Why Combine Design And Coaching

Because: Many factors of the physical environment have a significant impact on day-to-day health and productivity, but it is often the interactions between multiple environmental factors that matter most.

(Source: WELL Building Standard)




The First time I saw this type of diagram that charts the percentage of our environment that affects our health, my jaw dropped. I had been practicing architecture for years and I didn't know. "Why aren't people paying more attention to the environment?" I asked myself.


But that's a story for another day. The percentages vary depending on the source of the information, but without a doubt: it cannot be disputed that our environment affects our physical and mental health.


The first thing you will need to look at is: What is health? I like how The World Health Organization puts it , "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."


Combining coaching and design services looks at the bigger picture of whole wellness. The arrangement of the furniture in your living room could be encouraging people to watch TV instead of interacting with each other and strengthening relationships.


When specific physical elements and their arrangement capture attention, evoke feelings, & create a lasting impression, it may increase your motivation and decrease stress and depression.


There are so many instances where one thing affects another. Its not always easy to see the connections. So, lets take a look at why this combined consultation service is provided as coaching.



Definition: Joyful Interior Space Coaching, is partnership (defined as an alliance, not a legal business partnership) between the Coach and the Client in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires the client to maximize personal potential and improve the look of their space. The consultation is designed to facilitate the creation/development of personal, professional or business goals. It engages the space to be instrumental to the clients physical and mental health, fitness, and wellbeing; when a strategy/plan for achieving those goals is develop and carried out.
(Read more in Terms and Conditions)



If you have experienced all three, a counselor, a coach and a therapist, you might have a different opinion about the differences and where they overlap. This is largely because of different modalities and specialization. 


The approach that I take is integrative health. I am not a Certified Integrative Health Coach, but the term integrative simply means unifying separate things. And this is why I use this approach:


Integrative health focuses on the whole person and is informed by evidence. It addresses the full range of  physical,  emotional,  mental,  social,  spiritual and environmental influences.


Since I combine coaching and design, Integrative Health is a modality that is the most appropriate: integrative health addresses environmental influences.



(Source: Duke University Integrative Coaching)


Because Integrative health is person centered, I speak intuitively and don't just give you, "The popular five steps to achieve XYZ." Or the, "Designs that are the most popular trends to achieving a healthy home." 


Its a collaborative process where you are the expert on yourself. This whole-person approach enables you to embody your life more completely. You can open up to what you truly want and value and journey on the path to your greatest joy.


Just like an integrative health medical profession will not do it all and refer you to other services like yoga. I don't do it all either. My consultation specializes in Trauma coaching and Trauma coaching design and I refer you to other resources and experts that are better able to help you in areas outside my scope.


Maybe its time to look at the whole picture. Especially if you have been using willpower or mental strength to try and get to your goals, and you can only seem to follow the plan you mapped out for 2 weeks, or you only change a habit for a few days etc. 


Likewise when you shift the whole picture, then you are not just designing that new kitchen extension, or decorating your home because you need a fresh look. Its an intentional process that creates the experiences you want that lead to your life of joy.


I gathered what I learnt and the information from my research and created a similar wheel that is a better reflection of the intersection of coaching and design. 




As I state in my open letter, your environment is a reflection of your state of being. So, whether this is intentional or not. The people you surround yourself with, your  physical environment, and more can uplift you or bring you down. 


What you activate outside of you will also be activated inside of you. So be intentional about your environment. What is your goal? Even with architecture, its not just that I design a house, its what do you want this house to do for you? There is a goal.


I invite you to not just stop at the internal. Or the external. Plan for your internal through to your external. So, that they are in sync, moving you to your goals. And no, this doesn't mean you redesign everything in your home: some organization may be enough.


I don't ever see people as broken. We are whole. So I am sorry you will have to look elsewhere if you want me to fix your problems. We just often miss too much if we don't see people as whole.


Instead of "fixing a problem", you proactively create your vision and over the span of these whole wellness sections, we collaborate to get them to match. Some common goals are:

  • Improve relationships & communication
  • Start a new career
  • Elevate physical fitness
  • Create healthier diet and lifestyle habits
  • Achieve financial wellness
  • Mindfulness
  • Mind-Body Connection
  • Personal & Professional Development
  • Spirituality
  • Reduce stress
  • Personal Environment



It wasn't always my passion and purpose to live a life of joy. But at some point joy became one of my core values. Sure enough I started to come across information about joy. It wasn't my goal to research joy, but because my vision was a life of joy... now my next book is about joy.


I fist came across the simpler diagram showing an upward spiral and downward spiral. later, I came across the book Power vs Force. We want to transcend and live an optimal life. A life we love. But what do we do to get there. What is that ladder?


I help the joy intrigued spirits who are journeying on the path of their greatest joy create their optimal fife. Its not that you need to have joy as your core value. Its that you need to have an understanding that joy is higher consciousness.


