I'm an interior designer – and this is why creating your home as a sanctuary is so important

What does it mean when designers say wellness starts at home? This is how I approach my clients' interiors to make their home a catalyst for your healing and personal growth

Living room
(Image credit: Lance Gerber)

We tend to think of our homes as a shelter or dwelling place – but what if I told you your home is more than that? I know from experience: living in a space you love can change you. Your home can be your stressor or your sanctuary, but it cannot be both. 

When your home is your sanctuary, there’s a big exhale when you walk through that front door. It nourishes your spirit, inspires your mind, and enhances your connection to yourself, your loved ones and the divine, however you might define that. 

Happy home ideas are the very foundation to our healing. 

Joshua Smith
Joshua Smith

New York based interior designer, life coach and meditation teacher Joshua Smith began his journey with an eight-year tenure in residential real estate in his home state of Texas. After graduating from the New York School of Interior Design, he joined Steven Gambrel, an influential interior design firm specializing in high-end residential and commercial commissions worldwide. It was the inspiration he needed to create Joshua Smith, Inc. in 2013, earning national accolades.

Today, I live the life of my dreams but that wasn’t always the case. Early on, I took a detour into darkness that led to homelessness and addiction at the age of 21. Finding the courage to choose a new path, I committed myself to personal and spiritual development. It was during this period of rediscovery that I purchased my first house, a fixer upper in my home state of Texas. 

As I put together a home that reflected what I valued and loved, found beautiful and inspiring, a spark was lit. It was then that I realized the power of home and developed a passion for creating spaces. Having an environment that reflects who you are and how you want to live can be the catalyst reaching your dreams. This is why I am dedicated to transforming lives and spaces. 

Living room in blue designed by Joshua Smith

(Image credit: Photography Tim Lenz / Interior design Joshua Smith)

Being a certified life coach and meditation teacher has shaped my unique perspective on the transformative effects of interior design. In the traditional sense of the word, one many think of interior design as focused on the external, and in many ways, it is – but I also like to think of interior design in a more holistic sense, meaning your interior design. 

I often tell clients that it’s more than how you want your home to look, it’s how you want your home to feel. We know that food made with love tastes better and the same is true for our homes. When our homes are designed with the intention of love, light and beauty, they not only look better – they feel better. A beautiful interior is not just something we see; it is something we experience. It should engage the senses and nourish the soul. 

Living room with sofa and armchairs around a fireplace

(Image credit: Photography Lance Gerber / Interior design Joshua Smith)

After people came face to face with their environments for an extended period of time during the pandemic, the interior design industry experienced a surge. We are lucky to have so many outlets for inspiration and avenues for creating beautiful spaces, but it can be overwhelming for some. 

In my work, I use my Six Pillars of Balanced Design as a guide to help my clients align their inner and outer worlds. These include: 

Functionality: space planning, budget planning, eliminating stressors, decluttering and organizing.

Beauty: defining style, colors, patterns, textures and schemes.

Comfort: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual.

Personalization: interiors that include stories, travels, mementos, hobbies, photos.

Senses: interiors that engage the senses.

Connection: sacred spaces that incorporate routines and rituals, allow you to restore and inspire, and play to well-being and wellness.

Each element allows me to understand and plan for how their home can play a role in supporting their unique vision. Each design decision is made to align their spirit with their space.

The best part about the interior design process is that it gets to be fun; an opportunity to tap into your creativity and imagination. And I promise you, creating a home that’s an extension of you, a projection of your soul –  well, that just feels good. 

Today, emerging evidence within the fields of neuroscience and neuro-aesthetics is showing what people like myself have long intuitively felt – there is link between our living spaces and our well-being. We all want to feel good, but many of us don’t realize that our brains will do the work for us with a little conscious effort put into creating an environment that is reflective of our idea of beauty. Things like thoughtfully curated art, incorporating elements from nature, and designing intentional spaces for connection are all hallmarks of my work. When your home invites an experience of connection and well-being, it supports you in living your best life. 

It is my mission to bring more love, light, and beauty, to the home and everyday life. We can make the mundane more meaningful and find more joy in everyday living when we consciously choose how we live in our homes. When you live better, you feel better, and when you feel better you DO better in the world.   

You can sign up for Joshua’s Sacred Space with Style Guide (opens in new tab) to help kick start your blissful living journey today.

Joshua Smith
Founder and Principal Designer, Joshua Smith Inc

New York based interior designer, life coach and meditation teacher Joshua Smith began his journey with an eight-year tenure in residential real estate in his home state of Texas. After graduating from the New York School of Interior Design, he joined Steven Gambrel, an influential interior design firm specializing in high-end residential and commercial commissions worldwide. It was the inspiration he needed to create Joshua Smith, Inc. in 2013, earning national accolades.