The essence of home with Jane Baxter and Kylie Sandlands…


In this episode of the Happiness Hive Podcast, Catherine chats with Jane Baxter and Kylie Sandland from Essence of Home. Listen as the women share their journey to starting a business together and a beautiful, heart-warming renovation of a women’s shelter that brought the whole community together!

In this episode you’ll also hear:
– the challenges of being women in business
–  why the search for beauty is hardwired into our brain
– how to deal with sentimental clutter in our homes
– what makes nature such a potent healer
– how to use design as a tool for transformation… and so much more!

Join Catherine’s membership The Happiness Lounge here

Connect with Catherine here:

Connect with Essence of Home here
IG – @essenceofhomeau
FB – @essenceofhomeau

Kylie Sandland,  Co-founder of Essence of Home is a highly skilled Organisational Psychologist who has spent the last 27 years contracting to large organizations and government bodies.
Jane Baxter, Co-founder of Essence of Home is a highly motivated professional with a particular passion for business, especially when it comes to spreadsheets.

This podcast is produced by Nikki Voxx from Quintessential Being


Read Full Transcript

Speaker 1 0:04
Hi, welcome to the happiness hive Podcast. I'm Catherine Bowyer, and I am completely fascinated by people and what motivates them. I've spent the past three and a half decades specialising in mindset and human behaviour. And I've helped 1000s of people to create happy and amazing lives. And now I am super excited to be chatting with women from around the world who I have secret, and to be honest, not so secret crushes on their women who inspire me. I'm intrigued as to how they do life and what makes them tick. I want to find out the magic formula that makes them who they are. And at the end of the episode, I'd love for you to say, I'd like a little bit of what she's having. The conversations are real and raw. They're full of passion, inspiration and lots of fun, and nothing is off limits. So grab yourself a cuppa or pop on your trackie and go for a walk and join us for today's chat. There may just be that pearl of wisdom you need to hear. So let's shimmy on over and get started. Today's episode is a first for the happiness hive. I'm going to chat with two gorgeous women today and I'm super super excited about that. I met Kylie sands land and Jane Baxter through a mutual friend of ours Aniela Nene who was a previous guest on the podcast. And so Anya introduced us and I'm super, super excited to talk with Jane and Kylie about this business that they've created. It's called the essence of home. So we're going to chat all about what the business is, and how it came about. And a little bit also about Jane and Kylie. Before I welcome them in Kylie's, an organisational psychologist with a passion for home design. And she's combined those two elements and has become a recognised leader in this emerging field that I want to find out all about design psychology. And Jane has a passion for business and spreadsheets, which I love. And after taking a hiatus from work to raise her son, and then finding that work was probably not as fulfilling she joined forces with Kylie and is the behind the scenes managing the essence of home. So welcome to Kylie and Jane. Welcome to having us. So what I normally do to start with is just to find out where, what stage of life each of you are at just where our guests are at. So Carly, I'm gonna start with you tell us a little bit about just what stage of life you're at.

Speaker 2 2:45
Yeah, I think I'm probably in one of the most chaotic stages of life possible. We three teenagers ones and adults teenager and I have twins, who are 16, who've just started year 11. And yeah, it's been a

Speaker 1 3:05
it's I can hear that cyber you're on three teenagers freedoms, oh my gosh, yes. And

Speaker 2 3:16
creating a business, which is a big job. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 3:22
so I

Speaker 2 3:23
feel I mean, I, you know, obviously my kids are getting older, my eldest is turning 20 this year. And so I've been through a lot of stages of parenthood, and I'm pretty sure this one's been the most stressful.

Speaker 1 3:41
You know what I actually might unpack that a little bit to about just those different stages of life because my kids are a bit older, minor, 27 and 25. And each stage has been beautiful, but each stage has kind of had its challenges as well. So you've got one extra and you've got twins. Yes. And it's also a busy stage, isn't it being a mum and a businesswoman? So we might go back and unpack some of that. Yes, so busy. And you're an Organisational Psychologist.

Speaker 2 4:10
Yes. So I have been working in corporates for about 27 years.

Unknown Speaker 4:18
Actually, I've whisper how long I've been

Speaker 2 4:21
it's kind of getting it's a lot of time but working in corporates and all sorts of industries and private and public sector and working with business to recruit the right people to coach and help people who are struggling to help people thrive in their organisations to whatever extent that's possible in some of those corporate environments and helping businesses restructure themselves and

Speaker 1 4:51
are you still working in corporate? You might even away from I'm primarily focused

Speaker 2 4:55
on essence of my goal is to move completely away once the essence of home is, you know, moving fast, so, but I still have my I'm still dabbling in it. And I do some psychological assessment work and leadership development work.

