. Have you ever wondered why things are the way that they are in the built environment. So much of that has to do with the relationship to our human bodies. The scale of the heights of rooms, the heights of doors, all of these different aspects I'll have to do with our human experience. Human scale is something that we really need to consider when moving in the design process. Like we talked in the previous lesson, when we're moving from that schematic design into design development, we're moving from a 2D view into a three-dimensional view. And when we do that, we really start to take into consideration human scale and the way in which different aspects of their space relate to our human body. So when you walk through your house, you'll notice that the entries set up in a specific way. The kitchen, the dining room, bedroom, and living room. When you're in the kitchen, there's more action happening. You're standing there with the cupboards being a specific height. You need access to the sink. The dishwasher is running. There's a lot of functionality that happens within the kitchen. And with that, you'll also notice that another layer of materiality is specific to the kitchen. When you move over to the dining room, you have tables at a specific height and so do the chairs. So all of these pieces of furniture, they all relate to each other. If you look at how high the chandelier is hung over the dining table and then the chairs go underneath. That's all sort of a measurement that's put into place where it provides maximum comfort for the specific functionality of the space that you're in. When you move over to the bedroom, things might be a little bit lower. Your lounge chair might be at a lower height than the dining chair. Your bedside table might be also at the same height of the top of your bed. And so things like that are measurements that increase that level of comfort just due to the amount of years that humans have been on this earth and starting to occupy these different spaces. When you move over to the bathroom, there's also a different level of functionality. And so that's also another finished change, along with specific dimensions that also harness. You're walking into that bathtub or using the sync, using the mirror at the specific height that it is. So all of these things relate to the human scale and the dimensions that we're so accustomed to seeing are actually very, very well calculated. Also, I don't know if you've noticed when you walk into an older home, some of the dimensions might feel off. And so that's another example of how humans within this modern Earth and society are changing. And the houses and the homes that we live in are also adopting as well. One thing that we think a lot about in terms of human scale is developing this sixth sense of just knowing how large things are or how small they are. One tool that we would love to share with you is using your own body as a tool for measurement so you can measure out what is one large stride for you? For most people, it's around three feet. By knowing that measurement, if you are in a space that is new to you, you can quickly paste it out and get a sense of, oh, maybe this room is around 12 feet by 20 feet. And then, okay, that's around 240 square feet. It's a tool that as designers, we've started to really hone in on being able to recognize how many square feet is this space and then how might that impact other aspects of the project, like amount of furniture that might fit in there or what the budget is. All of these different aspects are impacted by the scale of the space. Another thing you can use is your hand. You can measure out how large this distances. For me, it's about six inches. So I know if I perhaps need a new credenza for one place in my room and I have, say, 36 inches of space to fill. When I'm out shopping for that piece, I can really quickly just use my hand and measure out a piece. In our first-class, we went into a more technical approach of using tape measures and creating scale drawings. So that's something you're interested in. We definitely recommend you check out that lesson on space planning. But we're really hoping that you also start to develop this more intuitive sense of the scale of space and how it relates to your own body and using your body to help you interface and learn that skill. There's something interesting that I heard that maybe the tips of your fingertips are actually the length of your body. Maybe that's something to explore as well. And the dimensions are endless. And any anytime we walk into these different spaces, and we use that as a tool of communication. Whenever we receive a call from a client or a real estate developer, they will tell us, okay, this space is about 11 thousand square feet. That's pretty large, or 4 thousand in square feet. And so that gives us a visual narrative for us to start, as Mario saying, the specific modalities of planning and kind of helps us understand the scope of the project. And maybe even like an overall timeline, we can start to put together with the specific square footage Measurements. One example to link our conversation with scale, with a scale that you're already familiar with is a basketball court. Do you know the square footage of a basketball court? It's actually 4,500 square feet. And it's interesting for us to start to dissect this number. Most restaurant projects that we have worked on in your city are much smaller than 4,500 square feet within this space for fitting in the kitchen, the bar, the entry, even two to three different