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Exercise, Yoga and Wellness Rooms

Exercise, Yoga and Wellness Rooms

Exercise, yoga and wellness rooms are wonderful additions to your home and health and wellness practices, providing structure and impetus when your own discipline might be waning.

Your biggest challenge in getting and staying healthy is consistency. So, in order to be consistent with health and wellness practices such as meditation, yoga and other forms of exercise, it’s wonderful to add a dedicated room, just for that purpose.


Yoga and Wellness Rooms


Repurposing the Space

Finding space for a dedicated exercise, yoga and wellness room

Let’s talk about how to repurpose spaces in your home to make room a dedicated exercise, yoga and wellness room or, if you already have one, what you need in the room to make the most of it.

Can you carve out a sunny corner of a formal living room that is seldom in use? Or can you claim the guest room as your own? What about repurposing a sewing or crafts room? Perhaps it could be put to better use as a wellness room?

Whether it’s a room of your own or the corner of an unused formal living room, find a space to call your own and have any items you need such as hand weights, a rebounder, a Yoga mat, etc. nearby in a basket, closet or armoire for easy access. If everything is close by and in attractive containers, you’ll be more likely to use them.



Meditation tools




Stationary bike


Two-, five- and ten-pound hand weights, two of each.

Yoga mat

Stability ball

Hand towels

Full length mirror

Light dimmers

Lighted table mirror for facial massage

Air filtration/humidifier units

Kettle ball/s

Virtual training/fitness apps

Flat screen Stereo

Inversion board (wonderful for age reversing the internal girly parts. And jowls. No one wants to keep their jowls.)

Foam rollers

Weighted ankle and arm bands

Mini refrigerator for water and fresh juice

Lighted scented soy candle

Fresh plants and flowers

Jump rope

Resistance bands

Armchair and ottoman

Lap blanket

End table

Table lamp

Beautiful baskets for storage.

Music/built in speakers



Colors and Fabric

The best colors for exercise, yoga and wellness rooms

Choose soft, cool colors that minimize feelings of heat. Use soothing textures and minimal color contrasts.

My go to colors for yoga and wellness rooms are celadon green, soft grayish taupe, light flesh tones, creamy whites and muted grays that soothe the eye and alleviate tension.

These colors help you feel healthy and grounded. You can carry them throughout the space with paint, trim color, flooring, window coverings and accent seating like an armchair and ottoman.

Pale stained wood finishes are lovely too. Currently our color and wood trends are leaning toward gray but gray has enjoyed so much popularity that it will look dated sooner than later. Choose a soft taupe wood finish instead.

For chair, ottoman and window treatment fabrics choose subtle, faded natural fabrics like washed linens and soft textured chenille’s.


 Biophilic design feature 


Plants and Flowers

Flowers are so soothing. I know the ideal is to have fresh flowers week after week. But do you? If you do, bravo! If you don’t, I found a wonderful interim solution for my own home. I simply buy a beautiful vase or piece of pottery and fill them with fresh flowers, potted flowering plants (which last longer than cut flowers) or potted greenery.

For times when you don’t have fresh flowers and live plants, keep a selection of faux greens and flowers to choose from. That way your vases and pots will never be empty. I especially love the look of boxwood and cream or chartreuse colored hydrangeas.

Go for only high quality faux floral and greens.

Next Steps

What about your self-care space needs to change in order for you to feel inspired to take excellent care of yourself first thing in the morning, every single day? Start a Pinterest board, notebook and/or digital note and keep track of inspiring pictures and ideas.


The Wellness Home Checklist


Thank you for stopping by Joy of Nesting today! 

Wellness Design is a huge topic! Creating a healthier, more beautiful lifestyle in your home is easy when you have my pretty little, easy to skim download, the Wellness Home Check List that gives you quick, at-a-glance details on the many aspects of wellness design.

Here’s that link again. Bye for now!

For more on yoga and wellness, check out Joy of Nesting’s, “Your Exercise Sweet Spot: how to create time and space for yoga, workouts and meditation”!

Creating a Healthier More Beautiful Lifestyle in Your Home


Creating a healthier, more beautiful lifestyle in your home happens with Wellness Design details like air quality, mood enhancing color schemes, organizing your home via zones, and having space in your home for exercise.


Light and shadow filled breakfast room decorated with an abundance of plants.



Via Lisa Laura Schwabe

So, when you’re an active woman like you and I, you need an environment that supports you physically and emotionally. And a dysfunctional home can have a very negative effect on you, even if you don’t immediately recognize it.

Okay, let’s get you a deeper understanding of what it takes for you to thrive at home. I’m excited! I hope you are too, and I hope you’re ready to make some lasting changes right now!


Open, airy bedroom retreat with French doors and natural materials


Source unknown.



Clean the Air in Your Home

Having fresh air in the home is important for your health and feels incredible! It’s one of the main tenets of Wellness Design. Because our homes contain toxins such as off gasses and chemicals from synthetic carpet, paint and plastics opening the windows, even at certain times during cold weather months will clean the indoor air. You will feel a distinct difference in your home on the days you open your windows and doors. You’ll not only breathe easier, but did you know you’ll also experience a significant boost in your mood similar to being outdoors, in nature?

Using your weather app, on days when it’s feasible, open your windows for just 20 to 30 minutes a day during the most clement part of the day. For summer it might be early morning. In winter, it might be 1:00 in the afternoon.

Plants are Great Air Scrubbers

I never understood why having greenery in my home made me feel so good until I started studying health, wellness and the connection we humans have to nature. This is called Biophilia.

Biophilia is the innate love we humans have for things from nature. So, biophilic design is a concept used in the building industry when designing elements and features from nature into residential and commercial buildings.

Some Benefits to Indoor Plants

They …


  • look so pretty!
  • oxygenate and clean the air.
  • help the home’s inhabitants fend off sickness.
  • reduce your stress load.


Simple breakfast room with natural materials and oversize florals



My Favorite Indoor Plants


  • Maidenhair fern
  • Boston fern
  • Myrtle topiary
  • Fig trees
  • Snake plant
  • African violets


Snake plant is the best indoor plant for cleaning the air.


Antique filled living room with console and pair of planted urns


Design Ideas with Plants

I love plant features in the home. Plants look best in groupings of two, three, five and seven. And hey, the more live plants, the better oxygenation!

One store that always carry all sorts of cute, metal ‘stands’ is Home Goods. I like to buy their metal bathroom ‘stands’ normally made for towels and bathroom paraphernalia and repurpose them for plants!  


  • Indoor plant racks and stands for ferns and violets
  • Window atriums for ferns
  • Large fig trees in a beautiful basket, for larger rooms
  • Tall topiary in pairs flanking your sofa or tabletop
  • Baskets with fresh, potted flowers
  • Plant walls
  • Plant pods in the kitchen, for herbs and lettuces.

For more on plant walls, visit


Soft rug colors, natural wood table and fresh flowers



Using Color in the Home

Warm colors like red, orange and some yellows excite and stimulate. They are good for active spaces. Warm colors advance. On walls, they visually decrease the size of the room yet they visually increase the size of an object.