Speaker 1 5:14
Because when you were saying that because that's I think when we were talking before we had some crossovers and corporate is a tough gig at the moment, like, especially in that senior leadership, people are being squeezed. And I often a lot of my clients, helping them to, you know, manage that balance there. They're similar, Kylie to you that they've got families, they're got very senior roles, and how do you balance all of that? So it's

Speaker 2 5:42
one of the one of the biggest issues I think, for women in corporate who around our age is that they have teenager kids and teenagers are struggling teenagers, really struggling this generation. And there's massive mental health issues. And I've spoken to many very senior women in corporates with teenagers who have very serious mental health issues. And

Speaker 1 6:12
it's a really hard It has become more prevalent has an especially on the back of COVID. And I don't know if you find this too, but I, I've experienced it, and a lot of people in my age group have got like young adults, teenagers, young adults, but they've also got ageing parents, and having to sort of deal with the ageing parents. And, you know, some of the health challenges that go there. I'm finding that really, and I've been through that that was God, that was stressful. Yeah, absolutely. Awesome. I'm going to come back and dip into more of that. Jane, tell us a little bit about what stage of life that you're at. are

Speaker 3 6:51
similar. I have one child. Yeah. He has nowhere to hide. He's in year 11, at the moment. So you know, just touching on what Kylie was saying, you know, you've got that struggle of them going through adolescence, but also going through perimenopause.

Unknown Speaker 7:13
Yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 3 7:15
You've got those two emotions within a household, and trying to break through in our business, you know, and there's all of that sort of thing, you know, constantly out of your comfort zone by doing new things, which is great. But also know, he's sort of girl, it's just like to sometimes just take a day where I'm just doing something that I know how to do.

Speaker 1 7:39
Oh, my God, I feel you so much. A lot of it's our own doing, isn't it? Because we're in business. And we're doing it because the business lights us up. I'm gonna go back and chat with you a little bit about what your journey has been. But we're in business because that lights us up. But it's also a challenge as well. Like, a big challenge. It is a big challenge. So tell me, Jane, what what's what's your kind of journey been?

Speaker 3 8:08
There? My kind of journey was I've had a business before this. So when my son was small, clearly, I wanted to do some something for myself. After having been in the corporate game and just going, I just, I just can't do that anymore. I don't want to have to climb that ladder. I don't have that desire anymore.

Speaker 1 8:30
And you work with some big organisations, didn't you? I

Speaker 3 8:33
worked with Reader's Digest quite some time. And I loved I loved it there because it's very numbers by Mark market it by numbers, a spreadsheet where I love spreadsheets. I'm very at home in a spreadsheet. And so after having had my son, I started doing little bits and pieces. I did a lot of volunteering and things but I always wanted something for me. Yeah. You know, being your mom being a mom is an identity of its own, but you also need something for yourself. Yeah. Instead of being anguses Mom, I want to be Jane, you know, and so you do need that. And I think that I found that a little bit with business. He was a swimwear business, which is not I don't quite know why I did that.

Unknown Speaker 9:25
Oh my gosh, I love that. I love it.

Unknown Speaker 9:28
Because I don't actually like wearing swimwear.

Unknown Speaker 9:33
But it must feel fulfilled some needs for you to

Speaker 3 9:35
do he ended up having to give that up when we moved overseas with my husband's work, but again, wasn't my forte. So it was was you know, everything happens for a reason labour of that me too. And so that was just part of my journey. Yeah.

Speaker 1 9:52
And then you started when your son you So you took some some time off when you're raising your son and then you had that yearning to get back into business. If I didn't do things on your terms, and I want to find out about how you both joined forces to create this beautiful business. Let's before we do that, because I know once we start talking about your business, we want to come back to the other points. What are some of the challenges that you found being business women? And you know, Kylie, you've both and Jamie both mentioned some of them there with balancing with other areas of life and doing things for yourself. What are some other challenges that you found in running your own businesses? Kylie?

Speaker 2 10:33
I think as Jane said, It's that constant being out of your comfort zone, just constant challenging, just sometimes thinking, Oh, it'd be just so much easier if I just had a normal job. And, you know, and I could not have to be stressed all the time. Getting out of the comfort zone. But I think one of the challenges both of us have had, is asking for things. So you know, and we've recognised this in both of us. And we found ourselves in a position with designed for hope, which I will talk about later. But say, our social impact, where we had to ask business for a lot of money and a lot of volunteer support. And asking other people for things is something that we've both find very hard with people pleasers.