areas of seating. So that's sort of an interesting way to start to connect things that you're already familiar with. With the grand aspect of scale. Yeah, finding those reference points that maybe are irrelevant in your own life and using those as a way to familiarize yourself with scale of space. Another aspect of human scale is how it extends into the vertical space. Thinking about the feeling of perhaps being in a space that has a really tall ceiling and this open expansiveness that, that holds, that might be wonderful for space, that is for gathering and for people coming together. But maybe in a bedroom, you might actually want that space to feel a little bit easier. So if you do have a high ceiling, maybe that's an opportunity to drop something to create a more intimate feeling. Noticing just how in the vertical space it relates to our human scale and the feeling that we have within those spaces. Oftentimes you find that you walk into the space and it might be the proper measurement that it is. But a lot of the mistakes that I see when I walk into people's bedrooms is the height of their actual seat that they're sitting in and they're working desk. This creates huge issues for your body as your crashed over and not really using that sense of scale of maximum productivity and making sure that your body is in full alignment. So there's sort of an health issue as well. So I recommend making sure that whatever you're sitting in for the majority of your day to reach full productivity is at the right scale. On this topic of desk, it's the right scale for you. It is something that, yes, while there are these universals of a desk height is usually somewhere between 28 inches and 30 inches. And a seat is somewhere between 17 to 18.5 inches. Depending on your height and your body type. Those might need to be adjusted a little bit. And it's amazing how sometimes even just half an inch or one inch can make a really big difference. That's why you often see these types of office chairs that are adjustable, that move up and down a little bit because There's a lot of intricacy there. So figure out what works best for you. And if that's raising your table a little bit, if your chair is enabled to be adjusted or getting a nice chair that can work for your body. One pro tip, if you live in a space that may be a smaller and maybe has lower ceilings, is to go with furniture that's also a bit lower if you can and if that's accessible for your body. Sometimes when I go into a space that's really low ceiling and then there's high furniture that's really bulky. It can make the room feel really cramped. I definitely err on the side of just letting things be a bit lower to the ground when things aren't so bulky and higher up, it can allow for the space to feel more open. So our prompt for you in this lesson is to take a guess, the square footage of your current space, maybe that's your bedroom or your living room. Write that number down, and then take a measurement of your human body scale without using a tape measure. Write that number down and then take an actual tape measure and start to play with those three numbers that you're guessing. You're using your body and you're using an actual technical measurement. That's true to the actual scale. In our next lesson, we're going to jump to take a seat. 13. Take A Seat: So come and take a seat with us. Have you ever wondered the difference between the terminologies, antique, vintage, and retro? These are terms widely used to describe various pieces of furniture. Objects are day-to-day things. Even when you go to purchase things, have you ever wondered why it's categorized as antique, vintage or even retro? Antique means that object is more than a 100 years old. You almost have a viewpoint and a perspective of how people lived during that era and also how craftsmanship was made during that time. Vintage is more than 50 years old. This is where we start to reference older things that maybe our parents grew up with. Retro is over 30 years old. It might even suggest a nostalgic moment within your childhood. And as timelines are changing and we're getting older as well, these three terminologies are also changing. So it's a good practice to know these terminologies. So you know when things are being described in a specific way and also a reminder, time is also changing as well. And as we get older, these terminologies will also change. So for example, something that would be considered antique might be a beautiful would carve table that was made in the 1800s, since that's over 100 years old, that piece would be considered antique. Vintage might be one of those old wooden record player boxes from the sixties. Since that's over 50 years old. When we think about Retro, perhaps that's a Rolling Stones t-shirt from the late eighties, which is both over 30 years old. N is the specific time period. So looking into the past of an object that you're super familiar with can help tell that story of how we interact with design on a regular basis. Like for example, the chair that you're sitting in. Do you know what that chair came from, where the design is, and how old that chair is. The history of the chair is over 5 thousand years old. Using a familiar object like the chair to teach you and guide us through an entire journey of design. And a timeline of history is a good way to have a better connection with how we describe various things that we are interacting with on a day-to-day basis. The chair is a unique combination of functionality, fashion during that time and technology as it