Cool colors like blue, green and some shades of purple are restful. Cool colors recede. On walls they increase the size of the room. They add depth at the end of a room or garden path. To visually enlarge your space, use light, cool colors with minimal color contrasts. To make your spaces feel more intimate, use warm colors with multiple color contrasts.


The benefits of an organized home are enjoyable tasks and chores with more opportunities for downtime



Clearing the Clutter

A cluttered home causes anxiety and contributes to arguments; missed workouts; poor eating habits; lost items; missed deadlines and more. A cluttered home even contributes to… more clutter!

What you really need is impetus and the best impetus I’ve found for getting organized is to clear out all the clutter. Discard, repurpose or donate anything that drags you down or that you no longer use.


  • Baskets, bins and crates in different sizes drawer dividers (bamboo is nice!)
  • Labeling gun for binders and labels
  • Manila labels for labeling baskets
  • Tote bags/kitchen pot rack hangers for hanging totes
  • Ties for organizing electrical cords and wires
  • Binders, pocket divider pages and a triple hole punch for organizing papers that can’t be stored digitally
  • Lifts and pullout drawers for inside cabinets
  • Lazy Susan’s
  • Professional or DIY closets and cabinets


Soft pillows and linens in natural materials



Using All the Zones in Your Home

Opening up the unused rooms of your home gives you choices and freedom. If your home could talk it would tell you that a closed off bedroom is like a leg that’s fallen asleep! If you fail to plan a use for your spare room, someone will make plans for you. Don’t let it become a dumping ground.

Here are some ideas for repurposing your spare room.


  • Meditation room
  • Mudroom
  • Playroom
  • Workout space
  • Crafts/sewing room
  • Media room
  • Sunroom
  • Home office


Yoga and meditation in the home


Exercise at Home

The biggest obstacle to healthy habits is follow through. By having a space you love that’s designated for exercise, you create impetus which makes it easier to follow through consistently.

Can you carve out a wonderful corner of your formal living room that’s seldom in use? Can you repurpose the guest room and maybe expand the window space? What about transforming a sewing room into a workout space? Would it be of better use as an exercise space or yoga room?

If the space is attractive and everything is close by and in attractive containers, you’ll be more likely to follow through!


  • Treadmill
  • Peloton or Stationary bike
  • Rebounder
  • Two-, five- and ten-pound hand weights, two of each.
  • Yoga mat
  • Stability ball
  • Kettle ball
  • Hand towels
  • Full length mirror
  • Bands/Ropes
  • Flat screen television Stereo
  • Inversion board

For more goodness on Wellness Design, check out my article How to Get a Wellness-Inspired, Living and Dining Room .


The Wellness Home Check List cover


Thank you for stopping by Joy of Nesting today! 

Wellness Design is a huge topic! Creating a healthier, more beautiful lifestyle in your home is easy when you have my pretty little, easy to skim download, the Wellness Home Check List that gives you quick, at-a-glance details on the many aspects of wellness design.

Here’s that link again. Bye for now!



Making Healthy Vegan and Vegetarian Soups that are Satisfying and Delicious

Making healthy vegan and vegetarian soups that are satisfying and delicious isn’t as hard as it sounds. Do you like, stand-at-the-counter-can’t-stop-dipping-your-spoon-into-the-pot soups? Because today, I’m sharing some of my favorites.



Vegan and Vegetarian Soups

Vegan and vegetarian soups can be super delicious, if you have a few tricks of the trade. I’ll show you how to make them, so you’ll feel full, satisfied and not one bit lethargic after dinner.

Eating these healthy soups, alongside some crudites, and maybe a small side salad, and a few bites of dark chocolate afterwards is lifestyle change I adopted several years ago after reading books by Dr. Joel Fuhrman; celebrity certified nutritionists Kimberly Snyder and Natalia Rose; and watching such documentaries as The Game Changers and Forks Over Knives.

This way of eating is indeed a game changer. And while there aren’t a ton of micro-nutrients in any cooked foods, cooked foods do have a place in our diet, especially during the cold weather months. Cooked foods satisfy us and fend off cravings that lead to junk food or binge eating. They warm you, of course; they add fiber to your diet; and most importantly, they are much kinder and healthier than recipes calling for meat.

Healthy and Satisfying

With my way of preparing healthy vegan and vegetarian soups, you’ll never be disappointed or bored. I need my meals to taste really good. I make these soups regularly and I know you’ll love them and find them very satiating.

So, what’s the big secret to soup? There are actually two secrets: the ‘right’ fat and the ‘right’ salt.


Grapeseed oil


Grapeseed Oil

One of the Best Oils for Cooking at High Temperatures

It’s known that grapeseed oil is an excellent oil or ‘fat’ to cook with. It is extracted from the seeds of wine grapes, which are byproducts of winemaking. It is a versatile oil. Its properties make it difficult oil to misuse. And it has a low-profile taste that doesn’t interfere with your dishes.


coconut oil


Coconut Oil

Another Great Oil to Cook With

Coconut oil is an excellent plant-based fat. It tastes great and it’s safe to heat. In some dishes, like coconut milk ice cream you can really taste the coconut oil. This is not true with all soups, however. It’s excellent in the Thai Curried Carrot Coconut soup recipe below.


Pink Himalayan Salt


Pink Salt

The Salt that’s High in Minerals

Pink salt (sea salt works too) has no anti-caking chemicals and reportedly more minerals. There are conflicting reports about the difference between pink salt and table salt with iodine added. I’ve read online reports that say there is no difference, yet all of the nutritionists’ books I’ve read insist pink salt is not only safe but actually has many redeeming qualities. I use a lot of pink salt in my salads. My doctor says it’s okay because my blood pressure is low.

The Easiest, Most Delicious Vegan and Vegetarian Soups

Are you under the impression that vegetarian cuisine is boring or somehow limited? You would be mistaken. There’s a whole world of vegetables. Vegetarian cuisine can be hearty or light. It’s highly nutritious. It’s flavorful. And it’s a much kinder way of living.

It you start your recipes with sauteing the onions, you don’t really need a recipe, but you can find my ingredients and general instructions below. They are not kitchen tested but that’s the beauty of soups. You don’t really need a recipe.


Healthy, vegan tortilla soup


Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup made with homemade tortilla strips, roasted corn and kidney beans

Corn tortillas, sliced in thin strips and fried in coconut oil

(I like the organic ones by La Tortilla Factory. Food For Life corn tortillas are all natural too.)

Coconut oil for frying

Coconut oil for sautéing onion and for soup base, about 4-5 T.

Pacific brand vegetable stock, about 24 oz.

Red bell pepper, chopped, about half

Pomi chopped tomatoes with juice, about 13 oz.

Victoria chopped mild green chilis with juice, 2 small cans

Kidney beans, about 2 15 oz. cans, rinsed

Plenty of mild red chili powder, about 1 ½ T.

Cumin, about 2 t.

