Wellness Within Your Walls: Seminar A Firsthand Experience
A few weeks ago, one of LD & Co’s design directors, Teresa Karpala, was fortunate enough to attend Jillian Cooke’s Wellness Within Your Walls (WWYW) seminar. This full-day, four-course series provides a “holistic, 10-step approach to health and wellness in living environments.” As an interior designer, and health advocate in personal life, Teresa was excited for the opportunity.
We wanted to see how her experience was, what she learned, and how she thinks it will help her in her designs going forward. To that end we sat down with Teresa for a “WWYW Dish.”
LD & Co: Teresa, thank you so much for sitting down to dish about this class. I know you were excited about the opportunity to attend. Did you have specific expectations about the class? What were you hoping to get out of it?
TK: I was looking to get the most current information, solutions, and best practices on creating (and maintaining) a healthy interior environment.
LD & Co: Were your expectations met?
TK: Yes! The course provided so much valuable and interesting information. It was everything I had hoped for, and more.
LD & Co: What would you say are the top three things you’ve “taken away” from the class?
TK: I learned so much, it’s hard to narrow it down. However, if I had to pick my top three, I would say:
- interior environment impacts overall health and well being much more than I thought
- all interior design choices affect human health
- interior designers should (and can) actively promote healthier choices
LD & Co: Those are great concepts. So, how do you think you will implement these ? Can you envision how you will put them into practice at work? What about in your daily life?
TK: Taking a healthy approach has always been important to me. However, now that I am armed with the ability to identify hidden toxins throughout our environment — be it fabrics, stains, etc. — I know now I will be able to make responsible choices. Knowing what to look for, and that I must “look” for these hidden toxins that exist everywhere, will be key.
LD & Co: After taking this class have you changed how you look at/approach interior design?
TK: Absolutely. I know that I will always try to implement a healthiest choice. In addition to considering the aesthetics of a room, I will also weigh the health and safety of any product I use. When creating my designs I will now combine all these considerations. Truly, I feel as though this new (to me) this knowledge will make me a better, more conscientiousness designer.
LD & Co: What was the best part of the class? Or the favorite thing you learned?
TK: Again, there was so much information, it is hard to boil it down to just one thing. So…I’m going to “cheat” a little and give you ten things: the 10-step holistic approach that we learned. By approaching all our designs with these ten steps in mind we truly can achieve wellness within walls. The steps include: clean air, clean water, natural light, chemical control, physical wellness, spiritual wellness, mental wellness, conscious consumption, food science, and behavioral strategies.
LD & Co: This is great stuff Teresa. Is there anything else you’d like to share? Any tips, tricks, or recommended websites?
TK: I would encourage everyone to do their research. It’s important to become familiar with the names of common hazardous materials and read labels carefully. Also, you can look for third party certifications such as Green Seal, Energy Star, FSC, etc. Seeing these certifications on different products can give you a sense of comfort in knowing you are working with a safe, healthy product. Further, some websites I’d recommend visiting include:
LD & Co: Thanks again for sharing all this wonderful information, Teresa. This is such important information, especially now with everything that is going on with COVID-19 and our hyper focus on being and staying healthy as a society. We have been fortunate enough to speak with Jillian Cooke, the founder of WWYW and will share that interview in part two of this blog.