develops. So we're gonna guide you through some examples of chairs, starting from the first chair ever recorded in history. So as we go through the history of the chair, think about which periods of time you perhaps connect with and how that can loop back into the project that you're working on. Using. Have you, again this chair, it likes to be fed twice a week. This is the first recorded chair and history. It's nearly about 5 thousand years old, dated back from the Greek islands. After about 500 years, a similar chair was discovered in Egypt. Everyone sat on stools are on the ground, but these chairs were reserved for the elite. This is a chair that you might be super familiar with. They're often seen in these country homes upstate in the mountains. It's actually a chair that was designed when the Constitution was written. This chair is the Art Deco era. Around the 1920s, when there was an exploration of how metal was bent. And this is the moment where more chairs started to become more ornate. Jumping into the 1860s was a movement of the Memphis era where artists started to push heavily on sculptural chairs that had more artistic character. An exploration of shapes and geometry, and an explosion of color palette. This era went against some of the more traditional aspects of both architecture, interior design and these many elements that's felt very stuffy and stiff. And it brought, and more of this other energy of bringing in playfulness to design in the United States during the sixties, Charles and regimes were at the forefront of creating furniture that was accessible by Middle America. They did this by transitioning World War two factories that were used to making military gear into remodeling these factories to make furniture. Through their designs and this manufacturing technique, they were able to mass produce these various furniture items and allow families across America to purchase these different furniture pieces. This chair design is actually quite iconic, also designed by Charles and Ray aims. And it's such a common chair that most people familiarize themselves as a designer chair. Along with these collections of chairs, they at some point might've been retro, but now we see them as being vintage. This is what we would call mid-century modern design in America. It's always used in those designer magazines that you see when you walk into these spaces where they have a timeless approach. Those are the references to this era of chairs. As we mentioned, that chairs have a connection towards fashion, technology and functionality. This is a moment where technology has made mass advancements towards the creation of the objects around us. Along with this chair. This chair signifies the development of metal welding on an industrial scale. These are now examples of more contemporary driven chairs, where you may have heard the term or chair. This is a term where you start to see chairs within galleries. And is it art? Is it a chair? Can you sit in it? Here's a chair where we see it's actually growing living mushrooms. This is an example of something that definitely is more on the side of art, then on the side of a functional chair. This chair is an example of biophilic design at play. This is a chair that plays on the human scale. It's using a reference to something that we might see as a smaller scale and making it quite large so that your experience of it changes with a huge emphasis on art and playfulness. Understanding and diving deeper into the history of design can help you find your style and your inspiration. If there's something that really resonated with you and what we shared, perhaps investigate that time period further and see what other designs are within that time. Our prompt for you in this lesson is to look around your space, find a piece of furniture where then you can start to date that period of era that it was made, where it came from and ultimately possibly who designed it. In our next lesson, we're going to get into lighting. 14. Lighting : Lighting can take on one of the most important roles in any space. Have you ever noticed that sometimes you walk into a space and it just feels so inviting and comforting. It isn't necessarily about what's going on in the space, but it's more about how your eye perceives the space or the opposite. Have you ever walked into a space where it's just actually kinda jarring and it feels really uncomfortable. And you almost feel like there's eyes all over you. Again. Lighting can either make the space or make the space feel not as inviting or welcoming as we intend it to be. In our first class, we talked about some of the more technical aspects of lighting. With the temperature of lighting, having it on dimmers and these sorts of things. So revisit that class. If you want to get more into the technical aspects, a few more tips that we wanted to bring up in this class, because we are so passionate about good lighting and space. Are some more of these on beyond tool types of light. So that might look like having there be different types of lighting for different types of uses in space. Whether that's a task light for illuminating your reading at night, or my personal favorite, bringing colored light into space. This is a way of bringing color into your space in a pretty noncommittal type of way. You don't have to paint your walls of color. You can play with getting different colored light bulbs, putting them into your fixture, and putting those on either during the day or during the evening. We also love mixing colors of light. I feel one