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#053: How to Design Your Space to Serve You + Holistic Design Strategies with Carrie Leskowitz

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On the show today, I am sitting down with Carrie Leskowitz. Carrie is an interior designer who is focused on taking a very deep and holistic approach to home design.  She just wrote a book called OM for the Home which is a holistic approach to interior design for your overall well being, body, mind, and spirit.

We have an amazing conversation about how our homes should be more than just the place we live and some tips and tricks that can get you there. I am beyond excited to have Carrie on the show today and I think it is a really important conversation for those of us who are looking to get more out of space and truly create a home that serves our everyday life. 

You can download this episode from Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcher, and Spotify – or listen to it below!

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in this episode:

[02:31] Carrie’s journey & how she made her way into the home design world

[04:35] Becoming a life coach

[07:14] Carrie shares a case study

[12:26] Neuroaesthetics: the science of beauty

[14:00] Finding balance between the inner state and outer state

[17:53] Tapping into the vibe and translating it into our spaces

[22:26] Feeling like your space isn’t worthy

[26:28] Carrie’s favorite chapter of her book

[27:51] Effects of mental clutter 

[33:04] Everything is energy

[34:34] Ways to get started: Seeing with new eyes

[39:31] What Cara is obsessed with this week

[02:31] Carrie’s journey & how she made her way into the home design world

She started out in college in psychology and then she segwayed into fashion. She did fashion show production and fashion coordinating for many years and she was going to create her own production company when she got pregnant with her first son. Since she could no longer commit to that she started doing styling. Slowly as all the work started to go to New York, she went into the interior design business with her mother.

[04:35] Becoming a life coach

Eventually, she was feeling like she wanted to make a move so after some changes she decided to become a life coach. Armed with that education, she now had a language when she went into her clients’ homes to better serve them.  She took her education and she started just making her clients aware.

[07:14] Carrie shares a case study

As a holistic interior designer, she really believes that your home is another pillar of wellness, and you can’t have wonderful health if your home is a mess.  You can’t have a clean home if you have inner turmoil in your mind. So everything is connected.

Carrie was working with a woman and she had three children, a messy playroom and she wanted more organization. They talked about ways to solve the problem. As they were talking Carrie said, “You know, that’s a lot. Your mind sounds like your playroom.” That made the woman stop in her tracks. She asked more questions and found out more about what she was thinking in terms of her career and Carrie gave her an assignment to do as she was cleaning out the playroom. She told her to think about her career, what she could do now, what she could do in three years, and what she could do in five years.  She was organizing her thoughts and her future goals as she was organizing her playroom and as she decluttered she gained clarity in her own life.

[12:26] Neuroaesthetics: the science of beauty

There is a fairly new science called Neuroaesthetics. Neuroaesthetics is the science of beauty. We all deem things beautiful or not but when we find something beautiful, our brain lights up like a Christmas tree. Beauty is really in the brain of the beholder. The brain, beauty, interior design, and having a holistic healthy lifestyle all go hand in hand.

[14:00] Finding balance between the inner state and outer state

It is really about both the inner and outer state. It’s really about energy. She tells people to ask themselves these questions. Where are you feeling dissatisfied?  What area feels heavy?  That’s like a perfect place to start. And for one person, it might be their playroom and for another, it may be a relationship that they’re struggling with.

[17:53] Tapping into the vibe and translating it into our spaces

It’s always going inward and asking yourself how does this make me feel? Does it feel heavier? Does it feel light? Does it light me up and delight me? Are there areas that I’m avoiding or they could look better? Are things in disrepair and in good working order? Do things spark joy, everything has meaning, or is useful? 

In her experience, sometimes people stop seeing what’s right in front of them. So it’s really about constantly going inward and asking yourself, Is this the best it can be? Is this useful? Do I love this? In her book, she talks about our imprinted past and how childhood spaces inform our present spaces. You may have a memory that brings you so much joy, how can you bring that into your home? It’s just really about understanding yourself.

[22:26] Feeling like your space isn’t worthy

Sadly, more often than you would think women feel deep down inside that being worthy is having good things or spending money on good things. It’s not really about how much money you spend, because you can DIY so many incredible things. It’s about really understanding that you do deserve the best you can afford, and you are worthy and you are good enough. Sometimes we need to take a deep dive and go inward and discover where that root feeling came from. 

[26:28] Carrie’s favorite chapter of her book

Carrie loves the case studies. The case studies are really important to allow people to have concrete examples. 

[27:51] Effects of mental clutter 

What became really important for Carrie to include in the book is talking about limiting beliefs or mental clutter. This topic is about worthiness, being in alignment, understanding yourself, and having awareness. Mental clutter, thoughts in our head, and toxic relationships, we bring that energy into our homes. The chapter about how to dispel some of that and the tools to rid yourself of it or at least quiet is her favorite. The niche of mental well being is what gets her excited now.

[33:04] Everything is energy

Everything is energy. The thoughts in our heads are energy. The way our home is set up and thoughts around money, that’s all energy. We need to always make sure that the energy is sort of balanced. Once we understand that, we can really find ourselves maneuvering in a place that keeps us holistically healthy.

[34:34] Ways to get started: Seeing with new eyes

Here’s an exercise that everybody can do right now. It is called Seeing with New Eyes. If you normally come into your house, through your side door then change it up and go in your front door as if you’re a guest in your own home. Put your personal feelings aside and try to look at your space through a guest’s eyes. Don’t look at it with your emotions. 

Walk from room to room carrying a notepad with you. What do you see? How does it make you feel? Just keep asking yourself, how does this make me feel. So just literally walk from room to room taking notes. You’ll be surprised when you’ve done the exercise, some of the things that you see and some things you had stopped seeing.

[39:31] What Cara is obsessed with this week

This week Cara is obsessed with a strategy that she’s been using to declutter her spaces. She calls it her box rule. When she buys something off Amazon and it comes in a box, she used to break it down and recycle it but then she had kind of a box pileup situation happening at my house. So I thought of a new approach. When something arrives in a box, she has to put something in the box and take it to Goodwill. So she has to donate a piece of clutter from her space. This is super helpful because Goodwill recycles the boxes. So not only is she getting rid of the piece of clutter, but she is eliminating the cardboard pileup that was happening at her house. It’s been a really easy adjustment in her life, but something that’s made a huge impact. 

connect with carrie leskowitz

instagram: @carrieleskowitz // website: carrieleskowitzinteriors.com

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I'm Cara, the designer & diy queen behind Never Skip Brunch. I'm a color & prints obsessed DIY queen who's here to help you create a beautifully lived-in life through home design advice and chic DIY tutorials

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