Tag Archives: Interior Design

What is Holistic Interior Design

During the last ten years, there has been a dramatic change in attitude to Interior Design that has been less of a fashion statement than a  ‘state of mind’. This new way of looking at interior space has been spurred on by the big changes that are occurring in our lifestyle as well as the growing environmental movement.

Lets face it eco-design is here to stay as the world’s natural resources dry up and the stresses of modern living are not going away. Most of the attention regarding the creation of eco-friendly and sustainable buildings is concerned with the fabric of the building but interiors design is lagging behind. The reason for this is that many interior architects and also the public think an eco-interior is going to be ugly, uncomfortable and unfashionable. In fact a lot of people think they don’t have the skills or training to make their home more environmentally friendly but I am sure this eco-home resource website will help both individuals and designers to source beautiful, natural and inspirational objects, furniture, furnishings and paints for their eco-interiors.



There are  now not many areas of our life over which we have control and so our homes have become an important means of self-expression and provide us with a sanctuary where we can relax and be ourselves away from the stresses of the world. I think that the desire to lead a more relaxed, simple lifestyle and create a personal haven where natural elements are used both in the inside and outside in a natural flow.

For the last fifteen years I have been involved in providing international training courses in eco-design and holistic design subjects at the Holistic Design Institute. Our students come from many backgrounds and disciplines, but all are interested in creating healthy and life-supporting spaces both at home and at work. The more time we spend indoors the more these places play a pivotal role in our health and well-being. It is now common knowledge that our immediate environment dramatically affects our behaviour, moods and health and this changing awareness has meant that expectations of  clients in both the private and commercial sector has radically altered. Responding to the changing demands has been a slow process but one which is gaining momentum. Planners, architects and interior designers are now coming to realise that their designs need to be less of a personal statement and much more in tune with the health and needs of the occupants using the space.

Running alongside this more caring role, designers are having to become much more responsible in the choice of materials which they specify. It has been our aim at the Holistic Design Institute to offer extended and specialist training in areas of design which traditional interior design schools ignore. We are living in a world of limited resources and this changing world should be reflected in design training. Much more energy needs to be put into the use of environmentally friendly materials and the development of natural paints. The fabric industry is one of the chief pollutants of  ground water and it is up to designers to lead the way in finding organic materials and fabrics which without chemical finishes. We also need to question the origins of  hardwoods from suspect sources more thoroughly. With the global village there is no excuse for us not to use furniture made from bamboo, rattan and other renewable resources.



A comfortable and relaxed atmosphere of an interior or exterior space is not just created by focusing on the hard objects and materials but by other subtle elements, such as natural light, air, colour, sound and aroma. These aspects of design are more important than many designers realise. Most people would agree that a building without ‘soul’ no matter how well-designed or expensive never fulfils its potential and is not a place where one wants to be. I am sure you can think of several such buildings in the town or city where you live. By changing the subtle environment  we can re-discover what we already have and realise its potential without always having to move or create new buildings. There is definitely a growing interest in this important area of interior design and many designers are paying more attention to the subtle atmosphere they are creating.

These ideas about design and the changing role of the home are not just limited to the UK and I am proud to report that our school has students in over 35 countries – in every continent. I am often invited to give lectures and workshops and recently  returned from a successful lecture tour of South Africa, sponsored by a large paint company and magazine group. The enthusiastic response from architects, designers and individuals interested in a more sustainable lifestyle and caring approach to building was overwhelming.

It seems that people everywhere just need to know they are not working alone and that they are supported by an international holistic design movement. Fortunately this year sees the launch of the International Association for Holistic Design, which I am sure will work closely with the Ecological Design Association in furthering the aims of  environmental design. I am honoured to have been asked to sit on the international board and it is hoped that the interactive website will soon be up and running and will offer the opportunity to share experience and information.



On a more personal note, I am am lucky enough to be involved in one of two special design projects each year.  For example, I was able to act as a consultant to a prestigious house development company who were creating a village-style cluster housing scheme on a golf course.  Unlike many other similar developments they were also enhancing the local environment  by the creation of lakes, wild-life areas and by planting trees. It was their aim to make attractive houses of low environmental impact and so they had based their designs on traditional vernacular and local materials. Inside the homes they wanted to continue the idea of a relaxed modern living and so they asked whether they could illustrate this by designing their showhome around the ideas from my latest book HOME HARMONY – in which I used the five natural elements of earth, fire, water, wood and metal to create harmonious home. I was most impressed with the result and the feedback has been excellent. The best compliment came from some visitors who actually relaxed on the sofas and chairs and said that it was the first show home they could actually feel comfortable living in!