Jalapeno, about ¼, seeded and chopped

Small package frozen, organic roasted corn (it’s important to buy organic because corn is a big GMO crop and you don’t want that!)

Red onion, about half, chopped

Garlic, about 4 cloves, chopped



Lime wedges

Red or green cabbage, sliced thin

Coyo, all-natural coconut milk yogurt (Delicious and healthy in place of sour cream!)

avocado slices

Place coconut oil in large stock pot. Sautee onion till soft. Add spices. Toss for a few minutes till absorbed. Add beans and mild chilis. Stir to coat. Add stock and tomatoes. Simmer on low about 15 minutes.

In heavy skillet, fry tortilla strips till almost brown. Watch so they don’t burn. Transfer to paper towels to blot excess oil.

Add pink salt and additional oil at the end of cooking for more flavor is desired. I use olive oil at this point, but you can stick with coconut oil if you prefer.

Top with cilantro, cabbage, tortilla strips and lime. You’re gonna’ love it. It’s “Souper” flavorful!



Vegetarian Posole

Posole with Smoky Hot Chipotle

This special recipe has been adapted by me for a vegetarian diet. It’s originally from the Ann Burch, previous owner of the Side Street Café, Los Olivos California, courtesy of my longtime friend, the late Karen Langley Stevens, Santa Ynez.

32 oz. Pacific brand vegetable stock

Coconut oil

1 med. yellow onion, chopped

2 T. mild chili powder

1 red bell pepper, chopped

6 to 7 cloves garlic, chopped

1 to 2 T. cumin

1 to 2 t. Mexican or Greek oregano

2 16 oz. cans Juanita’s Mexican style hominy, rinsed

3 T. cornstarch mixed with ¼ C. water

Smokey hot chipotle powder, ½ t.


Chopped radishes, Pico de Gallo, tortilla strips, chopped green cabbage.

In a large stock pot, sauté onion in coconut oil till soft. Add chili powder, cumin and oregano. Stir till coated. Add pepper, garlic, hominy. Stir for a few minutes till pepper is softened and hominy is coated. Add stock and chipotle powder. Simmer till gently boiling. Add cornstarch and water.

Simmer gently for fifteen minutes. Top with garnishes. Posole is super delicious and filling without the meat. I like to serve mine with my homemade cornbread and honey.


Vegan Minestrone


Vegetarian Minestrone with Porcini Mushrooms

You are in for a treat. 

28 oz. fire roasted tomatoes

4 T. coconut oil

32 oz. Pacific brand vegetable stock

½ package Penne or Rotelli pasta

1 16 oz. can each black, kidney and navy beans, rinsed

1 oz. package dried porcini mushrooms, minus a little

3 stalks celery, chopped

½ large yellow onion, chopped

Pink salt

1 C. chopped, fresh spinach

Saute onion and celery in coconut oil till soft. Add tomatoes, beans, stock and dried mushrooms, then add pasta and simmer pasta according to package directions. Throw in the spinach last, and simmer five minutes or until softened. The addition of the porcini mushrooms is incredible. Super hearty vegetarian soup.


Vegan Thai Curried Carrot Soup


Vegan Thai Coconut Curried Carrot


Wow, super good soup! You will love this. I based it on a soup I had from the food bar at Whole Foods. Try both and see which one you like best!

Red Thai brand red curry paste, to taste (I do about 1 ½ t.)

Mild Indian curry to taste, (I add about 1 ½ t.)

Coconut oil, 3 – 4 T.

Coconut milk, 1 14 oz. can (full fat)

2 ½ C. Pacific brand vegetable stock

½ onion, chopped

5 lg. carrots, peeled and chopped

Hot chili pepper flakes

Fresh ginger, chopped fine



Cocojune all-natural coconut yogurt

Sautee onion in coconut oil in large stock pot. Add carrots and stock and simmer 30 minutes.

Puree in blender. Return to pot and add coconut milk, ginger, curries and pepper flakes. Simmer a few more minutes and stir.

Garnish with lime juice and coconut yogurt. Super flavorful! 


Shiree's Pillars to Optimal Wellness


Well, that’s it for today! If you want stunning skin, an elevated mood and plenty of sustained energy throughout the day, take a look at the special gift I have for you. It’s my free download “Five Pillars to Optimal Wellness“. You think: 


  • because you’ve struggled with a few health issues and maybe even with weight that you don’t have what it takes to get and stay healthy.
  • that taking care of yourself is hard.
  • that making a morning green juice is time consuming and expensive.
  • it’s easier to grab a sandwich than it is to make yourself a big raw salad for lunch.
  • and you’re afraid giving up your glass of red wine in the evening will be too restrictive.

Shall we put those thoughts to rest right now? I’ve made things easy for you with the sweet little download below.

Click 5 Pillars to Optimal Wellnessto grab my free, download and learn how to enjoy taking care of yourself, maybe for the first time ever!

Bye for now,


For my weekly, healthy grocery list and my super healthy and delicious salad combo’s, check out my post “My Excellent Weekly Grocery List” !

Budgets, Style and What to Keep for your Next Design Project

Budget, style and what to keep for your next design project … these are primary decisions you will encounter when you first begin your project, and definitely the most important ones you will make early on. Building a budget, deciding your style and deciding what furnishings to keep will help you create a lasting design scheme based on things you love and a budget that’s realistic.

So today, let me simplify them for you, before you begin your project.


breakfast room with vintage elements


Via Lonny

The Trouble with Budgets for Design Projects

No one likes to provide a designer with a budget. I understand your discomfort. I am a consumer too! But if you go into a car dealership looking for a Mercedes and a salesman educates you on all the wonderful benefits of a Volkswagen, you have wasted a ton of time.

When I ask a client for their budget and they say they don’t know, I will generally offer a feasible number, and that’s when they can say, yes that’s what I thought or no, that’s higher than I expected.

Design Fees

For strictly design fees, I offer two distinct, design only proposals. I add to each proposal the exact cost ($5,500, $10,000 etc.) and exactly what you will get with it (2 sofa options, 2 chair options, computer drawings etc.).


For procurement (where I purchase furniture, usually at a small discount on your behalf), I generally give you an estimated budget for cost of goods, installation costs and delivery fees.



Via Woman’s Day

What to Keep and What to Discard on Your Next Design Project

Don’t Overlook the Importance of this Step! How do you determine which of your existing furnishings to keep, what to re-purpose, and what to discard for your next project? How do they work around the furnishings you already have? And how do you develop a ‘design style’ that goes with your home, and the furnishings you intend to keep and work around?

I can’t overemphasize the importance of that step! If you keep the wrong things, and build an entire design scheme around them, the end results won’t be great. And by the way, this is one of the areas where an experienced designer will be really helpful to you.  

Saves Money and Adds Originality

Keeping and discarding the right things not only saves you money, but it also ensures your home will look beautiful, original, cohesive, and above all, seldom if ever go out of style because you are blending styles.

If you’re uncertain about an item, relegate it to a lesser used part of the house.

