A Holistic Interior Design Practice – a year in the making

Posted by Phoebe Oldrey in Story of Us

Summer can be a great time to step off the treadmill for a moment and take stock of where life is.  I turn one year older in September (not as much fun as it used to be!), kids head into a new year at school and I contemplate the highlights and changes in Smartstyle Interiors of the year behind and plan for the year ahead. As summer ends Autumn feels like the start of the year to me. 

The Year Behind 

This time last year, following doing my Ted X Talk, I was putting the finishing touches on the rebranding of Smartstyle Interiors and getting ready for the big launch. But the relaunch wasn’t just about a new logo and website, it was about putting my heart on my sleeve and yelling about taking a Holistic approach to our Interior Design work and blog.  

I have always passionately talked about how design is more than just how things look, it is also about how they function and feel.  How can we possibly be comfortable in a room that doesn’t work well or makes us feel unsettled? We can’t!!! With a Holistic Home everything is connected, and the designer understands this – designing a space that fully supports the life lived in it.    

Two years ago I talked about holistic design to friends and family but I realised I was staying mainstream – covering what I thought other people wanted me to be as a designer and blogger. It was time to change. 

It felt scary to brand myself as a Holistic Interior Designer. It was a new concept and I worried people think it was a bit weird.  When I wrote my first blog post about how The Holistic Design Revolution was coming and what it meant I didn’t know if anyone out there really felt the same.  

But the Holistic Design Revolution is most definitely here.  I have covered my different topics each months from Biophilic designDesigning for a Better Night’s Sleep, being a More Conscience Interior Design Consumer to Wellness in Design. But I saw that I wasn’t alone. Magazines and books started to cover these aspects of design and ask about building a more mindful home. With 90% of our lives spent indoors we are wanting all our environments to make us happy and contented. 

But it’s not just about talking the talk, it’s about waking the walk, which means making a Holistic Design approach the center of my work. To do this I restructured our design process to taking more time to understand the client and the full scope of the job, giving us room be as be amazingly creative. I ask questions well beyond “What do you want it to look like?” so I can understand how people live and use the rooms they wish us to design. Our design work has flourished because of it, we are producing really “Wow” worthy rooms that go way beyond looking fab on instagram. 

This has been an amazing year for Smartstyle Interiors, designing more homes than ever before. Always striving to design spaces that are just right for each client and their family; that support their lifestyle. It is fair to say I love what I do and working with the people I do. It is always about my clients, after all once I finish the job and walk out the door it is their home and I want it to put a smile of their face every single day.  

I am pleased that I took a leap of faith last year to say I work in a holistic way and not just for a portfolio image. I had always worked this way, I just never shouted about it before. I feel true to my core values which brings me a lot of contentment in the work we deliver. I can’t wait for the year ahead.

The Year Ahead 

So what is ahead? As the first leaves start to fall I will be getting my head down on a number of different design projects. We have a busy autumn ahead, with some clients moving into new homes, other renovating their current home and the others starting out on new designs. As a business owner, this is the year for infrastructure and continued analyses to make our in-house process even slicker. A little bit of tweaking can make a whole heap of difference to small business. I will continue to learn more and more about anything that can help me design better intuitive interiors. As the Smartstyle team and brand grows we never lose sight that I want our clients home or business interiors to be a joyful experience for everyone. 

The blog has become my place to share the bigger ideas behind design and I will continue to explore these topics and enthusiastically write about them. Right now we live in a world that is waking up to the power of design and I will grab every opportunity to share my passion for that subject. To keep my blog about having a voice from my professional experience, I am proud to continue to be “affiliate free”, so when I talk about a product it’s genuinely because I love it, not because I need you to buy it.  

My plan for next year is to continue to work hard, do everything the best I possibly can and enjoy life. Maybe I should start the #workingmybestwork slogan! So excuse me for a moment while I dive right in to the next year, there’s a lot to get done.   

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