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LUXURY Magazine

Designing for the Soul

By Harold Jacobson

Winter, 2002-03

Thanks to Albert Einstein, the atomic age was started with the symbols E=MC2, creating a modern fascination with the first word of the famous equation - "Energy". Einstein was putting his considerable genius toward understanding what the ancients had come to recognize as an elementary key to their existence - energy.

Tapping into energy for balance, for healing, for happiness is - a part of our daily life quest. Even opening a window is tapping into energy, by letting light come in. -

"It is all about energy," states Andrea Carini, who has started her interior design business based on a unique theory of "designing for the soul."

 

"It is all about energy," states Andrea Carini, who has started her interior design business based on a unique theory of "designing for the soul".

"Living things exude energy," Andrea explains. "Inanimate objects carry energy. Thoughts are energy. A traditional designer designs rooms and spaces. I orchestrate Energy for rooms and spaces."

Her theory revolves around the concept of balancing energy within one's personal space, within the physicality of one's home environment. "The client is the starting point, color is one of the keys, and it is about balancing energy. I am designing from the inside, the inside of the person."

Andrea's business, Your Sacred Space Interiors, offers a full design service or a color consulting service to other designers. It has her regularly shuttling between New York and Toronto. "New York is about energy. When you live in Manhattan, you know about energy. People here, perhaps more so than other places, are aware of the need for a personal space, a sacred space, space filled with the energy from the mind, body and spirit."

Her spiritual design process begins with a client energy assessment that leads to a personal color palette. Since Andrea is a firm believer in the healing powers of color, the "prescribed" light energy color will depend on individual specific needs. Light and color are important base elements of energy in her concept of spiritual design. "Color uplifts our spirit," explains the designer. "It raises levels of positive vibrations. It can heal or inspire and I love it. I love working with color! Depending on a client's individua needs, I can recommend colors that bring a better state of mind and a newfound path of wellness. I really believe in the benefits of colors, colors chosen properly."

For Andrea, designing a home or room is a form of spiritual art, inspired and, inspired and fueled by the client's energy. The energy of the home must support the energy of its inhabitants. Everything must be chosen to balance the client's energy. Designing for the soul encapsulates what my business is all about."

Andrea speaks of one client, a successful architect, who recently had her loft-like space painted a warm neutral color. Andrea was called in for a consultation. She introduced a new color for one key spatial wall and decorative color accents in the client's own personal palette to redirect the energy. The color palette had to be compatible with the client and her three children.

Recent trends are not always adopted at Your Sacred Space Interiors. This designer believes that color energy should not be restricted by the fashion of the moment. "That whole white look is not at all positive. Better to add layers of color than to live in a 'whitewashed' room. I never recommend an over-abundance of white."

Once colors are determined, the designing process involves adding those layers. Ancient symbols or a client's positive visual triggers might be used. Andrea qualifies the term ‘positive visual trigger' as "an image, with meaning. It might be a wave or a sun or a memory filled piece of furniture or a word or a poem. But the image itself has a soothing or positive effect. That is why the interviews are so vital. A space, a place to remember who we are and commune with that spirit - that is what I am striving for." Andrea recalls one client whose attraction to a poem was very strong. Andrea managed to have the poem transcribed within a stone border, surrounding the woman's bedroom.

Sometimes several meetings are necessary before a Design Plan can be created. "The interview covers topics as varied as a client's passions, motivations, fears, family history, symbols, emotional triggers, hobbies, beliefs, inspiring people, spiritual challenges, " Andrea adds. "Remember - the space is to become a visual reminder of that person's true nature." All cultures, religions, beliefs or family backgrounds can have the service adapted for individual needs. It is about what all people share - energy.

The interview completed, the Design Plan is presented to the client. It contains spatial and architectural ideas, art selection, meaningful objects, symbols and visual triggers for positive energy. Then the work begins. Andrea seeks the perfect object for the right home.

Andrea tells the story of a client whose son suffered from Attention Deficit Disorder (A.D.D.). The challenge was to design his favorite place, his room, to be a calming space in which the boy could relax, read, welcome friends, and complete his studies.

Andrea interviewed the boy and his parents. She completed a color assessment and her journey began. Even his parents were struck by some of their son's color preferences and thoughts. "It was his energy balance that pointed to the color palette. The color is light and light is energy. And now, I think there is support for his health and his balance and yes, his purpose. It all worked and it started with understanding color." There is something about his room that feels so good. Even the rest of the family can feel the positive energy there.

Each job is completely different from the last. Each person's situation and individual spiritual needs will lead to a unique space in time. Andrea Carini views herself as a guide to assist and navigate towards a balanced energy flow. "People who are in need of healing often become my biggest supporters, since the benefits can appear, in hindsight, so much more personal and truly dramatic," she explains. Her revolutionary designing approach centers upon the person and not the space.

Andrea is a firm believer in completing each job with a blessing. "The home is a special place and I'm always touched by the opportunity to have helped and been there. Blessings and ceremonies can be such lovely and meaningful things." She calls it an energy blessing and chooses the words with great care. The space is treated as special, as sacred and as being blessed. Each client is given affirming words to continue the journey. Andrea would not have it any other way.