Blending styles and eras gives you a look that evolves much better than buying everything from one place and at one time. For tips on blending vintage, antiques and new home furnishings go to my post, Updating the Look of Antique and Vintage Pieces into a Fresh, New Style.



Shiree Hanson Segerstrom

Determining the Design Style for Your Next Design Project

Determining your design style might be fun, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Designing a scheme around a client’s preferences is much more challenging than making choices unilaterally, but the most experienced designers work this way. And they know the client will be much happier if their preferences have been respected.

The way I help you determine the look or style for your new design style, actually comes from determining what you currently love about your home; what you dislike about it, and from finding things (like furniture and fabrics) to tie everything together visually. It may sound like it but blending styles of home furnishings is not that easy. This is one of the hardest visual things to do.

New Construction

With newly constructed homes, finding the client’s aesthetic is a little more challenging. The best results come from going over shelter magazine images that the client loves. Understanding the local culture and geography (such as building a home in the city vs. on a cattle ranch) helps too. I like to take an artful approach in blending the client’s style, architecture, and geography into something very personal.



A designer helps a client visualize a proposed design scheme with drafted floor plans, over size fabric swatches, flooring samples, pictures of furniture and paint chips. Looking at the proposed colors, fabrics and furnishings side by side gives you a strong sense of your home’s potential. If done well, these samples will make a strong and beautiful visual statement.

Concept or color boards, such as the ones used in commercial and hospitality design are helpful too. Just keep in mind they are time consuming to produce and require a client with a financially vested project.

Small Budget Help

I had a recent living room project and was given a smallish budget. The scope of work was window coverings, sofas, and chairs which wouldn’t allow us to purchase any new furniture.

My first two plans proposed new window coverings, throw pillows, and recovering the existing sofa and chairs in new fabrics. The last plan allowed for the same but with recovering chairs and purchasing a new sofa. The first plan came in under budget, the second plan at budget, and the third plan just 2% over budget. These three design schemes couldn’t have been accomplished without a budget and scope of work.

Creating Two Budget Options

Giving two or three budgetary plans is a win-win situation. This gives the client a lot of control on how the money is spent. It also gives the designer the options she needs to create something really special within the constraints of that budget.


The Wellness Home


If your home isn’t supporting you the way it is, are you ready for a change? Get some help via my complimentary premier design and wellness download, The Wellness Home, 5 Steps to a Beautiful, Restful Home for Women Who Value their Health and Wellness. It’s the prettiest little book. It’s also a quick read with super easy design solutions that help you lead a beautiful, healthier lifestyle at home. Get yourself some help post haste!

That’s it for today. Thank you for stopping by!


My Excellent Weekly Grocery List

My excellent weekly grocery list starts with me with my cell phone, in iNotes, tapping out a week’s worth of green juices, vegan soups and chilis, and big raw salads.


Green salads made with fresh, colorful vegetables


You have a unique opportunity each week to make excellent choices that directly affect your health and wellness and it happens at your grocery store. Here are a few tips to help you make your shopping list a health filled powerhouse. I am also including some treats to sweeten the deal, so that you always feel excited to not only shop for food, but plan the most delicious, flavorful meals you’ve ever tasted.

Life is too short for boring meals so really put your heart into your flavor combinations.


Raw vegetables


Weekly Grocery Shopping in the Outer Aisles

The outer aisles, produce section, greengrocer, or whatever you prefer to call it, is where you will spend the bulk of your shopping time and budget.

As you choose your produce, think of two things: how will it taste in my daily salad and which plant-based dinner will be delicious.

Where to Splurge

Issues with the cost of organic foods always come up for my readers but I tell them, instead of buying expensive wine and meat, focus your attention and budget on excellent produce. I’m not ‘one bit’ afraid to buy $20 worth of berries every week just for myself because I don’t buy alcohol or high-end skin care products. It’s all about priorities and I know wine, beer and hard liquor are not good for my skin.

Instead, splurge on your salad ingredients. Whether it’s with roasted corn, guacamole and salsa on a bed of romaine topped with a delicious, homemade chipotle dressing or noodles and toasted sesame oil on an Asian salad or creamy chèvre, pears and pecans over mixed greens, every day is a fancy salad day for me. Salads are my mainstays, as are my daily homemade green juices and savory vegan soups.


fresh produce


Read the Ingredients List

Here is where almost everyone falls short. Bring your reading glasses and look closely at the list of ingredients on everything you buy. Look at your almond milk. Does it say almonds, water and sea salt? Or does it have words you can’t pronounce. Because if there are any words that aren’t an actual, real food, I don’t buy it. What is in your vegetable stock. The only brand I’ve found that doesn’t have chemicals in it is Pacific Brand. what about your salsa? Many salsas have chemicals in them. So always read the ingredients and aim for lists that include only food.

Where to Shop

I am partial to Whole Foods because I find their produce is priced lower and they have a much better selection than Safeway or Raley’s here in northern California. Find a store that has an excellent organic produce section and if needbe, order everything else online.

Make it Taste Really Good

Here is where you can have fun with your food shopping. Think of flavors that are good together. For salads I generally like to include something crunchy, like romaine lettuce and celery, salty like Himalayan pink salt, sweet like pears, apples, berries or honey, acidic like lemon juice or balsamic vinegar and some oil or fat like olive oil and chèvre or nuts.

If you are doing a salad with bitter greens like lacinto kale, include a sweet counterpoint like apples or pears. I also do a kale Cesar that is a crowd pleaser, and it has high quality parmesan, pine nuts, lemon juice, anchovy paste, garlic and olive oil. Generally, I buy vegan Parmesan.

My Favorite, Plant Based Meals

For vegan soups and chilis I always taste test before serving to make sure they have enough fat and salt. I use grapeseed oil in cooking soups because cooking olive oil over 118 degrees changes its composition. But you can top the soup with a drizzle of olive oil before serving. Just don’t cook with olive oil. 

My Favorite Homemade Soup Combinations

  • Chipotle-lentil-roasted-corn
  • Red bell pepper soup
  • Vegan tortilla soup
  • Vegan minestrone soup
  • Homemade vegan chili

See my Soup’s On post, for more about my favorite soups.

My Favorite, Big Salad Combinations

For salads, I fill a 9-inch plate full of leafy greens plus a variety of ingredients like fresh fruit, creamy chèvre, nuts and homemade dressings. If your salad comes out boring, try a little more lemon juice, pink salt or more dressing.

  • Romaine lettuce with sauteed green beans, roasted garlic and beets dressed with pink salt, lemon juice and olive oil.
  • Butterleaf lettuce with grapefruit sections, avocado and Bay shrimp dressed with pink salt and olive oil and a little extra grapefruit juice.
  • Mixed greens with pear, dried cranberries and candied pecans Romaine lettuce with strawberries, cilantro, yellow bell pepper, avocado, and red onion with lime juice, honey and jalapeno dressing.
  • Kale Cesar made with lacinto kale, stems removed, pine nuts, Parmesan, anchovy paste, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil.
  • Fresh corn off the cob, Heirloom cherry tomatoes, cannellini beans, nectarines, cilantro, cucumbers, orange or red bell pepper dressed with lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, jalapeno and pink salt.