Unknown Speaker 11:28
So we give, yeah,

Speaker 1 11:31
oh, my gosh, I have got. I have goosebumps all down my arms, because it's the same thing. Like, we will talk more about your social impact of the business. But I think women in business, very capable women as well, sometimes we do see that as a weakness, don't we in being able to ask because, certainly for me, I am not good at asking. And I've had a recent little glimpse in just a lot of almost burnout, I would say. And I felt like oh my gosh, I need to be able to work through this on my own. I've got all the tools, I've got all the resources, but it's just like, you know, I can't do it on my own. So I reached out, but there was a part of me that was just like, really, Catherine, you should be able to sort this out. And it was this challenge about? So am I asking was kind of different to some of what yours was. But it's when you're, you know, strong, capable, competent. That doesn't mean that you have to do it on your own. Yeah. But I think it even

Speaker 2 12:34
as a business person, it comes down to also asking for sales. Asking for people to, you know, buy that was so passionate about Yeah, but it's still hard to us.

Speaker 1 12:47
Yeah, yeah. And I met you, Jane, what are some of the challenges that you found in business?

Speaker 3 12:53
I think going back to what you were saying about asking and things. In that respect, Kelly and I quite lucky we have each other to bounce off. Yes. So we do have that. But we're both introverts as well. With ions that being on all the time, and social media and always been responding and putting ourselves out there physically, in front of the camera, constantly using our energy, I guess it is, is one of the biggest things that I find. And I know Kylie finds it too. We find that quite difficult. And we know we have a brilliant product and we know we can help people but we have to find that balance. Yeah, that it doesn't take everything from us. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 13:46
I love that so much. So it's

Unknown Speaker 13:49
we're still finding that balance.

Speaker 1 13:51
Yeah. Do you know what I I'm extroverted. But I do get drained. I do get really impacted by other people's energy. And what you're describing there to Jane about ensuring that my business doesn't zap it out of me because there's a lot of getting we are in that giving industry. Like we're that we're in giving businesses. And I have this absolutely love hate relationship with social media, that people kind of need to know who you are. And you know, so they can get a sense of what you do. But showing up I find challenging, and the biggest friend that I think I found in that is scheduling stuff. So it possibly looks like I'm really really active but in reality, I spend a chunk of time maybe once a month doing some of that when I'm in and scheduling of stuff but I get your there's a lot of I'm noticing too on social media. There's a lot of that movement around, slowing down and not being so in in people's faces that people kind of need to find out about us as well. Yeah, hard balance. It is a hard balance. It is a hard balance and the energy and being more introverted, and then getting out there that is a real doesn't mean you can't do it, but it drains your energy maybe differently to mine, like I'm craving getting back face to face in person, because that's where I, that lights me up. That absolutely lights me up. So. So tell me about this beautiful business. Tell me tell me about essence of home? Who wants to jump in and share what it is? Oh, jumping,

Unknown Speaker 15:37

Speaker 1 15:38
Going? Start at the very beginning. Yes, please.

Speaker 3 15:41
I used to start. We met as with our kids at school. Yeah, we were. We then found each other again a little bit later, you know, in an online forum with an American person exploiting. And I just sort of made a comment on a on this forum. And Kylie said, Jane, hi. And we live like 10 minutes from each other. So that's where

Speaker 1 16:09
you were independently on that. Yes. online forum. You didn't know that you were there. And so you you knew each other, but you reconnected in a different Oh, my gosh, how gorgeous. Yeah.

Speaker 3 16:21
You know, that whole meant to be feeling? Absolutely. Yeah. And so we started off, we were doing separate things. And then we started to talk and it kind of evolved from there. And I guess Kylie can tell you a little bit more about the underlying thing. But what I would say about our business is that we as a, as a, an umbrella statement, that we're just we're just here to support women, you know, expect love, you know, just to bring calm and joy to people's lives, and to try and help from a well being aspect as well as, you know, a listening ear to hear what they've got to say, and really listen and really take on board.

Unknown Speaker 17:10
The person themselves. Oh, gosh,

Speaker 1 17:13
I love that. I wonder we've connected like, such a beautiful, you know, helping women but helping them be heard. Yeah, listening, and just being there within psychology tell us about essence of home. I'll

Speaker 2 17:28
get to that in one second, yes, whether to that is helping women reconnect with themselves. Because I think once you get to this point, and you've been a mom for decades, you've often lost your sense of self in that process. And, you know, we're also supporting women who have been through domestic violence, and they most certainly have lost their sense of self. So the the way we do that, through essence of home is to help women reconnect to who they are, and what's important to them through the process of designing and decorating their home. So our homes are an expression of self. And in its truest best form, that's what home should be an expression of who we are in the deepest sense. Unfortunately, with so much media focus on renovating and you know, one day makeovers and things like that interior design has very much become a cookie cutter very flat and uninspiring place. So a lot of social media, a lot of influences. Every home looks exactly the same.

