Why does the art of Interior Design exist? This is such a basic question that it’s easy to not really think about it. Like so many things we do in our lives, it could seem self-evident. But reflecting on questions like this can be meaningful. Knowing why we do what we do enlivens our experience, lending agency to our actions. And for me, the art of Interior Design exists as a form of self-actualization. This is my why, and the reason I design interiors.
Said differently, Interior Design is a form of self-expression. When you create an interior to actualize and to express yourself, you care about living your best life. You position yourself in environments that support your needs and nurture your aspirations. And all the while you share who you are with the rest of the world.
Interior Design is one component of our existence. At a glance, it may seem to be primarily a luxury. But look closer. These things we have and do are really manifestations of our inner worlds and deep forms of self-actualization. We bring into being the beauty, desire, joy, yearning, uncertainty, ambition, peace, and every other part of ourselves that we want to hold under the light to examine. What is more, these are the parts of ourselves that we want to show to the world.
We often learn about our own and others’ value systems through the stories we tell. It can be literal storytelling, but it can also simply be what we show to the world. This is the story of experience, of how we spend our time with family, friends, culture and the world at large. In many ways, we absorb culture rather than actively trying to take it in.
The places you travel broaden your experience, and you bring this knowledge home with you. Whether it’s in your decor, cuisine preferences, art appreciation, or the memories you bring back, travel changes your outlook and adds to the rich texture of your cultural footprint.
There are other narratives existing in you, things you do almost by instinct. Others come down to family tradition. For example, the way you celebrate holidays speaks to your personal history and that of your family. You may prefer small, intimate gatherings with only those closest to you. Maybe the rest of the year you give your time to others in abundance, and so you like holidays to be private.
Or perhaps you are thrilled to host large, celebratory gatherings during the holidays. Maybe you’re even known for your legendary parties, and everyone hopes for an invitation. The flourishes you bring to events like this have everything to do with your values, and your desire to share them. Planning parties is a creative skill – an artform even. And whether you do it on a large or small scale, you bring your creativity, skill and personality to those who get to share in it.
How you structure your day to day life is the product of your inner self and value system. You may be career focused, family focused, or a combination of the two. You may love to attend cultural events, and thrive in the social sphere. Or perhaps you cherish your personal time, preferring to enjoy the comforts of home on the average evening. Your life may center around exercise and recreation, or wellness and mindfulness. This is all part of your story, and what you give to the world. We lead by example, and the most enjoyable people to learn from are those who are content and passionate about their interests.
This is all about celebrating. How you go about in the world, and what that means to you. It’s expressed in your style, your home, your social life and even your private life. Everything you do can’t be shared with the world, but if you are living life on your terms that glow follows you everywhere. For example, people can’t guess by looking at you that you love to end a long day soaking in a tub with a glass of wine. But they see the radiance you project from taking care of yourself.
However you present yourself to the world, these attributes are a means for self-actualization and self-expression in society. They are all conscious acts of living that assert your values, vision and lifestyle into the collective experience of all people. It’s about celebrating life.