Tuesday, August 19, 2014


What Are Advanced (Interior) Design Techniques: An Interview with Theresa Mawson of Theresa's Interiors

Please tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Theresa's Interiors began 35 years ago as a traditional design firm offering fine furnishings and interior design services. After several life-altering events, I became passionate about how our environment affects us on so many levels. Interior Insights (tm) was born, taking a somewhat a holistic approach, wherein all three dimensions (physical, psychological and spiritual) are utilized to understand and execute effective uses of space for an individual's needs. My interests in health, science, physics, spirituality, cultures, behavior and how the brain works led me to study and apply areas that are directly related to how we respond and interact within our environments, in my design firm. I offer traditional interior design from concept to completion for both residential and commercial clients, or "Interior Insights" using Advanced Design Techniques, ADT (tm).

Can you briefly talk about what Advanced Design Techniques are and who they are for?

Advanced Design Techniques utilizes what we know in science, health, physics and spirituality and implementing that broad scope of information to create a beautifully designed space personally tailored for the people that live within that environment. It is my hope that ADT becomes a movement, a life-changing mindset . . . a shift in how people relate to their home, family and the items they purchase to create their home.

Are there any simple tips that someone without any interior design experience can start using now?

It has taken over 40 years to bring so many parts of a system together for the whole. Before my interior design practice I worked in the women's health field and have used that experience within my design work. There is nothing simple when working with personal interests, personalities, toxins within the body and home, hormones, energy, mass, emotional responses and philosophies!

How does a home's environment affect the people who live there?

The field of psychoneuroimmunology studies the interaction between psychological processes and nervous and immune systems of the body (or stress on the body). When I apply my ADT, my interviews are deep. They include discussions surrounding personal lifestyle, childhood associations, and how the client's particular belief system can be incorporated into their space. Any environment can affect chemical changes within our body, positively or negatively. For example, our surroundings, in all of its dimensions, have the potential to increase the fight or flight responses. This, in turn, impacts cortisol levels, heart rates and circulation. Therefore, the design impact in a home is especially important when one has health issues, relationship issues, or a high-stress occupation. Addressing these issues jointly with your physical environment plays a key role in health and well-being.

What is one of the most important things for people to keep in mind when they are decorating their home?

My favorite quote is, "You don't know what you don't know." In the last 20 years, there has been a shift in mindset toward interior design. There seems to be an old agenda that encourages an "anything goes" attitude when marketing to the masses, and it has worked. People need to keep in mind there is power in space, universal laws and energy in action. These elements can be enhancing or destructive. Sometimes we crave things we may be allergic to; sometimes we prefer the color red but have high blood pressure and should not have red walls. Many designers do not even know the right questions to ask of their clients to bring out the optimal design approach. Advanced Design Techniques will become a new interior design shift, the new agenda for the dynamics of well-being in home environments.

Is there anything that gets commonly overlooked that should be considered?

I believe that the impact of toxicity in our homes, as it relates to our health, has been significantly overlooked. The incognizant layering of toxic compounds, making chemical soup in our homes, and its effect on our health is often considered only minimally, if at all. I encourage completing one small task a week to eliminate the toxic products that relate to many chemical sensitivities that clients may not even be aware exist. These sensitivities include symptoms of fatigue, asthma, sleeplessness, headaches and more.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

I can be reached in the following ways:

Website: www.theresasinteriors.com
Email: theresasinteriors@gmail.com
Facebook page
Phone: 661-742-6022.
Please leave a message and your return number, as I do not answer while in the zone or with clients.
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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Living the "IT FACTOR "

In order to live IN the IT FACTOR you have to find it!

That indescribable sense of AHHHH!  My goal for my clients in interior design, and most recently I was told... that is the crux of what I provide.

One of my personal IT FACTORS is living amongst mature landscape. I love an open vision of beautifully landscaped space, a view I can see from every room in my home.  A "Viewscape" gives me a sense of freedom and expanse, stability and acknowledgement of the changes in life through the seasons.  Open space and intimate settings have been an instinctive calling when living in all of my chosen homes.

The first home was in an older neighborhood with huge trees lining the streets. I remember loving the sound of our huge pecan tree, dropping pecans on the street and rooftop, during fall winds.  The beautiful colors of autumn leaves piled high just like in the storybooks!!

The second home was semi-custom new construction and the beginning of my design experience. Much love went into creating an oasis of varied elevations and flowering foliage with pine trees to give privacy and an element of calming water. A true labor of love, with 42 yards of contoured dirt from our swimming pool and neighboring swimming pools. Tom loved playing with the borrowed tractor!  Definitely fond memories... and all our baby girl wanted was the green tractor we passed everyday in the farmers yard!