Speaker 1 18:49
It's almost formulaic, isn't it, it's a formula. It's like a template, it is

Speaker 2 18:55
it's a template, and so people want their home to feel good. And so they jump on board with that template or that formula. They reproduce what they see in the media, and then they don't feel fulfilled.

Unknown Speaker 19:11
Just trying to be someone else

Speaker 2 19:13
followed a formula that doesn't work for them. So essence of home is about helping women create spaces that that are based on their personality. So there's a lot of science behind how to decorate your space based on your personality. So back to that introvert extrovert thing. There's specific colours and you know and the objects around us that need to be influenced by our personality so that we feel at ease in our homes. We help women identify what's most important to them, so the values and then how that needs to be expressed in their home. So we through processes of identifying values. We look at the feelings that you want to feel at home So instead of just how you want it to look, how do you actually want it to feel, and you know, each space in your house probably should feel something different, you might want to feel really focused and productive in your home office, and then you might want to feel really relaxed in your living room. So there are specific design techniques that you can use to create these feelings. So identifying how you want to feel, and then the, you know, what are the techniques to create those feelings. And also, we talk about beauty. You know, beauty is one of those things that a lot of people feel like it's a frivolous thing to pursue. So I shouldn't be wasting my time on my home, I should be spending my money, I should put all my money into my kids savings accounts, I shouldn't be, you know, spending time making my spaces look lovely. But actually, the search for beauty is hardwired into our brain. I mean, you look at ancient civilizations, and they were seeking beauty. Back then, you know, we look at the beautifully intricately carved pottery and painted, you know, walls in caves. Human beings seek out beauty. And actually what happens is, when we see something beautiful, we get a release of feel good hormones. So what I'm saying is, it's not frivolous, it's not wish to create beautiful spaces, but that's how we feel, particularly as women who when we're busy with kids, and we should be sacrificing every, every, you know, all of us for everyone else. But just taking that time to create beauty around us that is completely aligned with who we are. And what matters most to us is it's a it's a real soul journey, you know, it's a journey back to self. It's not just following a cookie cutter interior design formula. So that was a very long

Speaker 1 22:10
way. Oh, my gosh, you know, what we listen to this back, because that's a beautiful, both of you have provided a beautiful explanation. And if we, I know why we're so aligned, because the way that you described about helping women to feel good about themselves, and, and through their environment and their their home. If we take what you just described there, I do very similar with women about how they feel about themselves. So what's important, you were talking about the values there so and how they want to feel is, you know, how do they want to show up? And how do they want to feel to be their authentic selves. And I talk about helping people to create their best and most beautiful lives. And one of the things I came across, I have this on my desk, it's a little bag that says, I'm going to make everything around me beautiful, that will be my life. And that's the same from LC to waltz. And for me, that is the essence. And that kind of sums up what you're doing as well as helping women to feel beautiful. And you write I think the media has kind of tarnished that word a little bit, that it's not okay to feel beautiful, because whatever beautiful means for you might be different for me, and it might be different for Jane, but it's about being able to be ourselves. And I love Kiley, how you said that our homes are an expression of ourselves. And the thing that just went through my mind, Ben, is my home is overwhelming at the moment. It has a lot of stuff in it, that I don't want to be in it. And it's kind of this has happened. Well, I was gonna say it's just happened from when my dad passed away a couple of years ago. It's not that there's stuff that I've kept. But when you said that my My home is an expression of me. I feel overwhelmed at the moment. I feel overwhelmed. I just keep looking off to the side. That's the living room. That's the storage room. And it's just like, far out. That's a reflection of how I'm feeling. So is that part of the process that you help people? Well is to

Speaker 2 24:30
salutely and I think clutter is so insidious. So our stuff is really important. So special objects in our home like photographs and you know, art that we picked up while we were on a girls weekend or you know that it's really important stuff to our well being. But what actually happens is you know, there's our mind and body are connected on what happens in our body Even when we have a cluttered space, or well, there's your body and your mind. So in your body clutter actually increases the hormone, the stress hormone cortisol, yet, you have a cluttered space, your cortisol levels are permanently elevated. So you will have higher blood pressure, cortisol increased, cortisol obviously leads to a whole raft of health problems and suppressed immune system, weight gain all of those things. So cortisol, especially for women, our age is like, highly toxic, really. But that's what clutter is doing to your body.

