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When reflecting on your current state of mind, do you feel balanced and full of energy or do you feel overwhelmed and chaotic?  As an interior designer, I too must give myself a little check-in.  It’s especially important when I’ve taken on a lot of design projects. It’s easy to get busy with all the demands of work and life that self-renewal and personal time can take a backseat.

Being an LA decorator, most of my interior design and remodeling projects are specified for residences in Los Angeles.  However, when I travel, it reinforces just how important it is to create a routine that is workable regardless of where I am.  It keeps me centered.

How an Interior Designer Makes Space for Personal Time Image 001

I typically structure my day with shorter book-ends of personal time both in the morning and before bed.  Mid-day, I’m constantly on the go.  You may find me at the Pacific Design Center picking out textiles for upholstery and draperies.  Or I’m may be on a construction site with a general contractor reviewing plans for the most stunning entryway.  Being an interior designer is in no way a traditional 9-5.  I stay very focused on work during the day so that when I’m home, I’m home.  It’s time for family as well as time to unwind and prepare for the next day.

“We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

I wholeheartedly believe this to be true.  A solid routine lays the foundation for consistent positive habits and a balanced life.

Here are a few ways I embed personal time into my daily routine:


  1. Always make my bed.
  2. Consistently exercise.  I’ve had the same trainer for 8 o’clock workouts sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the last 18 years.  Our workouts are sometimes in the gym but mostly outside.
  3. Before I leave home for work, I reach out to one close friend each day and have a chat.   It brings the human connection together and helps me keep my priorities in order.
  4. At bedtime, I read a few pages from my current book and keep a nighttime journal for my reflective thoughts.  Rather than letting new ideas toss in my head at night, I write them down.  Once it goes from my mind to paper I am relieved.  Sometimes I never look at it again but the process is freeing.

How an Interior Designer Makes Space for Personal Time Doona Livingston Image

What do you consistently that makes you feel your best?  Find what speaks to you and never forget to take time for yourself.

For additional inspiration, I recommend these two insightful articles.  I suggest reading before you get stuck in LA traffic!

6 Tips to Create a Balanced Life via

How to Create a Balanced Life: 9 Tips to Feel Calm and Grounded via

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