  The third home, was planned to be the final.  I was fortunate enough to have total "hands on" experience with the architect in the design and construction phase of the home and complete control in the landscape. The back yard was a test of patience...as we patiently waited for the yard of our dreams.  Our thoughts were to make it a retreat like space, as there was not much time to travel.... work was 24/7, on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week. We saved up, I contracted the work and created a park like atmosphere that was enjoyed by all.  Intimate pockets of space within a commercial acre of land was indeed the retreat we were after.

The next two homes had expansive views due to the golf course locations,  providing much needed openness and mature landscape, realizing a need to feel unsmothered.  I have come to realize this constant nurturing of nature is a vital component to enriching  my everyday living.  And...as current Evidence Based Design has acknowledged, is a very healing factor involved in our well being. I now look back and see the innate insight when I created "Viewscapes" in my beginning design practice over thirty years ago! AND why I love what I do!

The next example of my IT FACTOR, is the mixture of rich woods in my furnishings. I need light and dark finishes, burled woods and inlayed or carved craftsmanship.  I love the visual pleasure and interest
of textures.

 Where does that special feeling come from, deep inside of you?

 I am suggesting your discovery of self within your most nurturing of environmental space. An environment that enables increased energy, productivity and an overall sense of peace within. A place where you lose the sense of time and don't really want to leave.

  My research in advanced design studies has provided the tools and skill-set, developing an insight toward what makes up this perception for our individual sense of well-being. A subliminal feeling, partly extracted from one's history, a history which has been previously set into a deep cavern of experiences and senses from a childhood of various memories, only as correct as the last reflection in our memory bank.  Surprisingly, our memory really only pulls up the last recollection, not the first, which is why the stories and interpretations seem to change throughout time.  Irregardless, those sweetest of memories are the ones that are the most impactful and comforting to the soul.

An environment encouraging multi-faceted growth in mind, body, and spirit with the benefit of arousing all of our senses requires deep thought and the knowledge of many modalities.  A space that accounts for health, personality, constitutional make-up, and many other personal characteristics is profound toward creating a balanced individual space. Different for each individual, yet a mixture of delicious chemical soup in the best of family environmental dynamics.  A far cry from the chemical soup I speak of - regarding the toxins from various substances and furnishings within most homes. No, this chemical soup is from our own essence, which is mutable, as we have discovered.  The dynamics within a family and their space, that has good energy and momentum, balanced positive and negative charges can be a power of influence.

Let me help you make a difference in your world one step at a time, use the wisdom we now have and implement the changes needed in your space.

Bye for now,


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Another step forward, happy dance!



SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced the approval of the state’s new flammability standards for upholstered furniture, the culmination of the administration’s year-long effort to modernize the standards and reduce Californians’ exposure to harmful flame retardant chemicals.

“Today, California is curbing toxic chemicals found in everything from high chairs to sofas,” said Governor Brown. “These new standards will keep the furniture in our homes fire-safe and limit unnecessary exposure to toxic flame retardants.”

Last year, Governor Brown directed state agencies to revise California’s nearly 40-year-old flammability standards for upholstered furniture sold in the state to reflect modern manufacturing methods that can reduce the use of harmful chemicals.

Numerous studies have found links between exposure to chemicals used as flame retardants in upholstered furniture and cancer and fertility issues. These chemicals also disproportionately impact children. One study found toddlers can have up to three times the level of flame retardants in their bodies as their parents.

The new standards will protect Californians from the most common ignition sources of fires, namely smoldering sources such as cigarettes, space heaters and extension cords. It also more effectively addresses upholstery cover fabric, requires the use of barrier materials with smolder-prone materials and tests the interactions of all the materials that go into a piece of upholstered furniture.

The previous standards included an open-flame test for filling materials, such as foam, which were treated with flame retardants. The new standards eliminate an open flame test for filling materials. A number of manufacturers have already stated that under the new standards, they will no longer have to use flame retardants, and will either meet the requirements through the use of more smolder-resistant cover fabrics or smolder-resistant barriers beneath the cover fabrics.

“The previous standards focused predominantly on filling materials, where fires don’t actually start,” said Tonya Blood, Chief of the Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation, which led the effort to develop the new standards. “The new standards were developed to address where the fire begins, which is the cover fabric, and to focus on the interactions of the cover fabric and filling materials.”

Beginning January 1, 2014, manufacturers may begin manufacturing to the new standards. They will have a year to complete the transition and must come into full mandatory compliance on January 1, 2015. The standards, crafted based on a comprehensive review, statewide workshops and public comment, can be read in full here.
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Friday, November 22, 2013


Make it Fun
Make it Memorable
Make it with Shared Responsibilities
Make it with Mementos
Make it with an Intention
Make it with a Plan

No one wants to lose something they value.  We worry whether we are doing enough to protect it and if it can be sustained.  As family units are changing, the incorporation of new ideas and adjustments are a non-ending concern.  Balancing who is where and at what time grandchildren and children can be shared  among the extended families and non-extended families, becomes an exercise in an acceptance of reality. Family traditions have changed, the core family is no longer the primary treasure chest for the most precious of memory making.
As family units grow and become apart of a new age, adjusting is the only solution to make yourself happy.
That could incorporate a complete shift of who you start to entertain, beginning a new tradition of your own design, by choice and not obligation.  If it is not working with family don't force it, don't wait around and always be ready to receive when or if a turn comes around.  We all have lessons at different times, trust that all is good and in divine order.  As mothers' it is very strange to experience the first time our children are not breaking bread with us during a Holiday.  But, College, jobs and life get in the way of those most cherished times of  the year.

