New Age Interior Design: The Spirit of Home

by BrendaReeves

Spiritual interior design nourishes mind, body and soul. It transforms living spaces into sacred, meaningful places of comfort and self expression.

Chris Madden, author of "A Room of Her Own: Women's Personal Spaces," highlights the rooms of 38 women. These personal rooms serve as sanctuaries for the women to retreat to for reflection and relaxation. According to Chris, "Your home should be a nurturing haven for everyone, starting with yourself. " All of these rooms are unique to the women who occupy them.

Asian's Nine Elements of Design

Approach new age spiritual design by pulling from other well established designs. Perhaps nobody has captured serene and peaceful more than the Asian's nine elements of design.

  1. Asymmetry       
  2. Altar-like alcoves
  3. Reference to nature
  4. Chinoiserie furniture
  5. Natural materials
  6. Simplicity
  7. Clean lines
  8. Circle motif
  9. Orchids

Asymmetry refers to balance in Asian design. An object in a room balances another object and placement of objects balance the entire room. Use odd numbers of the same object. For instance, place three large vases together instead of four.

A tokonoma, an altar-like alcove, serves as a display case. The Japanese display special art on scrolls and flower arrangements. Many spiritual people in America also keep an altar in their homes. The objects in an altar-like alcove can consist anything: a special photograph, a crystal or stone that represents something special.

Reference to nature suggests organic materials. A textured-glass shower door might resemble a waterfall.

Chinoiserie, a French word meaning Chinese-esque, refers to a style that emerged from France in the middle of the 18th century. It's recognizable by the detailed scenes painted on dark-lacquered or lacquer-like wood cabinets.

Natural materials can include blond, wood planks, stone tile and smooth river-rock pebbles while simplicity includes minimal furniture or keeping only functional objects for the home.

Clean lines include straight lines in wooden furniture, rectangular floor tiles and long pendant lights.

In Japan, a circle represents "land of the rising sun" and a cabinet might form a glass circle when closed.

Orchids in the setting are purely for aesthetics in Asian design.


You cannot feel at peace in a house filled with clutter. There are hundreds or maybe thousands of books on organizing. If you are like me, you've read stacks of them, but you're still not organized. The problem with all of these books is most of them are written by organized people. Organized people don't think like disorganized people. That means you need to come up with your own plan. I developed my own plan:

  • No coffee tables or end tables
  • If it doesn't have a functional purpose, out it goes
  • Items for purely aesthetic purposes must hang on the wall

No coffee tables or end tables might seem drastic, but if there is one horizontal surface in my house, I will stack junk on it. For lighting, I use floor lamps. I do not give myself permission to purchase items that are not functional unless they can hang on the wall. If it hangs on the wall, it's out of the way. Look for storage containers at Walmart, Target or Kmart and store anything you must keep.

If you're saying, "That won't work for me," read "The Disorganized Mind: Coaching Your ADHD Brain to Take Control of Your Time, Tasks, and Talents," by Nancy A. Ratey. Another helpful book: "Organizing for the Creative Person: Right-Brain Syles for Conquering Clutter, Mastering Time, and Reaching Your Goals," by Dorothy Lehmkuhl. You might pick up a few techniques that work for you, and if nothing else, you'll at least understand why you can't organize.

Spirtual Elements

Incorporate anything into your new age design that makes you feel at peace. It could be candles, aromatherapy, a pretty rock you picked up on a hike or a piece of sea glass from a trip to the beach. Some people, like myself, need plenty of light flooding into the home to feel at peace. Others may need need the lights turned down low. Do what works for you and your family.

Make your new age interior design a nurturing place for all members of the family. Incorporate some elements of Asian design into your spiritual setting. If clutter is a problem for you, devise a plan to get it under control. Think about why you can't seem to organize. Understanding why you can't organize is the first step to getting organized. If something makes you feel at peace, such as candles or aromatherapy, use it.

Fine art is a luxury item that most people can't afford, or at least they can't afford the artists original work. However, many people can afford reproductions.
Updated: 07/27/2013, BrendaReeves
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BrendaReeves on 09/20/2012

Katie, I think I'm going to get one for my bedroom. There's something very peaceful about them.

katiem2 on 09/20/2012

I love lilies, my daughter has one in her room and I have one on the dining room table. They are a beautiful breath of inspirational. Great article. :)K

BrendaReeves on 09/18/2012

Lil, I have tons of art stuff also. I do have a studio, but it's a mess all the time.

Ragtimelil on 09/18/2012

Sigh. I don't know where to begin. I really need studio space to keep all my art stuff. I'd love to be a minimalist, but where do you put the sewing basket that you know you will need shortly to med your clothes? Thanks for the inspiration to tackle it again..

BrendaReeves on 09/17/2012

Thank you Tess. I love to decorate. It's one of my passions.

TessaSchlesinger on 09/17/2012

Totally love this. Funny enough, today I was thinking that if I furnish a house again, I'm going to go to the Chinese and India furniture shops. :) Love what you've written. :)

BrendaReeves on 09/17/2012

Thank you Sheilamarie, I like these ideas too.

sheilamarie on 09/17/2012

These ideas are interesting even to a person like me who is not "new age." I like your ideas on de-cluttering.

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