Beauty reminds us to slow down, to become more mindful, more grateful, more present to each moment, more focused on the good, more connected. Beauty in our outer environment invites us to create an inner environment where we can heal.
As we were taking a moment to sit and savour the finished product together on Tuesday, Amber asked me if I do a lot of design work for businesses. The truth is, I’ve chosen to focus almost exclusively on residential design over the last 14 years for one specific reason: A sense of meaning.
You see, I believe design has the power to create a transformational environment that supports relationships, creates personal sanctuary, and can become the context where dreams come true and powerful life stories unfold. In my experience, this purpose has been harder to connect with on corporate projects. Until now.
Through my own health journey, I’ve become passionate about the belief that spaces intended for healing should welcome the senses. Every touchpoint should be considered for the way it contributes to the experience. Does it invite inspiration? Relaxation? Calm? Hope? Aspirations for a healthier, more beautiful life? These were my goals for Docere, and thanks to our incredible sponsors, I think we did it!
ErthCoverings | Black Textured Tray – Renwil Decor | Vase, Amethyst Geode, Selenite Tea Light Holder –
I have to say, I am absolutely thrilled with the massive impact the ErthCoverings White Wolf Ledgestone panels have made to the welcome for the senses in the reception area at Docere. The two feature walls now clad in this stone feel natural yet luxurious, textured and organic yet refined and elevated. The envelope they create is both dramatic and understated in its elegance, and the texture of the walls plays beautifully with the larger scale striation in the floors, the radiant texture in the stunning Bernhardt Levine Cocktail Table, the gloss of the Rove Concepts Ghost Chairs and the shimmering and delicate crystals on the LampsPlus chandelier.
All of these natural textures and materials pay homage to the natural approach to medicine that Amber offers at Docere: a functional, holistic way of supporting the body’s own God-given ability to heal.
THE IV SUITE
There is a significant amount of trust involved in the practioner-patient relationship, especially when regularly poking one’s arm to infuse the body with the nutrients it needs to heal. This trust requires a level of professionalism, empathy and compassion on the part of the practitioner that is rare. That’s why I wanted the IV Suite to feel both highly professional and carefully considered as a reflection of Amber’s approach. She doesn’t just throw nutrients at her patients arbitrarily, but rather carefully tests and retests them to ensure they are getting just what they need when they need it. This is a safe place, and I wanted the design details to communicate that well.
The featured wall of Metrie panel moulding, painted out in Farrow & Ball’s All White No. 2005, really sets the stage in my mind. The look is clean and elevated while feeling carefully considered and thoughtfully detailed. The panel moulding and crisp white paint make an otherwise blank wall feel polished with nothing else on it, and it will make for a supportive backdrop when Amber opens up the moveable glass wall for educational presentations in this space.
The larger lozenges of paneling anchor the comfy chairs, which are made all the more welcoming thanks to the luxurious Annie Selke Nodo Zinc Shams. These soft and elegant pillows will support patients’ arms during their IV infusions which is why they are standard sized pillows and not decorative throw pillows. They are both practical and decadent at the same time as the 500 thread count cotton sateen feels almost like silk. The Renwil Hearth Side Tables that nestle in between the chairs make for the perfect spot to rest a cup of tea and a good book, again making each patient’s space feel thoughtfully considered and welcoming.
Significantly adding to the sense of professionalism in this space is the Perlick 15″ Signature Series Refrigerator Drawers. Amber is over-the-moon thrilled with how functional these drawers are in the IV Suite, making the access to her injectables effortless and adding ease to her workflow as she serves her patients. “I seriously love that fridge” she told me with a grin as we sat and took it all in on Tuesday. And I can see why. It is a professional grade product that seamlessly integrates into the space for a beautiful, highly functional work space.
To top it all off, Amber now has a beautiful Blanco Urbena Faucet, Blanco Torre Soap Dispenser and Blanco Quatrus 15 U1 Undermount Sink to anchor the Nurse’s Station. The edgy elegance of the Top Knobs Lydia Knobs and Pulls with their hexagonal shape adds dimension and subtle sophistication to the clean look of the glossy white cabinetry.
THE HOSPITALITY CENTRE
One of the areas of great concern to me was the Hospitality Centre in the IV Suite. I wanted this to feel truly welcoming and nurturing in its simplicity, offering green tea and infused water as a gracious invitation to exhale and relax. I can think of no better way to set the stage for that welcome than Bernhardt’s extremely handsome Winston Credenza. A visual anchor that offers practical storage beneath and a generous surface above for beverage service, the Winston makes a strong and refined statement of elegance that significantly elevates the entire aesthetic of the IV Suite.
Also central to the Hospitality Centre was the selection of artwork, and I love the mental escape that Minted’s Praia da Ursa by Hi Uan Kang Haaga offers. The tones in the art – a mixture of warm and cool – work beautifully with the tones in the Bernhardt Credenza, creating a metaphorical harbour for the eye to rest upon while receiving treatment.
AMBER’S OFFICE NURSE’S STATION
Amber offers many kinds of treatment, including holistic dermatological treatments, so having a functional washing station in her office was just as important as at the Nurse’s Station in the IV Suite. Once again, the combination of Blanco’s beautiful Urbena Faucet and Torre Soap Dispenser with the Top Knobs Lydia Collection of hexagonal pulls and knobs are a match made in heaven. The artwork by Melody Hansen and Amy Friend via Citizen Atelier framed in a classic Framed & Matted frame to me tell a story of healing waters and letting go. The aqua glass vase from HomeSense ties it all together with vibrant yellow forsythia branches joyfully reminding us it’s Springtime.
This special project would not have come together so beautifully without our incredible sponsors, and Amber and I could not be more grateful! A thousand thanks are not enough, but we offer them with our deepest appreciation to:
Thank you for your trust and partnership. I truly believe your products will offer beauty and a context for healing for many lives in the years ahead.
Our great thanks also goes out to Larry Arnal for so beautifully capturing the space for us with his photography.
In the spirit of acknowledging that it takes a village, Amber and the team at Docere would also like to thank the many trades that helped to make this space a reality:
George and the team at Elite Stone for their excellent customer service in fabricating and installing the quartz counters | Hal Graham of Hal T Graham Contracting for framing, insulating and drywalling | Bruno Baglioni of B&B Construction for installing the tile floors and ErthCoverings Ledgestone marble wall panels | Marc Ingraudo of AMI Electrical for installing all of the electrical including the LampsPlus chandelier | Scott Boden for painting (even during the Leafs’ season).
And lastly, I would like to thank all of you for coming along on this journey, for believing in the power of design and for joining me in the quest to make the world a healthier, more beautiful place one space at a time.
HUGE thanks as always to Linda of Calling It Home for creating this epic online design event, and the fine folks at House Beautiful for being the official media partner of the One Room Challenge. Be sure to drink in all of the design goodness that has been poured out over the last couple of days by checking out all of the links here and here.
And with that, I wish you a weekend ahead filled with inspiration for designing a healthy home and life you love! Be sure to pop back next week when I’ll share my favourite spaces from this round of the One Room Challenge. Until then, be well my friends!