Speaker 1 25:40
And my god, so described how I'm feeling at the moment. But the

Speaker 2 25:46
other thing is when there's a lot of visual clutter, so when there's there's a lot to see and absorb. In our environment, our brain goes into overdrive. So that is why you're feeling overwhelmed, because your brain has too much to process, when there's clutter in inner space. And you know, one thing we did it, a refuge that we renovated is there was a lot of clutter on the walls. So a lot of unnecessary nails, and conduit, electrical conduit coming down the walls and old heaters that didn't even work. It's just everything was cluttered. And one of the first things we did was just rip everything off the walls, so that it was just a clean space. Because even though you'd walk in and think, Well, that's pretty innocuous, and you know, what's that going to do to me? What it's doing is causing your brain to go into overload. So you know, and once you have cognitive overload, then you can't focus. Well, you're you have memory loss, it's harder to feel creative. So, you know, there's a huge industry around decluttering. But no one's really talking about why it's actually,

Speaker 1 27:03
you know, that's really interesting, and what are your tips, because the stuff for me, and I think I talked about this, there was a previous podcast episode where we did talk with our decluttering, expert, and the heirloom. So that's stuff that we've got from family. So John's mom passed away last year as well. So we've got some of her staff. And it's just like, Oh, my God. And it's interesting, when you're talking about that overwhelm, and the cortisol levels increased, it's been really hard to go, Oh, I'm actually going to work through this clutter. It's easy to just go close the doors, or deal with it, which is really interesting in itself, isn't it?

Speaker 2 27:43
Mental? is the hardest to deal with, there are different types of there are several causes of clutter, I should say. And none of it is because, you know, we're lazy, the causes are often systemic related to storage and things like that. But that sentimental clutter that's coming in now is the most difficult, and that requires a whole psychological process to deal with that. But, you know, there are various strategies that you can use, and I'm not sure what you discussed with the decluttering person. But, you know, the first thing is to really understand what it means to you what, what is that that piece of furniture actually mean to you. Because that the person who has passed would most definitely not want the person who has their piece of furniture to be suffering because of it. So it's understanding what it means to you, and then allowing yourself to let go of that if that is not something that actually will contribute to your well being.

Speaker 1 28:56
Did you know what some of it is? That is very similar to what Lauren was talking about? Some of it is there is old letters that have been written there are photographs, there's this stuff that you know, personally, does it have meaning to me? No. I think if I were to dispose of it. Maybe it would have meaning to someone else. And I think that's where I left it with Lauren, she said, you know, maybe find out if other people want to in the family that want to have access to it, but then it was just like not fat. Now I've got to do all this to find out who wants this. So it's just like that's the overwhelm is kind of going.

Speaker 2 29:37
One thing you can do with letters is digitise it all. Yeah, sure. So I actually read of the physical I mean, as much as we might like to see the handwriting and feel that we can keep one letter and you can digitise the rest. And we went through a huge process after my grandmother passed She was an avid photographer, hundreds of photo albums and what we were going to do with those because no one had the space for them. And so we ended up digitising all of it. And so now we have the whole family history. But now Now you can share it. So you can actually share it more with when

Speaker 1 30:22
it's digitised. Yeah. So they do not it's I talk about this, I think it's about going, you know, just break it down into it. And I talk with my clients all the time. Just break it down into those bite sized chunks, don't try and do it. And I think where I got to was a bit of a stalemate going, Oh, my God, it's just so big. And then forgot my own advice about breaking that down into so thank you for that. And quite often our solutions are quite simple ones, aren't they that? Quite so not always. So tell me Jane more about the design for hope, which is part of your beautiful business model as well.

Speaker 3 30:59
So designed to hope is our social impact arm, we spent last year renovating a Women's and Children's Shelter in Sydney. It was a safe environment, but it was very sterile. And we use trauma informed design. Let Carly talk a little bit more about that to help. Again, relieve some of the stress that visual clutter, all that sort of thing that Kylie was talking about. We had one of the women came up to us while we were halfway through the project. And she was saying she'd been through from the start through to more or less the end. And she just came up to us. And she just sort of said, you know, this is really getting me right here. This is really hard. Yeah, and she said, but not only for me, it's for my son to see what a lovely home can be. And I mean, that just kind of when you what this poor lady and her child had been through. And that's what that's the outcome that we want, so that they feel worthy, you know, and that's what some of them actually said afterwards, when I saw what I think I've got it here. When I saw my bedroom, I felt worthy. I was thinking is this really, really done for me? These poor women, but again, it's, you know, it's to help them get their identity back and all that sort of thing. We we renovated five bedrooms, and office, about five living areas. living areas in the home. We had a lot of help. It was fundraising was a fun aspect of that. When we were not very good at fundraising. We but we got good at asking, like Kylie was saying we got we had to get good at asking. We had some phenomenal help from people like jewel Lux, and luxaflex Castle re a small business near us who do UPS upcycling of furniture. So we took pieces of furniture there and they just gave it a whole new life. Beautiful. We're on such a strict budget, really, really strict budget