Don’t Forget the Treats

Now that I’ve said I don’t buy packaged foods that have unpronounceable ingredients in them, let me just add a few exceptions to the rule, and those are treats.

Each week, buy yourself a few choices of reasonably healthy snacks that taste good and aren’t too bad for you. I don’t go for perfection here, but I buy high quality snacks. You are worth it. I usually get a nut and dried cranberry snack as well as a few bags of my favorite rice chips, see list below. I never cared for rice cakes. These aren’t rice cakes, they are hard to describe except to say they’re made with rice, lentils, black beans and are delicious. I also like organic white tortilla chips and high quality, all natural salsas; celery and all-natural peanut butter or almond butter; dark chocolate and non-dairy frozen dessert; and very occasionally, Boulder brand potato chips cooked in avocado oil.

Reward Yourself

After you’ve done your weekly shopping, treat yourself to a special Peet’s drink or a big, fancy salad out. Don’t you love rewards? 

My Weekly Grocery List

Here is an example of my excellent weekly grocery list. My grocery budget is about $150 a week for just me, not including supplements or meals out.

3 triple packs Romaine lettuce, that’s 9 heads

2 to 3 bundles cilantro

4 large cucumbers

7 to10 limes

3 to 4 lemons

1 large bag Fuji apples

3 large heads lacinto kale

1 head celery

2 to 3 baskets blueberries or raspberries

And or 1 large strawberry

1 large container baby spinach or baby mixed greens

1 bundle broccoli for juicing or roasting

Or 1 bag shredded broccoli to throw into salads

2 large avocados

1 red bell pepper

Small container of cherry type tomatoes

MALK oat milk

MALK almond milk

1 large log Laura Chenel chèvre

Medium bag pecans, cashews or almonds or a mix of all three, for salads or snacks

1 small bag dried cranberries (to mix with nuts as a snack)

2 to 3 bags Off the Eaten Path Veggie Crisps (delicious!)

365 Plant Based Nuggets, eaten with Dijon mustard and catsup.

Other seasonal fruits like oranges, peaches, pears and melons.


My Bi Weekly Grocery List

Rishi Super Green Matcha Tea

YS Raw Organic Honey


Kidney beans

Black beans

Miyoko’s Creamery Vegan Butter (amazing!)

All-natural peanut butter or almond butter

Non-dairy frozen desserts

If you found My Excellent Weekly Grocery List super helpful and maybe, even a little fun, please remember to share with someone who needs it!


The Wellness Home


Need help getting your home ready for the new year, or with creating a home that supports better health and wellness practices?

Then grab my free download The Wellness Home, 5 Steps to a Beautiful Restful Home for Women Who Value their Health and Wellness so you can create inviting retreats in your home; regenerate and reconnect with yourself; create spaces in your home for exercise; get basic how-to’s on kitchens, work zones and techy stuff; and more. 

Bye for now!


Here’s that link again. xo

My Seven Ways of Detoxing

Today I’m sharing my seven ways of detoxing, a few of which might surprise you! Your body has some amazing ways to protect itself. Because our environment has more toxins than the days of our grandparents, we now need to make a more intentional effort to assist it in the process of healing or ‘detoxing’. 


Lemon slices floating in a pitcher of water


I know yet another item on your daily to do list sounds daunting but stick with me till the end. You’ll see that some of them are very easy: easy to do and easy to fit into your everyday routines such as drinking lemon water. Instead of walking an hour a day, try rebounding fifteen to twenty minutes. Read on for my seven ways of detoxing.

If you’ve read any recent books or articles on holistic health and wellness, you’re probably somewhat familiar with many of the following natural, detoxification practices. What do they have in common? They are cleansing to your system. Added up on a daily, weekly and yearly basis they’ll most definitely move the needle on most or all of your health goals.

Urban Rebounder


Bounce/dancing bare footed on a rebounder or mini trampoline elevates your mood beautifully and detoxifies your body by moving lymph fluid. It’s cleansing and energizing and great for the tendons in the lower legs and feet. It’s highly recommended by many health experts.

I like to bounce and dance around to my favorite podcast or music by bouncing once and then kicking one foot and pulling one knee up towards my chest, right then left. Start slowly by bouncing with two feet and then advance as you become better at it. Use the hand bar for stability if needed.



Dry skin brushing


Dry Skin Brushing

Using a semi-soft dry brush labeled for skin brushing, start at the soles of your feet and work your way up the legs, stomach, palms of the hands, arms etc. avoiding your breasts, up the neck/throat area. Be gentle with the chest and throat. Use long, thorough strokes. This is a great way to exfoliate away dead skin cells which is good for cellular turnover and since the skin is one of your main detoxifiers, it’s another great way to assist your body in its job of “cleansing”.

Lemon Water

Though lemons are acidic outside the body, they are alkalizing in the body. Lemon water is an excellent, super easy cleansing tool. Many experts say to start your morning with a warm (not hot) cup of water with lemon juice. Some people like to add a little cayenne for additional cleansing.

Some people are sensitive to citrus, me included so I utilize other forms of detoxification.


Raw vegetables


Raw Foods

You may have heard that cooking in temperatures over 118 degrees depletes the nutrients and enzymes in vegetables and fruit. Raw foodists are easy to spot…they are gorgeous! Beautiful skin tone and coloring and toned, limber bodies. That’s because they get tons of nutrients and because they’re so nourished, they have few if any food cravings.

Now, this is a fairly difficult lifestyle especially if you have family around the house, but I’ve come up with a fantastic option! Eat raw till dinner. Skip breakfast, I’ll share why you another time why you don’t need it; have a big raw salad for lunch; then pretty much have what you want for dinner. No, not pizza! Real, unprocessed food.  


Green juicing


Green Juicing

Green juicing is a real game changer. Nothing (except fasting) will help you move the needle on your health like green juices. They’re loaded with micronutrients. People always ask me, why juices rather than smoothies. The main reason is you can get way more juice, and thus, micronutrients in your system via juices. Smoothies have all the plant’s fiber, which is great too. So, if you want you can do a smoothie as well but don’t skip the green juice. I’ve put my green juice recipe on Instagram several times. It’s so delicious; you won’t consider it a chore to drink.


Contrast hydrotherapy


Hot/Cold Showers or Contrast Hydrotherapy

Not only is this a great way to move lymph fluid and detoxify your body, it’s also an amazing pain reliever and mood booster. I personally love contrast therapy, also known as hot/cold showers though admittedly they take some getting used to. Start with only what you can tolerate and slowly, while the water is running, increase the intensity. Give yourself a few weeks, even a month or two to perfect this practice. Go slow but do try it. 

Start with hot water. Drench your scalp too. Count to thirty slowly, then switch to cold. Keep making it colder, till you get as cold as you can almost tolerate. Count to thirty slowly. Repeat three times total.  I’ve been doing these for three or four years and still screech with the cold rinse, but the feeling afterward is so worth it. 