The lesson from this is that we should all take heart that the idea of healthy and natural living has definitely permeated into the mainstream. Although there is a long way to go, I firmly believe that the continued demand from the grass roots level plus the  hard work and  commitment of all eco-designers is responsible for break-through of this type into more the conventional building market. Let us hope that more and more people take up this challenge and discover the joy and rewards of creating and living in a holistic home.  Let us lead by example!!

Suzy Chiazzari offers email training courses in Holistic Interior Design and Colour Therapeutics for Interiors through the Holistic Design Institute leading to an International Diploma.


To view company profile and course – click here


Interior Design School and the amazing benefits it can bring

Education and learning is just about the most incredible things we have accessible to us, and truth of the matter, it is actually a privilege that not everybody is able to take full advantage of. Needless to say, the Internet has transformed this simply because it has opened doors to individuals who reside in remote areas to have the ability to obtain an education from their own places of residence. There is absolutely no end to what we are able to learn, the degrees we can easily obtain as well as all the beneficial things that they are able to provide us. Listed below are a few of the many benefits we can acquire by registering with an interior design school as well as how it can result in an extremely bright and vivid future in a gratifying profession.



To begin with, it makes it possible for an person who has come to understand the the inner workings of decor to be effective in an industry that is certainly challenging and continuously transforming. It happens to be ever-changing due to the fact that the needs, wants and choices of the consumer shift with the times and additionally fashion and decor continue to keep transforming.

It can also be an effective way to work within a field that can offer personal gratification as a result of providing satisfaction to others who have the opportunity to live or work in a space which happens to be perfectly designed in accordance with their needs and desires. At the same time, this occupation makes it possible for these professionals to function closely with other people, establishing relationships as well as being able to meet new people continuously.



Another advantage that comes with this kind of profession after certification is earned is the fact that one can have a lucrative living, being employed by others or even being self-employed. The latter permits you to work as much or as little as you would like to, establishing your own personal routine along with your own fees.

Then again, it could be a simple and easy approach to educate yourself on the principles that apply when it comes to decorating home that can be utilized in your everyday life thereby ensuring that your private home feels comfortable and always looks superb. You might not be aware of this, but the way individuals feel in their homes is a direct result of how they happen to be decorated.



Therefore, whether or not it’s utilized as a means to make an income or perhaps as a way to guarantee satisfaction, comfort and beauty when it comes to a home, the education and experience that is gained will always be beneficial to the candidate. Having said that, it is vital for each individual to recognise that there are actually a number of distinctions between Interior design and interior decorators, even though the two in many cases are misunderstood or confused.

Interior Design demands a degree given that it deals with all kinds of things that go into making a home functional and safe. It really is comparable to an architect without having to design the actual structure, and instead designing the interior space of that structure.



Interior Decorating is all about the decor and does not always require a degree despite the fact that knowledge and experience really are a must and it all begins with an education. These candidates are restricted to decorating, where’s the interior designers have no restrictions as they can also be decorators. As a result, it is critical to understand or know that there is a distinction between them, and find which profession is the most suitable to you prior to registering with an interior design school.


To view available courses follow CLICK HERE


Potchefstroom Academy Holiday School

Come visit our beautiful campus from 11-13 January 2011 for a holiday school and get a taste of student life and exciting careers. It promises to be an enriching learning experience and will help you  to make an informed decision about your future studies.

Potchefstroom Academy and SAAHST enjoy international recognition and comply with National Education Legislation. Ms Tina Schöltz, the Managing Director, established the institution in 1981 which has since grown into one of the largest private tertiary institutions of its kind in this country. The academy is situated in Potchefstroom, a vibrant student city.

We are known for training excellence in:

Beauty Therapy
Spa Therapy and Management
Therapeutic Reflexology
Therapeutic Aromatherapy
Therapeutic  Massage
Interior Design & Decorating

Student Life

Potchefstroom is synonymous with student life, as the North-West University (PUK campus) and a variety of colleges are also situated here.  Potchefstroom Academy’s Student Representative Council and House committees make sure that organised activities are part of a vibrant student life, creating precious memories. Highlight events include the annual formal and informal dinner-dances, crowning of Miss Academy, get-together-program, graduation ceremony and the First-year concert but there are much more! There is more than enough opportunity for sport and social interactions with students from other institutions.

Date: 11-13 January 2011
Contact: Marie Phillips at 082 889 9754

View Company Profile and Courses


Interior Designers

Nature of the Work

Interior designers draw upon many disciplines to enhance the function, safety, and aesthetics of interior spaces. Their main concerns are with how different colors, textures, furniture, lighting, and space work together to meet the needs of a building’s occupants. Designers plan interior spaces of almost every type of building, including offices, airport terminals, theaters, shopping malls, restaurants, hotels, schools, hospitals, and private residences. Good design can boost office productivity, increase sales, attract a more affluent clientele, provide a more relaxing hospital stay, or increase a building’s market value.