Speaker 2 33:18
and budgeting sparlings scale, building materials. And

Speaker 1 33:23
so tell me more about this. So you've got your essence of home. So that's a business that you both work in. And that's about helping women primarily and their families to feel good in their environment. So you help them with sort of that's design psychology. So it's not just the cookie cutter interior design, it's actually about working with them. So their space becomes, you know, a beautiful reflection of who they are. And in that, so that's your paid service business. And that's pretty new, isn't it? Like? That's? Yes, sir. How are you? How New

Speaker 3 34:01
Year's, we're just coming up to cheese. But we did spend a lot of last year actually doing our pro bono work with design.

Speaker 1 34:08
Yeah, yeah. So you started essence of home, then you've got your social impact side of it. And that's where you do actually, is that pro bono? So that's yeah, providing that and you chose a Women's Refuge in Sydney to start with so that was about linking back to what your kind of business ethos is to help women. It was about giving back element. Absolutely. So the Women's Refuge, and you just started from scratch, did you with that? And just went in and did all your design psychology elements. And some of the stuff you mentioned was just you got rid of a lot of the clutter. What were some of the other things that you were able to do that I guess incorporate design in the psychology elements that you were able to bring into the refuge.

Speaker 2 35:01
So we had some very specific goals with the refuge based on, again, how we wanted the women and children to feel. So, as Jane said it was, it's a safe environment. You know, refuges are the target, unfortunately of disgruntled, yes, you see partners, oh, it was very safe. They had, you know, all of the security in place. But the home itself was very tired, very clinical part of the home actually felt like a hospital it was that it had, it had the old vinyl square tiles on the floor with black plastic skirting board, you know, hospital colours and things like that. And so, you know, we wanted to make it feel warm and homely. But we also wanted to integrate some very specific elements. So, for example, we wanted it to feel like a calm space. So these women and children have experienced trauma. So to try and reset their nervous system and to make the space feel very calm, we used it used a couple of techniques. One is biophilic design, by biophilic design is simply put bringing nature into your environment. So Biophilia is one of the most well researched topics in design psychology. And it is been proven time and time again, that when you bring plans, but not just players, natural elements and references to nature into your home, your blood pressure decreases, your whole nervous system calms down. It's also a potent healer. So there's been studies done in hospitals where patients have had a view of a brick wall and a view of a tree. And patients with a view of a tree had less pain required less pain management were discharged from hospital earlier and had less complications. So nature is is very potent. And so we we brought that into Aaron's place with fake plants, fake plants work just as well as real plants.

Unknown Speaker 37:20
And not just just thinking about that, because

Speaker 2 37:23
the psychological impact, you don't need real plants if you don't have a green thumb. And obviously, in a refuge, we had to use plants that weren't real because it's a transitional space. So there's not one person who would be permanently there to take care of them. But it's also in the colours that we used. So we used soft nature, bass colours. So blues and greens are very common. We had a lot of references to nature. So we had this beautiful artwork, donated by a lovely artist in Melbourne. Her name is Debbie Mackenzie. And she creates the most beautiful landscape artworks. And she donated a very expensive artwork to us. But that really created the scene for the whole living space for the moms, and also shapes. So there's some really interesting research around shapes and organic curved shapes are calming, fear as a straight lines and angles actually can fire up that part of our brain responsible for our fear response. So, you know, we integrate a lot of organic shapes into the spaces as well. So Biophilia is one thing colours is said is another thing. And we can create a motion with colour. Colour, colour is sensory, it's visceral. And so we had a very specific colour palette that we use, the way that we arranged furniture can impact how you feel. So we've evolved as humans to feel more at ease when we're protected from behind. So let's say we've got a wall or a cave behind us. We can also see out so we can see what's coming toward us, though the way the furniture was arranged in the living room was that the you know, the sofa was here, and there was a doorway right behind. So anyone who's in a trauma experience, you know, with heightened level of alertness is going to feel really stressed if they can't see what's coming behind them. So simply by shifting the furniture around, we're able to create a stronger sense of safety and well being so there were a lot of things that we built in around building rebuilding identity, rebuilding confidence and a sense of control. Yet so design choices were very intentional.

