Guiding us with meditation, mindfulness and being present.
"Meditation is like a shower for my mind and my nervous system,” says designer Brooke Gardner. The L.A. interior designer is an avid practitioner of meditation, and has been for over 30 years—she started as a teen, and was the rare mindful child who even did yoga before heading to school, thanks to a PBS yoga show that aired “before the cartoons came on,” she recalls with a smile. “It just sort of stuck.” Her long-running mind and body practice carries into her interiors projects as well: She’s a designer deeply attuned to creating spaces that feel right...rather than just look good. “I have a visceral reaction when I see a piece of furniture or a design detail that I love,” she says. “And I have a genuine desire for people to feel the most themselves at home, or to feel that their homes represent the best of who they are.”
Rather than defined by a signature look, Gardner is a designer who intuitively grasps her clients personalities and lifestyles, translating those insights into rooms that reflect them beautifully. Her meditative practice naturally underscores this well-honed ability. “My personal aesthetic is very clean and tailored and more on the minimal side, though my designs are really based on helping my clients realize how to express themselves through the environment they live in,” she says. “And I do always say that I am inspired by the couturier’s philosophy of quiet restraint and impeccable attention to detail.”
During the last two months under California’s stay-at-home order and the general stress that the pandemic has wrought, Gardner’s practice has become even more important to her, helping her stay centered, calm and less reactionary. Which is why we’re so pleased that she’s shared something so internal to her life with us: Gardner recently lead us on two group guided chakra meditations, both of which are embedded below.
Her mantra hasn’t changed since self-isolating. “Presence is my mantra, even when not in quarantine. I just focus on the present moment and try not to project too far into the future or reminisce about the past,” she says. “My intention is always to let whatever wants to arise, to arise. I welcome any feelings, positive or negative, without trying to change them or push them away.”
“I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the future,” the designer goes on to say. “ I would hope my future is filled with love and happiness, health, peace and prosperity. Isn’t that what everybody really wants?”
Please watch and join in with the designer’s two soothing, music-filled mediations below—we’re betting you’ll find a moment of peace and likely some sorely-needed mental clarity in the process.
Whether it’s designing for clients (a roster that includes celebrities like Steve Carell, Tom Skerritt and Jennifer Lopez) or working on television shows like A&E’s “Makeover Mammas” and HGTV’s “Designers’ Challenge,” Australia-born interior designer Mark Cutler is, quite simply, having fun.