Making a Healing Sanctuary

When the weight of the world comes crushing in around us, there is no more real a response than to retreat to a place where we can rest, regroup and regenerate. In this space we can find the energy that we need to make it through the tough times. We search for temporary asylum in a sanctuary of our own making before we go out and face the challenge ahead.

Webster’s defines a sanctuary as “a place of refuge and protection”. When the diagnosis is malignant cancer our need to find that refuge is very strong. When an Interior Designer begins working with a Lin’s Linens, Inc. Program Sister, that process to create that special space begins. The first and most important skill the Designer will use is their ability to truly listen.  Without this understanding of the personal needs of our Program Sisters, a healing sanctuary will not be possible.

“Each Healing Sanctuary needs to be a unique and special environment created by the very human need we all have for a safe haven in a storm.”

At times this listening will need to reach below the surface of what is being said and to call upon the creativity of the Designer to meet the needs of our Program Sisters. When “AC” expressed that she felt like she could never get warm in her room, I addressed that need in many ways but primarily through the use of color. Changing the walls from a cool blue to a rich terracotta color immediately created a feeling of warmth that I was able to further enhance through proper window treatments, rugs and furniture placement. “LC” was concerned over putting shades over her bare bedroom windows because she liked to look at the stars from her bed at night.  Using shades with a top down/bottom up option allowed her to have warmth and privacy but still keep her view of the stars. “FM” wanted to be able to find a place of serenity and peace. Using calming organic tones and textures with clean uncluttered lines brought the room to the level of the retreat she needed.

One of the most important questions that we, as Designers, ask is “How do you want to feel in this space?” Each Healing Sanctuary needs to be a unique and special environment created for the very human need we all have for a safe haven in a storm.

Categories News | Tags: , , , , | Posted on March 19, 2011

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