Speaker 1 39:50
Oh my gosh, Carly, that just I'm just mesmerised by all of that. Like cyber say, I'm not a psychologist, but I love all of what you're taught. Thinking about, and just the nuances about bringing that into your environment and thinking specifically about the women and their children, and what they've experienced and how to create that space that is calming. And also, that's not just about being calming, but not being, you know, heightening their alert, yes, answers as well. So I guess that's the calming element, but really being mindful of what they've experienced. And they would have varying degrees of traumatic experiences as well. So just being able to bring all of that in, oh, my gosh, it's so beautiful. So

Speaker 2 40:39
the other element, which is interesting and challenging, you know, in a refuge like that is that we're working to meet the needs not only of the moms, but also the children. And there was no colour in the space and the children felt that one of the caseworkers asked some of the children before we started what they would like to see. And one of the little girls just said, Well, there's no colour, there's just no colour. And so we created a whole kid space, which was just beautiful as still a calming colour palette, but much more fun and more saturated colours. So not not your typical preschool colours, but really fun colours. And you know, we were working upstairs at one point, we've completed downstairs with the kids room is, and we were walking through and you know, the kids were just playing. But the funny thing was that we had, we'd put a teepee in that space, full of cushions and things. When we walked through, Mum was in the teepee just lying on all the cushions, just totally chilled out while the kids were playing. I was like, Oh, that's so cool. I really love to see that because it is beautiful. Yeah, but that space was for everyone, not just the kids. But yeah, we use different design elements in different spaces for different purposes. So to bring joy and inspiration, but also to bring calm and ease and quiet so.

Speaker 1 42:17
And is that what you do with sorry, January to six? Is that what you do with clients in your essence of home business as well? Sort of what is it that they're wanting from their home? And when you get back to talking about how do you want to feel in the different spaces, then you work through with them to be able to bring what they want into there. So

Speaker 2 42:37
how can they use design as a tool? Yep, perfect. You create the experience that people want in their home?

Unknown Speaker 42:45
Yeah, beautiful. Sorry, Jane, you're going to pop in,

Speaker 3 42:47
I was just going to say it's it can be as simple as a hallway. So one of the hallways in the refuge was the most Dara it's what we use. It's what Carly was referring to when she was talking about the hospital field. And it was white, and it had metal lighting and metal laying and are just actually felt a bit like, you know, when you see a movie, and it's there in an asylum. That's how it felt. We both just looked at each other. When we walked in and went, Well, this has got to change. And Kylie did this amazing. She made her feel like a forest, like they were just walking through. And it they walked through this hallway to get to a meeting room where they discussed their cases. So the whole feeling was trying to help them calm on the way through to walk into this space. And so she found this gorgeous wallpaper that had vines and the words and everything. And then we put these drop lights in. And that created this. branches. Yeah, that felt like it was part of, you know, like filtering through into a forest. And it was just incredible. Just like just the whole way. And what a difference it

Speaker 1 44:10
what a difference that's made credible, given that it's a Women's Refuge, and it's probably private. Is there photos that we do have photos on your website? Yeah, quickly, just tell us your website. They'll be in the show notes as well. But what's the website?

Speaker 3 44:27
Its essence of and it's our pages called designed for home on that designed for

Unknown Speaker 44:33
hope so

Unknown Speaker 44:34
in orange after five are

Speaker 1 44:36
awesome. That's going to be so cool. That's going to be so cool. It was a pro bono. So you do this gets back to what you were saying Kylie before and Jamie was asking and volunteering and fundraising. Oh my god. Did you have to get all the stuff donated?

Speaker 2 44:53
Yes. A lot of a lot of it. Yeah. What do you do? Just

Unknown Speaker 44:57
ask Yeah, pretty

Unknown Speaker 45:01
much within a poll calling about it. I fear like there's

Unknown Speaker 45:06
no Yeah, me too. Me too. But

Unknown Speaker 45:09
usually network wherever you can, yeah.

Speaker 2 45:13
Totally unknown. We hadn't completed a project like that in the past. But we had a connection with jukebox, which was really helpful. And drew us with just the absolutely wonderful they, the team we worked with was, you know, very passionate about giving back. And they've done other work like that, like Ronald McDonald House for, you know, kids, and they were just absolutely brilliant. They sent in big teams and obviously donated all the paint and the labour, hardly transform it, but lots of flex we that was a cold call. And they ended up they were absolutely wonderful as well. I mean, they don't like they really actually don't like, they don't advertise that they help the community. But they put the most beautiful window treatments throughout the whole entire house, it would have would have cost a fortune.

Unknown Speaker 46:17
Isn't that beautiful? Isn't

Unknown Speaker 46:18
it very generous? Yeah, there's

Speaker 1 46:19
a lot of businesses that will help. So it's, even though it's hard doing that cold calling what I'm hearing, is that actually paid off, and that there are a lot of businesses out there that are doing a lot to help others.