Water and fasting



Fasting is the most effective of these seven ways of detoxing. According to many nutritionists and wellness experts including New York Times bestselling author Kimberly Snyder, agree the number one way to cleanse your body of toxins is by fasting.

There are a few types of fasts. Intermittent fasting has been a real game changer in helping me manage my arthritis and overall health. It works because it gives your digestive system an optimal period of rest; allows your body to cleanse itself, which the body only does during periods when it’s not digesting food; gives your taste buds the opportunity to reset and fully appreciate the natural flavors of healthful food; and prohibits energy depletion which occurs during the digesting of a large breakfast. In other words, a big breakfast depletes your energy when you need energy the most.

Save your big meal for late afternoon/early evening, after your body work. Lastly, it helps you get in touch with the real sensation that is ‘hunger’.

These holistic health practices have enabled me to control my osteoarthritis symptoms naturally. Don’t try and integrate them all at once! With detoxification, it’s important to start slowly and work your way into cleansing. If you detox too fast, your system will release too many toxins at once and make you feel icky, so go slow.

Find a great holistic or functional medicine doctor, and a good nutritionist and start building Team You this year!


Shiree's Pillars to Optimal Wellness


If you found this article helpful, please share it with someone who needs this support! I love helping my readers weed through the most efficient, joyful health routines available today. And hey, if you would like to dig deeper into easy but super effective health and wellness tips and tools, then you will love my free download, my 5 Pillars to Optimal Wellness.

In it you’ll get …


  • Effective principles and practices to look your best, feel great and enjoy vibrant, flavorful, healthy foods!
  • Fun and easy ‘detox’ methods, to elevate your mood and energy, and fend off disease.
  • Enjoyable exercise options with the flexibility and convenience you help you with follow-through! And more…


That’s it for today,



If you’re not used to juicing, eating raw foods and fasting these steps can present a challenge. Get some great mindset tools with my August 2021 blog post “Design and Wellness Blueprint” where you’ll learn to overcome mindset issues on the cost of organic healthy foods; rethink your daily workout calendar; and learn how to be your own wellness advocate.

Silver Palate Glazed Lemon Cake … with Meyer Lemons!

When you have a Meyer Lemon tree that harvests in late November, you bake glazed Meyer lemon cake, bread and pie at Christmas. Maybe not all three at the same time though! The good news is that Meyer’s stay fresh a long time in the produce bin so you can spread your holiday baking out at least four weeks.


Silver Palate Glazed Meyer Lemon Cake



above image via Loving It Vegan

Make it Vegan

I like to use Miyoko’s Creamery Vegan Butter for all my baking. It’s actually better tasting than cow’s milk butter and so much kinder. Seriously, it’s amazing on cornbread, English muffins, toast. Anything you use butter for, Miyoko’s works great. Prepare yourself for the price increase. I budget for it by buying less expensive nonessentials.

By the way, if you have mindset issues with buying healthy, organic foods and would like to bring a ton of joy into your life around food and taking better care of yourself in general, I’ve included one of my most favorite free downloads below at the end of this post.

This lemon cake recipe also calls for eggs and buttermilk. I have not found a substitute for vegan buttermilk yet but Shane and Simple and Loving It Vegan blogs have recipes for homemade. Apparently, it’s pretty simple.

Here is my go-to recipe for the best glazed lemon cake you’ll ever taste.


Silver Palate’s Glazed Meyer Lemon Cake

1 C. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

    plus extra for greasing the pan

2 C. sugar

3 eggs

3 C. unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted

1/2 t. baking soda

1/2 t. salt

1 C. buttermilk

2 tightly packed T. grated lemon zest

2 T. fresh lemon juice

Lemon Icing (recipe follows)


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch tube pan.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the egg mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Add the lemon zest and juice.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared tube pan. Set the pan on the center rack of the oven and bake until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 5 minutes. (note: my oven requires an additional 15 minutes)
  5. Cool the cake in the pan, set on a rack, for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and spread on the icing at once, while the cake is still hot.

   8 to 10 portions


Lemon Icing

1 lb. confectioners’ sugar

8 T. unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 tightly packed T. grated lemon zest

1/2 C. fresh lemon juice

Cream the sugar and butter together in a mixing bowl. Mix in the lemon zest and juice; spread on the warm cake.

   Enough icing for 1 to 2 cakes.


For my favorite Gingerbread recipe and foamy hard sauce to go with it, click here!


  Health and Wellness Mindset Tips

That’s it for today!

Want to look stunning, feel great and get a healthy outlook on life? Then get my premier download Three Steps to Mastering Your Mindset where you learn how to overcome mindset issues on buying high quality, organic foods; clever ways to budget for them; my favorite, easy to store equipment for at home workouts; ways to make exercise a joy; rework your schedule so you are excited to work out every day, and more.

A very Merry Christmas to you my friend! Thank you so much for tuning in to Joy of Nesting each week. I value you more than I can say!


Here’s the link that download again. Bye for now!

Zhush Your Nest in 2022 with my Home Makeover Tool!

simple blue and white wallpaper


With January just around the bend, you will soon be pining for ways to freshen up your home in time for the New Year. Not sure what your next steps should be? Well then, let’s zhush your nest in 2022, with my home makeover tool, my 3-to-5 Things Designer Framework.

The 3-to-5 Things Designer Framework

I created this home makeover tool to help my readers and strategy session clients make noticeable improvements in any room or rooms in their home by doing a makeover without completely gutting your rooms. I know this tool gets results because I’ve used variations of it for over two decades of designing high end homes where clients have antiques and artwork we need to feature and work around.


Stone fireplace


Step One, Identify the Rooms that Need a Makeover the Most

In a clean notebook (I love notebooks from Cupcakes and Cashmere at Target) or a clean sheet of paper, first identify the three to five rooms in your home that you want to makeover and freshen up. This gives you the perfect Scope of Project. I like to encourage them to choose the living room, dining room and entry.

Step Two, Identify the Things You Already Have and Love

Next, list the top three to five things from each room that you truly love.

Identifying the things you already have and love gives you a solid basis for the style and color scheme you’ll be doing. They will be the basis or foundation for your makeover.

Any new items you purchase should coordinate with, enhance and call attention to the things you are keeping: those items you already have and love. This is one of my super-secret tips for designing rooms my clients love: build design schemes around things they absolutely love. It’s crazy simple but makes complete sense.


big white sofa


Via Domaine

Step Three, Identify the Things You Truly Dislike

Now, list the top three to five things you truly dislike, things that aren’t working for you at all. Review each and every rejected item carefully and as unbiased as possible and decide if they are indeed unusable because about 50% of the time, I find my clients’ rejected items are actually fine.

Ask yourself, “is it the sofa I don’t like, or simply how the sofa looks with the carpet?” “Would the carpet look better with a good cleaning and a fresh wall color or vice versa?” Once I point this out, they are amazed they were able to rework the project around something they once deemed unusable.


red leather chair


Mark D. Sikes

Step Four, Creating Space

Once you’ve exhausted every possibility for using or repurposing your rejected items, create space by giving away, selling on consignment or discarding them. This will help you create space for a new design scheme.

