3 Expert Design Tips For Achieving Zen At Home


In these times, more than ever, cultivating a peaceful home environment is of paramount importance. And so, with well-being top of mind, Luxe tapped Connecticut-based designer Lisa Friedman—who recently designed a Zen, waterfront home in Westport—for a mini master class in crafting calm. “It takes seven seconds for the eye to form an impression,” Friedman notes. “When someone walks into a room and feels at peace, it is mostly due to the balance and relationships of the space and textures.” Here, the designer shares her three top tenets for creating truly tranquil interiors.

First, Create A Texture Story
According to Friedman, a medley of soft textures is key to achieving a tranquil, cohesive environment. “Texture plays into a huge part of my design process,” she says. “When I am designing a space, before I have selected any furnishings, I throw all my possible fabric selections out on a table, eliminating as I go and creating a fabric story on instinct and touch.” This approach, she explains, ensures that textiles don’t simply soothe on visual impact, but on a tactile, sensory level as well. “I try to use as many natural fibers as I can, as these fabrics move and feel and respond similar to nature,” she adds.

Prioritize Your Lighting Concept
“The No. 1, best design tip for lighting a home is to put a dimmer on every last light,” insists Friedman. “This allows you to create any mood you choose and reinvent the ambience, always.” Additionally, she underscores the importance of applying the lighting trifecta of task, accent and ambient to supplement natural light in your home. For example, she says, “A kitchen needs overhead recessed lighting to illuminate the overall space, pendants over the island to serve as task lighting for food preparation and accent lighting for ‘eye candy.’”

Repeat A Singular Element for Effortless Transitions
My intention is always to build continuous flow from one room to the next, while giving each space its own identity,” Friedman says. To achieve this, the designer relies on carrying a common element—be that a texture, motif or hue—throughout. Paint, she notes, is a particularly effective tool in making disparate rooms feel of-a-piece. “Paint colors are a perfect way to achieve transition; use the same color, or go one shade lighter or darker,” she says, making the distinction that, “It’s not about duplication, it’s about creating a thoughtful organic consistency.”