of our favorite combinations is mixing pink light in orange light and almost creating this sunset type of environment inside. Another pro tip that we can't reiterate enough is the power of dimming lights. Installing simple dimmers can be very accessible to you. It could be one of those DIY things or something that you could take our advice on hiring a professional to do. There's also simple plug-in dimmers for perhaps a floor lamp that you can just purchase at any hardware store. Adding a demurrer to your lights is a way that we connect into that biomimicry of dimming the lights when it starts to get dark outside, turning things down and allowing our cycles to be in the natural rhythm. All of these tips create more of these calming environments and also recognizing what can create a more calming effect. Even with these colored light bulbs, you can actually buy newer LED light bulbs that have a full range of color spectrum. I was able to buy one and actually replace most of my light bulbs in them. And they can link to your phone. And you can pretty much set it so it can have, it can pulse to specific music you're playing. It can have an entire rainbow spectrum that's automatic. And so you have this fun little party light setting in your room. Some of our commercial projects are approached again with sort of highlighting the way that we organize our projects and the way that we look at spreadsheets is we like to divide the lights in specific areas of programming. We have our entry light, we have our bar light, we have the main dining light, and maybe even a hallway light. Bathroom might LED lighting behind all the furniture. So the list goes on. So know that when you walk into a space, it isn't necessarily about that. One main bright light idea is about breaking up the lights in so many different vantage points where you see light there or you see a light there. And it's almost about that idea of division. It makes the space have more mystery. And along with that narrative of telling a story that you'd like to explore along that same theme of mystery. We also love working with candles in a safe way. Of course, one way you can work with them is putting them in a glass container so that they are contained. But that natural flicker of a candle can bring this really playful dynamic light into any space and bring about that feeling of mystery. In our prompt for this lesson, we invite you to look around your space. Notice how the light is during the day, and then notice how the light is during the night. Is there something that you can change that can add more comfort to your space? And now in our next video, we will explore art and Deco. 15. Art and Decor: In this lesson, we're going to get into those finishing touches of any space, art and decor. With art, It's a wide spectrum of things that are out there. And personally, I always take an approach of finding that personal authenticity. It's something we've talked a lot about before when we were exploring our style and other aspects. And what that can look like is connecting to an artist that is perhaps a friend or a family member. Perhaps it's someone in your local community. It also a piece of art that you feel a really close connection with. I find are hanging in my space is a great way to invite this daily reminder of perhaps something that I'm calling into my life. So art can be this way of inspiring us and reminding us on a daily basis of connecting to beauty and opening ourselves up to this larger than life world. Definitely, art into core can be a connection of memory and experience of travel and that connection of past, present, and future. For me personally, a lot of my art and decor reflects my personal experiences of travel. It's that moment where you walked through the market in different cultures and you just feel like those textiles and patterns beautifully resonate with your space. It could be maybe one lineage of color. Maybe it's just all blue and you have many different textiles and patterns and cultures of blue coming together that unites that. Or it's just a specific style of textiles that you're drawn to. It could be imagery, it could be symbolism comes, shapes, patterns, whatever that is. I think putting that together and embracing your eclectic nature as we are such unique individuals, a really great way to showcase yourself in a unique way. Again, an emphasis on finding your authenticity. Really look deep into yourself to see what you enjoy and what you like, rather than copying what you're seeing online or these various different reference images that we've mentioned. Use them as a tool and a starting point. But also it's great to embrace that you can have your own journey with discovering your own art and decor and your own style. There's always this possibility that you can infuse meaning into a piece. It doesn't have to be this super expensive piece of art to be valuable to you. We really invite you to find what you are trying to connect with in that piece and infuse your own meaning into the works and the decor that you have in your space. In our first-class, we talked a little bit about focal points. And this is a great direction for us to revisit those focal points. Maybe you had already set it up in our first-class. And you'd like to revisit that again in this second one. And so we highly encourage you to always have this shape-shifting quality about your space. That the art into core is actually the fun part. That it's always forever moving and changing. It's okay to have an entire library of things that you're swapping