Don’t skip this step. Removing things you don’t like will give you space. But most importantly it will enable you to better visualize a new design scheme without the old things hampering your ability to visualize.

Step Five, Keep Them Handy

Go back to the 3 to 5 things you love in each room. Take pictures, measure, and keep them handy for referring to when shopping for new home furnishings.

Pop the bubbly my friend because this plan is the key to your new design scheme/s and is built upon the things that … you guessed it… you already have and love! Now you have a great basis for making over the important rooms in your home beautiful, original and completely you.


The Wellness Home


If you love this post, please share my home makeover tool with a friend. 

The Workbook to My 3-to-5 Things Makeover Framework

That’s it for today. If you’d like the workbook that goes with the 3-to-5 Things Framework, then get my free, easy to read, 10-page book, The Wellness Home, 5 Steps to a Beautiful Restful Home for Women Who Value their Health and Wellness. This framework will help you create inviting retreats in your home so you can regenerate and reconnect with yourself; create spaces in your home for exercise; give you basic how to’s on kitchens, work zones and techy kitchen stuff. So, let’s help you get ready for your home makeover by the time January rolls around. 

Bye for now!


Here’s that link again. xo

For more on wellness design and easy home makeovers, check out my post “Give Your Home a Wellness Makeover in One Weekend”plus, a link to my interview with Deirdre Fitzpatrick.

Staying Healthy During the Holidays, Without Feeling Deprived!

Christmas Cookie Garland


Staying Healthy During the Holidays

You want to join in all of the Christmas festivities, food, desserts and wine, but you want to stay healthy during the holidays too! After all, you’ll be dressing up and seeing people you may not have seen all year.

It’s true, the holidays are not always conducive to staying fit and healthy. With a little bit of planning and some tried and true mindset tools, you can have your Buche de Noel and eat it too. Here is what I’ve learned through many years of holiday parties and self-care.

In order to reach and maintain a certain level of health and wellness, you must generally do some advance planning and scheduling. Master your mind and calendar right now, before the parties begin, so they don’t master you.




Schedule Exercise Now

Split your workout into two times of the day, one in the morning and one in the late afternoon/early evening. Decide right now on a specific time or times for your morning and late afternoon workouts. Keep in mind, completing both workouts in the morning will give you greater flexibility in the evening should an impromptu invitation appear.

At the very least, do that morning workout.

Beginning the morning of December 1, drop into your digital calendar, all your workouts for the month of December. For convenience, I do aerobics in the morning such as the stationary bike or the rebounder, and body work such as weights, Pilates or yoga in the late afternoon or early evening. Note, if you accept any invitations during the week, and if you can fit it in, do your body work in the morning, after your aerobics.

I love rebounding. Rebounding is basically dance bouncing on a mini trampoline. It elevates your mood, moves lymph fluid, gets blood to your face, burns calories, feels great on your feet and calves and only takes 15 to 20 minutes a day to be effective.


Holiday yoga clothes


Turn on some great tunes or a book on Audible and have fun with it! I researched them and decided on the Urban Rebounder, available on Amazon for $130. Rebounders come with stability bars so you have something to hold on to if needed.

This plan includes structured workouts Monday through Friday, with a non-structured workout on Saturday and a day of rest on Sunday.

Monday through Friday

A.M. workout – Stationary bike or rebounder 20 minutes, or fast walk one hour.

P.M. workout – Alternate each day between two body work exercises of your choice, such as Yoga or weights.


Any fun based, non-structured activity such as ninety minutes of hiking; pickle ball; tennis or outdoor cycling.


Take a day of rest, you’ve earned it!

It’s so easy to get side tracked and lose impetus to work out but exercise is a must. Look at movement as a joy and mindfully associate it with feeling and looking better for all your holiday get togethers through the new year.


Big raw salad


Planning Meals Around the Holidays

Weight gain, water retention, pain and lethargy doesn’t have to be part and parcel to Christmas. In order to manage your fitness levels, however, you must do a little planning. In addition to exercise your basic Holiday health tools are water, intermittent fasting, a daily green juice and a big raw salad at lunch.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting has been a real game changer in helping me manage my weight, arthritis and general feelings of health and wellness. It works because it gives your digestive system an optimal period of rest; allows your body to cleanse itself, which the body only does during periods when it’s not digesting food; gives your taste buds the opportunity to reset and fully appreciate healthful food; and prohibits energy depletion which occurs during the digesting of a large breakfast. In other words, a big breakfast depletes your energy when you need energy the most. Save your big meal for late afternoon/early evening, after your body work. Lastly, it helps you get in touch with the real sensation that is ‘hunger’.


Water and fasting



Water is imperative year- round but if you’re consuming alcohol during the holidays, it becomes even more important. General rule of thumb is 64 ounces but a better guideline is to take your weight in pounds, divide it in half, and drink that number of ounces of water every day. For example, if you are a 150 lb. woman, you need 75 ounces of water a day. Even more when you consume alcohol.

Never drink tap water. I use a Brita filter and change it every month. Spring water is best but reverse osmosis is purportedly an excellent choice too.

Green Juicing

Green juicing is a life changing experience because it allows you to consume so much produce in one single setting. I use the Breville Compact Juice Fountain for easy use and clean up. It’s $99 on Amazon.

In order to make your green juicing sustainable, you want to make it taste super good. If it tastes yucky, you won’t want to do the work of juicing. I do this by including apple and lime in my morning juice. It’s hard to share exact quantities because produce comes in all shapes and sizes but here is a general guideline to my own morning green juice.


Green juicing


Makes 2 large glasses of green juice, one to drink and one to freeze for the following day. Green juice does not keep in the freezer. Only green smoothies can be refrigerated without freezing.

I do two juices at a time to save time, and freeze the other. With some practice you can make and clean up in 15 minutes. Otherwise, allow 25 minutes. Using organic produce, each green juice costs about $3.25 per 20-ounce glass. That’s about $23 a week.

Romaine lettuce, about 2 heads

2.5 red apples

1 large lime

1 large cucumber

1/3 bundle cilantro, optional

5 stalks lacinto kale, bitter stems removed!

I actually love to drink/eat my green juice slightly frozen. It’s like the best slushie you’ve ever had!

The big, raw salad is something I came up with in order to consume most of my daily, plant-based foods in raw form. To stay healthy during the holidays, get a big, raw salad daily. Granted, not all the ingredients must be completely raw, but I try to get all of my daily raw produce requirements in my green juice and big, raw salad. I know myself and I won’t eat raw veggies if they aren’t dressed like a salad and tasting really delicious. The big, raw salad at lunch solves that issue. Then at dinner, I really don’t stress. I eat a cooked, plant-based meal of my choice.

Salads I Love

I don’t eat at any restaurant that doesn’t have a big salad, unless I’m specifically going for pasta and/or seafood. I do eat fish occasionally.

