Ring in the New Year with Harmonious Environments Designed to Create Calm and Healthy Living Spaces

December 2020

by Sarah Rossbach


With most of us sheltering in place this winter, and frankly in need of stress relief, I asked cutting-edge designer, Clodagh, for some spa design tips that could be incorporated into our homes to foster wellness. For over 35 years, I’ve consulted on Feng Shui with Clodagh, the author of Total Design: Contemplate, Cleanse, Clarify, and Create Your Personal Spaces, Your Home, Your Sanctuary and her most recent book Clodagh: Life-Enhancing Design. Her Manhattan business, Clodagh Design, has grown into a thriving international design practice, catering particularly to multi-family buildings and private residences, and focusing on hospitality and spa venues.

Her suggestions for spa-ifying your home are doable and her approach to the home is both a physical and spiritual exercise. As Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese art of creating harmonious environments, Clodagh often incorporates it into her designs to help create calm and healthy living spaces.


Cleanse and Renewal Tips:

  • Cleanse and give away what you do not need. With so many people in need, this year is an opportunity to redesign your life within the confines created by the virus. Open every cupboard door and examine what is behind it. See what unwanted things are lurking in your closets. Whether it is the contents of a kitchen cabinet or a shoe rack, get rid of everything you are not using—a can of beans or shoes you never wear. Only keep what you actually use. Donate the rest. What you don’t need, others do! While you are doing this, breathe deeply and envision all the people benefiting from this. Move on and move old stuff out to others. The relief and happiness this brings to people is indescribable.
  • Generosity is very consistent with a spa aesthetic. Call or text a few friends whom you might have hurt. Or reach out to each friend individually. You never know if a friend is lonely and suffering. When you have done this, your home will feel fresher and airier.

Self-Care Tips:

  • Slice your day like a pizza and establish a routine that adds structure to your life. COVID-19 days resemble long sentences with no punctuation. Decide when you are going to be good to yourself. Is it time to buy an infrared sauna blanket—even better, install an infrared sauna?
  • Put on reggae or classical music and dance while cooking. Dance along to exotic music that corresponds to a recipe’s source and location!
  • Be good to your feet. Buy a foot spa. Put lavender, scented oils and Epsom salts in warm water, and sit and read a book or talk to your partner. Foot spas are extraordinarily healing.
  • Purchase the best bed you can afford, along with new linens. You will sleep better. All the things you touch personally should be the best quality you can afford.
  • Take a long, hot bath.
  • For an added spa effect, change for dinner. Don a beautiful robe or caftan for dinner and have your partner wear one too. At the end of the day this will highlight a time for relaxation and repose.


Back-To-Basics Tip:

  • Read labels. Make sure to verify the integrity of every ingredient in your lotions, potions and foods to make sure they are environmentally safe.


Sarah Rossbach is a writer and consultant. She has written articles for The New York Times, The Washington Post, House and Garden, and Harper’s Bazaar and is the author of four books on Feng Shui: Feng Shui: The Chinese Art of Placement, which House Beautiful called “The Bible of Feng Shui;” Interior Design with Feng Shui, which The New York Times called “The Bible of Feng Shui;” Feng Shui Design: From History and Landscape to Modern Gardens; and, Living Color: Master Lin Yun’s Guide to Feng Shui and the Art of Color. She lives with her family in Monmouth County where her bed and desk are in auspicious positions.