The dream is dead. 

Well maybe that’s a little dramatic. It’s not dead-dead. Probably more like “The dream has morphed” 

Let me explain.

I always thought I wanted to be an interior designer. It’s been my lifelong dream, my academic pursuit, the object of my attention on lazy Sunday afternoons.

But as it turns out, I never wanted to be an interior designer in the traditional sense, like I thought I had.

You know, the kind that’s given some loose style guidelines, a budget, and is set free until a grand reveal at the end to the homeowners? 

Maybe that’s just HGTV, but still.

That isn’t where my heart is.

Since working occupationally as an interior designer for about a year now, I’ve learned that my passion is more to teach people how to cultivate their dream home rather than create it for them.

Instead of Interior Designer, it’s more like Interior Coach. 

My reasoning is simple; a home is a deeply personal space. It should be styled as such. 

Since coming to this realization; I’ve spent a lot of hours putting to words the design process I use with clients and on my own. 

This will likely shift, evolve, and grow over time but my hope is that you can use this process in your own home and cultivate a space that’s more you than pinterest. 

Interestingly enough, my big picture design process fits with the name I chose for my business, over a year and half ago; 

Joy Haven

So without further ado, let me introduce; 

The Joy Haven Principle

Before we jump in, I’d like to note: Step 1 and 2 are purely to create a blue print. You won’t be buying anything, painting walls, or renovating until Step 3!

Step 1: Joy 

It’s quite simple. When tackling a design project, let’s start with joy. You need to know what brings you Joy (ie: your style) and what brings your partner or family joy (their style).

This step typically involves compromises and cooperation between family members, but this is the fun step at least for me!

I like to start with joy as opposed to starting from a functional stand point like most designers do, because when creating a design plan you need energy. Focusing on what brings you joy and the exciting parts of this process will give you the energy you need to see it through! It’s literally the legs that the whole process stands on.


Again, strangely enough I’ve already been working on this process without even realizing it! You can find “Joy Steps” here: 

How to find your Interior Design Style  

How to Decorate with a Partner (and not want to punch them in the face)

Step 2: Haven 

This is where we will uncover and address the functional needs the space or your family have. We can’t expect anyone to enjoy a gorgeous dining room if the chairs are horribly uncomfortable, right? This is a silly example but you get my point. Things must be functional if you want to enjoy the space you’ve created for years to come. 

Your home should be a haven, a retreat for you and your family so not only should we address any functional needs, but also take a look at what your goals are and build your home around those goals. For example, if you’d like to be a family of book enthusiasts, you would likely want to create little reading nooks throughout your house! 

I’m working on developing the meat to this step currently, but this will be really practical! Maybe not as fun as “Joy” but totally necessary!

Step 3: Principle 

In this step, we will learn some basic principles of design so that you can take the blueprint you made from the previous two steps and apply it practically. 

I’ll include how to choose the right paint color, the order in which to furnish a room, and items that each room needs, no matter the style. This will likely be the most comprehensive step and will be where your blueprint comes to life! 


I’m so excited to share this process with you and get feedback from you guys along the way so it can expand and evolve!