Traditionally, most interior designers focused on decorating—choosing a style and color palette and then selecting appropriate furniture, floor and window coverings, artwork, and lighting. However, an increasing number of designers are becoming involved in architectural detailing, such as crown molding and built-in bookshelves, and in planning layouts of buildings undergoing renovation, including helping to determine the location of windows, stairways, escalators, and walkways.

Interior designers must be able to read blueprints, understand building and fire codes, and know how to make space accessible to people who are disabled. Designers frequently collaborate with architects, electricians, and building contractors to ensure that designs are safe and meet construction requirements.

Whatever space they are working on, almost all designers follow the same process. The first step, known as programming, is to determine the client’s needs and wishes. The designer usually meets face-to-face with the client to find out how the space will be used and to get an idea of the client’s preferences and budget. For example, the designer might inquire about a family’s cooking habits if the family is remodeling a kitchen or ask about a store or restaurant’s target customer in order to pick an appropriate motif. The designer also will visit the space to take inventory of existing furniture and equipment and identify positive attributes of the space and potential problems.

Then, the designer formulates a design plan and estimates costs. Today, designs often are created with the use of computer-aided design (CAD), which provides more detail and easier corrections than sketches made by hand. Once the designer completes the proposed design, he or she will present it to the client and make revisions based on the client’s input.

When the design concept is decided upon, the designer will begin specifying the materials, finishes, and furnishings required, such as furniture, lighting, flooring, wall covering, and artwork. Depending on the complexity of the project, the designer also might submit drawings for approval by a construction inspector to ensure that the design meets building codes. If a project requires structural work, the designer works with an architect or engineer for that part of the project. Most designs also require the hiring of contractors to do technical work, such as lighting, plumbing, or electrical wiring. Often designers choose contractors and write work contracts.

Finally, the designer develops a timeline for the project, coordinates contractor work schedules, and makes sure work is completed on time. The designer oversees the installation of the design elements, and after the project is complete, the designer, together with the client, pay follow-up visits to the building site to ensure that the client is satisfied. If the client is not satisfied, the designer makes corrections.

Designers who work for furniture or home and garden stores sell merchandise in addition to offering design services. In-store designers provide services, such as selecting a style and color scheme that fits the client’s needs or finding suitable accessories and lighting, similar to those offered by other interior designers. However, in-store designers rarely visit clients’ spaces and use only a particular store’s products or catalogs.

Interior designers sometimes supervise assistants who carry out their plans and perform administrative tasks, such as reviewing catalogues and ordering samples. Designers who run their own businesses also may devote considerable time to developing new business contacts, examining equipment and space needs, and attending to business matters.

Although most interior designers do many kinds of projects, some specialize in one area of interior design. Some specialize in the type of building space—usually residential or commercial—while others specialize in a certain design element or type of client, such as health care facilities. The most common specialties of this kind are lighting, kitchen and bath, and closet designs. However, designers can specialize in almost any area of design, including acoustics and noise abatement, security, electronics and home theaters, home spas, and indoor gardens.

Three areas of design that are becoming increasingly popular are ergonomic design, elder design, and environmental—or green—design. Ergonomic design involves designing work spaces and furniture that emphasize good posture and minimize muscle strain on the body. Elder design involves planning interior space to aid in the movement of people who are elderly and disabled. Green design involves selecting furniture and carpets that are free of chemicals and hypoallergenic and selecting construction materials that are energy efficient or are made from renewable resources


Work environment.

Working conditions and places of employment vary. Interior designers employed by large corporations or design firms generally work regular hours in well-lighted and comfortable settings. Designers in smaller design consulting firms or those who freelance generally work on a contract, or job, basis. They frequently adjust their workday to suit their clients’ schedules and deadlines, meeting with clients during evening or weekend hours when necessary. Consultants and self-employed designers tend to work longer hours and in smaller, more congested environments.

Interior designers may work under stress to meet deadlines, stay on budget, and please clients. Self-employed designers also are under pressure to find new clients to maintain a steady income.

Designers may work in their own offices or studios or in clients’ homes or offices. They also may travel to other locations, such as showrooms, design centers, clients’ exhibit sites, and manufacturing facilities. With the increased speed and sophistication of computers and advanced communications networks, designers may form international design teams, serve a more geographically dispersed clientele, research design alternatives by using information on the Internet, and purchase supplies electronically.

Source: myspacedesigners.com and bls.gov