Right environment can ignite the special longing

I am an environment junkie, all kinds indoors and out. I am constantly in a mad search for unique and special places to spend time in.

Often these jump off the pages of magazines or off screens at movies or at home watching television. Sometimes I find unique environments in unexpected shops or coffee houses or even in friends’ homes. The environment that some people are fortunate enough to inhabit ignites a longing in me that I know can’t easily be satisfied. I could have a dozen homes in my possession and love something special in each one of them.

Perhaps that is why I live in the home that I do, a home with imperfections and history all rolled into a beautiful package. I have lived in apartments, mobile homes, bungalows, bi-levels and nothing speaks to my soul as much as a home with interesting turns and twists, secret staircases and hideaways under the steps – to me it is magical.

You might be an outdoor environment person with a special flair for landscaping and planting beautiful things in your garden. This is such a gift!

Even average homes/apartments can be made special with the right outdoor furniture and landscaping. I think about the outdoor patio at Earls, which is on Red Deer’s busiest road, yet you walk in and are transported to a beautiful, isolated space. This is a mastery of environment, where you can forget where you are situated and become lost in a space which makes you feel as if you have traveled.

This type of environmental control is achievable with some carefully chosen decorative elements. The most important thing to address is the outside world. To obtain total change in your environment you need to completely block out the world outside your room or yard.

If you have ever been to Astha restaurant you can relate to what I am talking about. Here is a restaurant in the middle of a harried strip mall right off of 67 St., which draws you behind a solid wood door into a cocoon of colour and soft lighting.

When you enter and have had a few minutes to relax you completely forget that you are in a restaurant in the middle of a city. I call this the movie theatre effect, where you exit an environment and are surprised at where you find yourself.

Decorative elements such as drapery, shutters, lighting, fabric choices and plush floorings are the perfect beginning to creating that environment that shuts out the world. Usually private spaces such as bedrooms and bathrooms are given this sort of treatment.

The new trend towards theatre rooms is also a fantastic opportunity to keep the world out as you cocoon in the comfort of your own home. Outside elements such as stone walls, climbing ivy, lattice and gazebos will help to define a private, perfect outdoor space.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and make an outstanding environment for you either in your home or your garden. Block out the world and create the perfect environment for your needs.

Privacy, atmosphere and ambiance will be your safe place to retreat when you arrive home after a stressful and hectic day.

Kim Lewis is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre. Feel free to contact her at 343-7711 ext 227, email her at klewis@carpetcolourcentre.com or join her facebook group called “Ask a Designer”