This understanding will help you seriously articulate the question, "What sparks joy?" And if you still want a deeper understanding of the role of joy, read (or watch)  Marie Kondō's work "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up." She writes about people who have gone on to heal illnesses after using her method of tidying up! 


So, a joyful interior within you and a joyful interior design around you, is especially useful for those wanting to gently get through resistance caused by trauma. Joy becomes not so much a tool but a preventative measure.



What Option is right for you?

You may choose a single option or  a combination. For instance you may start with the 1st option and create/develop your goals, then proceed to the 3rd option and create a moodboard/plans of your vision, then choose the 2nd option for help buying products. 


A good place to start is with a free 30min consultation. There is no obligation to buy anything or use my services. What is consistent across all three options is a collaborative experience where we discus the best way to get to your goal. What comes up about your environment could be:

  • Integrate Memories, Attitude, Beliefs, Values, and Intentions in your space to bring joy.
  • Use Sounds , Aromas, Texture and Sensations to bring joy.
  • Use Light, Space, Color, Shapes, and Artwork to bring joy.
  • Use Nature, Air, Water, and Earth to bring joy.
  • Create a joyful space that aids a healthy lifestyle for your Mind, Body, Soul and Spirit.
  • Create space that facilitates joyful interactions.

Here is examples of what the content of a session looks like in the 3 different options and what distinguishes them. I will use the goal of "resetting priorities" because it is the most common goal in life coaching.


This person is feeling overwhelmed, unproductive, uninspired and blocked… pressure is killing their creative spirit… they are lost in the minutia of every day life. To rewire your mind you have to Know Your Vision -> Know Your Purpose -> Change Your environment. This is what it looks like:


1. Sort Dilemmas

In this session we have discussed the vision. What does this look like? We have also discussed your why. What is your purpose? We have also taken a look at your environment, starting from the internal space (your guidance, beliefs and belonging) all the way across looking at influences such as the people around you, your habits, all the way to your external space (your understanding, design, integrate).


In a real example, through journaling they took a look at their Memories, Attitude, Beliefs, Values, and Intentions in their space. The inner childwork journaling revealed that the wood paneling reminded them of the child abuse they received in a room that had similar wood paneling. So they painted their walls.


They were then able to lift their depression. Finding motivation to continue on their purpose and finally enjoy their new home. This is a good option for you if the support you are looking for is life coaching or a consultation on a DIY design project.


2. Shopping links

The process here is similar: a look at your vision, purpose and environment. But the focus is often getting products or materials. If you have taken a look at my secret list of online stores interior designers use, I invite you to take a look. Even if you know what you want, finding it can be overwhelming. There are too many places to shop!


In a real life example, this  client is autistic. Though the sensory sensitivity is not an issue for them, they really want a place that they can thrive in and are starting to feel overwhelmed with choosing the right stuff for their final home. Other than just picking products, she journals about her experience testing what is around her (not just testing what is in her home). Testing is very important. Then we know what to get; I send links.


They actually got things that were very different from what they expected. And they loved it! Unlike times they wasted money (Her words) on what they thought they wanted. People will often also get a $500 or $1000 package, where I get links for everything they need.


3. Vision presentation

The process here is also similar to option 1: a look at your vision, purpose and environment. But the emphasis here is space layout/design. Its an e-design consultation where I present your vision. It could be a moodboard, a floor plan, a 3D rendering. Whatever level you request. Its often because you can't quite see how it comes together.


In a real life example, they've got a narrow long room. Its got bulky furniture that makes it hard for them to entertain. They want to see if they can keep their large sofa. Through journaling we work through the attachment to the sofa from their grandmother. We create a memory box instead and we layout the room in away that works better with new furniture.


She found that she was just looking for comfort. So we made a comfortable space and she loves it. Plus it works, even when their friends come over! You will often need to get a $720 or $1440 package, to cover the time I take to make a presentation for you.


Chose your option to schedule with me



1hr Session

✔Create or develop your vision


✔Make sense of your purpose and create/develop actionable steps


✔Align your 

  • Interior 
  • Relational
  • Behavioral
  • And External


1hr Session

✔Consultation on where to get shopping link for
  • Color Selection
  • Furniture Selection
  • Fabric Selection
  • Window Treatments
  • Flooring
  • Lighting
  • Accessories
  • Art
✔Follow up support
+ content of offer #1


1hr session

✔Design vision assessment


✔Consultation on Space Plan, Organization & Storage Plan


✔Project planning


✔Follow up support


+ content of offer #1


✔Shopping list of everything you need in budget. Takes 3-7days.
*$500 package or $1000 package

✔Design vision created on a moodboard, floorplan, or/and 3D rendering. Takes 3-7days.


* $720 package or $1440 package

The people who are most disciplined are not the ones who have the strongest willpower but the ones who set up their environment in a way that they are least tempted. Sticking to your habits does not require self-control but some clever design in advance.
(Ana Marcu | Design for happiness and wellbeing)