out per season. And again, that emphasis of antique, vintage and retro. It could be a combination of any of those items coming together to really, really represent who you are. This is also an opportunity to channel that DIY spirit, grab a Canvas, some paints, and create your own artwork for your space. We believe that everyone has it in them to create a piece of beauty and art. And we encourage you to just give it a try. One of our favorite decor items to work with our mirrors. Mirrors can be a great way to make a small space feel bigger, to bring reflectivity and play of light into your space. Be mindful that mirrors are portals. So often, just taking into consideration where you place them, for example, in a way they never really put mirrors in the bedroom. Or if they do, then they're covered when they're actually sleeping. See what feels good to you, but just being aware of how these mirrors can open up and reflect different things in your space. Our prompt for you in this lesson is to revisit and decor and your space. Is there something that you can sort of shift in your space where it changes the narrative or a story. Is there something that you can add or take away? We recommend you to approach that as a mindful openness experience and show a before and after photo. So this leads into our final video, wrap it up. 16. Wrap It Up : Stonework. Oh wow, we're out of T. Must be time to wrap it up. This is our conclusion video for the class. Something that is a practical tool on this topic of wrapping it up is when you do reach the completion of your project, how to tie all the loose ends and really finish out any project. In the design industry, we have a term called a punch list. And what this is, is, as we reach the end of a project, we walk around the space and we make a list of all of these little things that still need to get done. Then we use that list and we assess an actionable plan of how all of these things are going to get completed. It can be super helpful to just name what those things are. And perhaps some things might take still a bit of time to complete. And that's okay. But when we just are able to acknowledge it and figure out a little bit of a plan. It can help to just release any sense of frustration or overwhelmed trying to get those loose ends tied up. We encourage you to try this out to make a punch list for your project when you get to the end of it. When wrapping things up, It's such a great time of reflection. Thinking about what happened during that time of that project. And really reflecting deep within no project is perfect. And it's really embracing that entire experience from start to finish. Maybe something went wrong. Did you learn something? These are all tools and tips that we love to reflect back on so that at them the day we're so proud that you actually embarked on that, on that project. And there's always a learning curve to every experience that we do. When we are finalizing our entire course and going through all the steps of the holistic design, The Mindful guidebook. We love to just remind you that you did such an incredible job that participating and making that next step of that critical thinking, problem-solving, investigative knowledge, and then linking in some of the terminologies that we've set out and also some of the prompts and all of that coming together can really create a well-rounded holistic knowledge. We hope that you are leaving this class feeling more equipped with all these various tools that we presented. And that you can use these tools in your projects moving forward. Remembering that you can start small but grow them into larger projects in the future. Celebrating your wins is also something that we really suggest you do. Be proud of yourself for even accomplishing a small project. And we would love it if you take your favorite class prompt and post it into the Class Projects tab of the course. That could be maybe taking a before and after if you did something with the art and deco, or perhaps it's sharing you're incredibly organized design process or budget. Or maybe it's even posting in the mood board that you made in the finding your style, whatever you feel most inspired to share, we'd love to see it and hear from you. The process of holistic design is about finding your own process. So we're here taking you through our own process to give you some type of templating and parameter for you to work in. And really at the end of the day, you're going to take this into your own experience and develop your own holistic process. We're so excited to see what you come up with after our class. And we look forward to seeing more further updates with some of these personal projects that you work on in your own personal space. Or it's maybe a client driven project where you start to join us within a more professional field of interior design. A final reminder, if you haven't downloaded the mindful guidebook that's in the Resources tab. Go ahead and do that. We hope that this will provide you with a reference point as you move forward with these various holistic design projects. I'm stuffy and this is Mary of Clear Studios. You can follow us on Instagram, queer Sousa NYC, or even our website, which is listed on our profile. And we'll be posting some of our upcoming work that we're super excited to share with you. And hopefully this will be another investigation and outlook on our holistic design process. And be on the lookout. We have a third class coming soon. Thanks for joining us and we'll see you next time. Bye, bye. Rolling, rolling.