When you have a great experience in a high-end hotel or resort, have you ever stopped to realize that contributing to that good experience are the good design choices chosen to affect you from the minute you enter the lobby? I know, I was hired to make some of those choices for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and some of the best boutique hotel properties in the world.

I have often wondered why people don’t create better environments in their own homes, offices and gardens. Most people design by default. In general, products that we commonly purchase for everyday use have benefited from companies realizing that good design increases sales. Thanks, Apple and Target.  I contend that each of us is affected more than we realize by what we see every day in our homes and workplaces. I also contend that the cost of good design is a NOT roadblock to improving our environments. There are well-designed products to be found at Home Depot, Bed & Bath, Walgreen’s, Office Depot, and even at Safeway. The plants at your local garden center are the same ones landscape architects specify in their landscape designs. But here is the key; be discriminate. Think about your choices. Look through magazines and hunt online for references. Start with what you don’t like first. Hone in on what you do. What draws you in and what repels you? Develop your own taste sense, everyone has this sense, but most people do not take the time to develop it. Start small. Try it. See if it has a positive effect on you.