Speaker 2 46:33
Yeah, there's some that surprise you by not wanting a bar of it. Because

Unknown Speaker 46:40
we won't talk about them. No.

Unknown Speaker 46:42
But we don't get. And it's interesting,

Speaker 1 46:44
too, isn't it that different reactions, and it's like that, but I could imagine the fundraising element and would be challenging, because as you said, chain, you're not fundraisers, you're actually, you know, experts in your own own fields. And what we often find being in business, there are things that we need to do that maybe isn't our expertise, but the future projects, so you're going to be you're going to get a fundraiser on board. Ultimately, what we

Speaker 3 47:13
would like to do is that once our business is up and making profits, a percentage of our profits will actually go to fueling that. So we don't have to.

Speaker 1 47:24
Perfect. Yeah, I have a very similar business model where I actually take a percentage, and then I use that for my giving back element as well. So I I do that. So what is next for you?

Speaker 3 47:42
So many things. Were currently working on colour masterclass, we do a lot. We do face to face consults, but we also do online consults. So we highly, were just getting that off the ground. We have an online course that is very much a psychology driven course, for your home. That's that's there all the time. We the master classes I just did and then we're going to be doing six week coaching courses that launches in August. Yeah. Nice. So and that's really all about design style, and really delving in and coaching. Perfect group coaching.

Speaker 1 48:25
Yeah. So who are your who would be attending those who would be your ideal market for those? Anyone who wants to design their home? Yeah, look, it can

Speaker 2 48:34
be anyone, we find that, you know, there might be different people coming to different courses, possibly but, but the journey that we like to take women on is firstly, just to introduce them to design psychology, the massive impact you can make, without spending any money by making five simple shifts in your mindset and your home. And that's just our introductory course. And as Jeff said, that's available on our website all of the time. But then delving deeper into your design style, a lot of women struggled to figure out how they even want to style their home. And so that's what the coaching course will be in in August. So how to define your design style so that you can avoid this cookie cutter approach to interior design, which is what prevails at the moment. And then after that, we'll be running a styling course. So you know what, if you've got a room, how to use where do you start, you got to start from scratch and just taking people through that interior design process.

Speaker 1 49:46
Before we wrap up quickly, quickly, what do you do when you're not working? What what fills your cup when you're not working? Jane?

Speaker 3 49:55
What was my cup? Hi, I actually just really value My friends and spending time going for dinner and going, having coffee, you know, family as well, obviously, but my time with my girlfriends is really important to me.

Unknown Speaker 50:13
Yeah, that's cool. What about you, Kylie? What fills your cup?

Speaker 2 50:16
Yeah, mine's probably a bit of more of an introverted cup filling process. One thing is for me is reading and I read widely and all sorts of books, mostly currently nonfiction. So I read a lot of stuff around design and self development and and what in walking fills my cup doesn't Yeah,

Speaker 1 50:41
yeah, yeah, I start the day walking. It's not been filling my cup quite as much because we've got a dog that we've adopted quite a few months ago. But he's still like really stressful on the wall. And it's just like, I was thinking this morning about that whole cortisol level thing. That it's it's high at the moment, and it's kind of just on that hyper alert. When I go for walks, I'm looking forward to bringing back more peaceful, more peaceful cadence in life.

Speaker 2 51:12
I don't take my dog on my wall, I think because I love to just walk. Let's walk later. But yeah, yeah, I

Speaker 1 51:22
take dogs. That's a good. That's a very, you can't sit in at the moment. He's asleep, and very, very beautiful here, but it's just that yes, I don't relax the same as I used to. Oh, gosh, we could talk forever and ever and ever. I love it. So remind us again, your website

Speaker 3 51:40
is a sense of Yeah.

Speaker 1 51:44
And if people want to reach out, they'll be able to contact you through there. All the details are in the show notes as well. Thank you. That was absolutely beautiful.

Unknown Speaker 51:51
Thank you so much, so much.

Speaker 1 51:53
Thank you for listening. I hope you enjoyed the episode. You can spread the love by sharing it with a friend so she can have a little bit of what we had today. Don't forget to rate and review so we can get it into as many hearts and ears as possible. You can keep the conversation going on my happiness hive socials. And if you'd like some more high vibe happiness in your life, come and join me in our community of inspired and motivated women at the happiness lounge. This is my online membership club and your central hub for everything you will need to be truly happy and bounce out of bed every day living and loving your best and most beautiful life. To find out more pop over to the happiness hive website and click on the link working with Catherine. Until next time, Big hugs and happiness