When going to a party, I always offer to bring the salad. That way, I know I’ll be able to eat at least one healthy meal while there. I never deprive myself of treats at parties and I can do this because I eat so healthy during the rest of the week.


Big raw salad



My Greek salad with romaine, cucumber, chevre, kalamata olives, pepperoncini, onion, tomatoes, yellow or red bell pepper, dried basil, dried thyme, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil is a favorite. Bay shrimp is optional. Try and find wild caught.

My strawberry salad on romaine, with yellow bell pepper, avocado, onion, cilantro, lime juice, honey, jalapeno and cold pressed extra virgin olive oil.

Caroline Vassar’s kale Cesar is amazing with lacinto kale, high quality parmesan or Violife vegan parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, anchovy paste and cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil. Caroline is a friend from high school.


Shiree's Pillars to Optimal Wellness


To get more goodness on staying healthy during the holidays, check out my free download Five Pillars to Optimal Wellness where I go into more detail on juicing, vegetarian meals, salads, exercise and the detox methods mentioned in today’s blog!

That’s it for today. Here’s that link again, Five Pillars to Optimal Wellness!

Bye for now.



5 Design Principles that Make Your Home More Restful

A well-designed home can help you to live a healthy, more balanced life. Things like eating right; exercising; getting plenty of downtime; sleeping better; and being more mindful of the life you get to lead on this big, blue marble in the sky. My 5 Design Principles that Make Your Home More Restful will help you make the right decisions when it comes time to designing a home with health and wellness in mind.


Via Atlanta Homes


What is Meant by Principles and Elements

According to college design textbook “Inside Today’s Home” by LuAnn Nissen, the elements of design are space, form, line, texture, light and color while the principles of design are balance (symmetrical, asymmetrical and radial), rhythm (repetition, progression, transition and contrast), emphasis, scale/proportion and harmony (unity and variety).

Interior design, architecture and art are visual fields and the language we use to describe them is often subjective. This terminology provides designers with a common vocabulary for general aspects of design, as well as an explanation as to how and why the elements work, i.e. look and feel so good to your senses.

Enjoy this special edition of Joy of Nesting, and thank you for being a valued reader.

The Design Element of Light

Light is important to your physical and psychological wellbeing. It affects your mood, immune system, changes the appearance of your surroundings and informs your body when it’s time to wake up or go to sleep.

There’s natural light, ambient light (also called general lighting), task lighting and accent lighting. Natural lighting brings light into your home via window space and open curtains and is a great way to improve emotional wellness.

New LED lighting, also known as circadian lighting is available with smart home systems and mimics the sun’s natural affects throughout the day in order to assist your sleep patterns. They are customized to fit each person’s individual needs.


Via Elle Decor


Choosing Restful Colors for Wellness

Color is a powerful design tool and one of the easiest ways to engender feelings or emotions in your home. But reaction to color is highly subjective and each color comes with its own attributes and/or stigmas attached.

For instance, yellow can feel sunny and cheerful for some people and signify cowardice for others. Pink is a pretty, feminine color that some love and other’s find cloying.

When you create spaces with health and well-being in mind, choose cooling, restful colors like cool blues; soft lavenders; pale blue- greens; the palest blushes; and crisp, clean neutrals. Cool colors recede, meaning, like a hairline they “go back” so when your walls are painted in light, cool colors it visually increases the size of the room. It adds depth at the end of a room, hallway or garden path.


Via Indulgy


To give your home a healthy feeling and visually enlarge your spaces, use light, cool colors with minimal color changes and minimal darkness to lightness contrasts meaning keep everything fairly light, even if the colors are different.

Soothing Textures

Texture describes the tactile feel or appearance of the surface of an object like stone, mohair or chenille fabrics, or a woven basket.
For purposes of health and wellness, textures as they pertain to fabrics and other furnishings around the home should be soft and comforting such as beautiful baskets and rugs.

Texture can absorb or amplify sound. It affects the maintenance of an object. The shiny surface of a glass table is easier to clean but shows every little smudge. The rough surface of a stone hearth shows little dirt but is harder to clean. In some places in the home, smooth textures are preferable in order to keep surfaces clean such as countertops and cabinetry.


Via Atlanta Homes


The Design Principle of Balance

Balance (symmetrical, asymmetrical and radial) refers to the equal distribution of weight, size or bulk of an object or space on an axis in an aesthetically pleasing composition.

Symmetrical balance, also known as formal or passive balance, happens when one side of something is the exact same as the other half: a mirror image. This type of balance can be seen in a pair of sconces flanking a painting above a fireplace; two candlesticks flanking a centerpiece on a dining room table; or two exterior lights flanking a front door.

Asymmetrical balance, also referred to as informal or active balance, is differing objects arranged along an axis, equal distance apart but of equal weight or bulk. It’s used in casual design and is generally more complex than symmetrical balance. Rather than having identical objects on an axis, this type of balance relies on mismatched items with equal scale or perceived weight. Asymmetrical balance can be seen in arrangements of framed prints or photography on a wall; and in the floor plans of a ranch style residence.


Via Home Bunch


Radial balance is identical or differing objects placed in a circular fashion. It’s often used in modern residential spaces, museums and commercial buildings. You can see radial balance in action with chairs around a table in the middle of a room; a crystal chandelier; or the structure of a circular rotunda. It directs your attention to the center of the space or object. It is the least used type of balance.

If done right, a space with any of these types of balance will calm you while spaces without balance can make you feel unexplainably uncomfortable. All are appropriate for interiors design with health and wellness in mind.

Bringing Nature Indoors

I love including plants in my design projects and in my own home. A home without plants or flowers doesn’t look finished or feel inviting. Bringing nature indoors is a great way to enhance your mood and help get you through the dreary months of winter. My favorite design adage is that “if your home is missing something and you don’t know what it is it’s most likely greenery, texture or scale”.


Furlow Gatewood


I have several go-to looks for decorating with greenery. I love to do one nicely scaled topiary in a great jardinière or ceramic pot, between a pair of interesting lamps, placed on a lovely tray or a stack of books.

Designing with Plants

Topiary in pairs, particularly on the dining room table in pots that coordinate with the room are another favorite. My favorite dining room table arrangement is a central tray of alcohol bottles flanked by two modestly sized topiary.

Tall, multiple tiered stands filled with one to two types of plants or flowers. Maidenhair ferns and violets make a great vertical display. Going vertical is a great solution when space is limited. This is equally beautiful indoors or on outside patios. I have a rack of maidenhair ferns in my little dining room that gets lots of sun and is easy to water.

That’s it for today! I hope you enjoyed this week’s article on wellness interior design as much as I enjoy sharing it with you. For a bit more on wellness interior design, then check out the Wellness Home Cheat Sheet I created just for you.

It will give you ALL the deets on wellness design. The Wellness Home Check List will help you instill wellness elements into your next design project. Here’s a link to the Wellness Home Cheat Sheet again.


Via Pinterest


Bye for now!


For more on the principles of design, check out my post “My Interior Design Course Part II: the Principles of Design” !