Apart from Holiday entertaining, any celebration is always a perfect time to create new memories.  Celebrations do not compete with the major family gatherings at the Holidays and can be a new creative tradition all alone.

A dinner before the Christmas Parade
A desert after baseball season
Wine and cheese before a concert

Naomi, my dear friends daughter, creates her own Birthday Celebration every year. She stays at a beautiful Hotel, in LA, pampers herself during the day and invites guests for the evening, up on the rooftop or bar. It is so much fun. Fun for the guests and fun for the Birthday Girl. As adults, we do not get to celebrate our friends that have come into our life, often enough, this is a perfect time.  This idea could be reserved for the week before with friends, if you spend your date of birth with family.

Entertaining takes planning.  You can be prepared for spur of the moment dinners or spontaneous invites after the movies.  It is easier when there is preparation already in place.  So find a go to meal that is interesting and easy.  Always have the ingredients on hand for that particular meal.  It could be as easy as having olives, cheese, salami, carrots and celery for starters.  Preparing homemade spaghetti sauce and freezing, spaghetti noodles, french bread and garlic butter.  This meal can be a no fail winner using grass fed beef and gluten free noodles, cuts down on the caloric and sugar table.

Here is to making your own memories happy ones!

7 Natural Laws of the Universe in my World of Design.

    Some say knowledge is power, I say, "applied knowledge is power".  What good is it to be a "storage unit" until it can be of use in some way, mentally and physically.  Oh, but wait.....  storing is ok,  there is a function,  The Law of Rhythm states everything has a natural cycle.  So....a holding tank, aka "storage unit", will run its course as well, and I know my real storage units, mentally and physically have run their course! :)
I am so excited to start producing and sharing my long awaited projects and years of study,  as they apply to interior environments.

It feels a little like Christmas since this summer, as I have been unpacking and working on my long list of projects to complete. I am also thrilled to say, I have finally felt a shift in my desire to stop licking my wounds and get the bandage on - or let it air dry!!! Healing again, healed again, done. Bring on the dessert of life, and I like peppermint ice cream with hot fudge... A lot.  (In that silly voice of Mr. Funny).
                                                         THE LAW OF RHYTHM

 I am going to start with each law as one short blog-bit of information. You will appreciate my skipping the technical research, physics, medical research and downright "geekieness" of it all. I am fascinated by the dynamics of how our world works and how we function within our world, our reality as we create it.

 Your reality is not mine, but we all are in it together... (Notice how one upbeat person can change the dynamics of an entire group)!  Guess what it is much deeper than that.  I have navigated many of life's mine fields.  The wisdom from experiencing various obstacles in life has given me the continued  interest to search for many pathways to wellness and living well via our environment, my passion. Oh, that is another law... for extended discussion another day.

Regarding the Law of Rhythm, night follows day, tides go in and out, our body has a natural rhythm and life regenerates itself.  Thankfully, nothing stays the same, when we have bad times, the wise words that come to mind are.... "THIS TOO SHALL PASS".

 Relating this phrase to your home environment, what comes to your mind?   Here are some pivotal questions to ask yourself to create your best rhythm at home, in relationship, in community and beyond.

* What drains you when you look around?

*What energizes you?

* Is there something within that space that is keeping you from being your best?

* What do you want to see come forward, to manifest?

* Is it time to get your home organized?

*Is it time to take a hard look at your soiled carpets, food stained sofa?  Or get a new or refreshed space?

*Is it time to create new habits in your home?  Like obtaining a furniture piece to put items away at the "door dump", when things get dropped at the entry or items needing to be returned, etc.. the results are amazing when a bite of the elephant is taken.  A BITE, I said... keep a rhythm going.  To prevent feeling overwhelmed, make time each day to first plan then execute.  Oh... and then reward.

* Do you need to have better proportion in your furnishings in relationship to your space and body type?

*Are you dealing with allergies?  The culprit my not only be outside influences.

* Do you have a personal place, your own cocoon, that is all you, weather you are the man of the house or woman.

I could go on, and on, and on......

  If you are overwhelmed by the thought of this, we need to talk!  You know how to get in touch with me (Facebook message, or Theresasinteriors.com, 661-742-6022).  

Cleaning, clearing and creating an environment in which you can enjoy your best personal rhythm will support your well-being, productivity, and attitude.

Here is to the Law of Rhythm!