My design philosophy is simple; everyone’s life is left better by great interior design. As a coastal dweller for the last twenty years, an interior designer for the last ten and creator of the Ideal Interiors System™, I created my blog to help give you a starting point and to share some of the secrets and inspiration in interior design for coastal homes and small spaces…one you can enjoy with family and friends…one that is uniquely yours.

Believe in a Better Life
by Design

Interior Design for Healing, Health and Wellness

So much has happened since I last posted on the blog!


Wishing you a Happy New Year!  | Paul Merriman

Wishing you a Happy New Year! | Paul Merriman


A new year is upon us and I love the opportunity it affords us to continue to grow, change and expand, reconnect with people and strike out in new directions.  And, as with many new starts, I myself have been developing a new direction here for my design firm, one that has been coming for awhile now.  For me, 2013 was a year of laying the foundation for things to come, and I took time to step back and really connect with the responsibility I feel to affect positive change in people’s lives, both personally and professionally, through my work as interior designer.  You may have heard me talk at some point about how our interiors affect us and this year I took that premise to a new level, in that our environment affects everything, from how we feel to how we heal. In 2012, I was asked to design the chemotherapy infusion center at Mammoth Hospital and, as a designer, I’m used to the creativity and the process around a project.  However, what I didn’t expect was the ah-ha moment that profoundly impacted me the day we opened the rooms to the public. I didn’t expect the heartfelt connection to this project and the people, the outpouring of emotion from the doctors and nurses, and most of all, from the patients who came to see their new treatment facility, hugging me and the team, tears running down their faces, so happy to have a beautiful new space to receive treatment.  But most of all, I wasn’t prepared for how I felt when we left.  This room was going to change lives.



 | chemotherapy room - Before

Mammoth Hospital | chemotherapy room – Before


One of the areas for chemotherapy patients to receive treatment at the redesigned chemotherapy room at Mammoth Hospital

One of the areas for chemotherapy patients to receive treatment at the redesigned chemotherapy room at Mammoth Hospital



It took time to realize exactly how I would change the direction of my design work. My heart has always leaned toward aligning my love of design with providing help and support those who need it, so it seemed like a natural ‘next step’ to focus on design for healing and wellness, through designing spaces that support others in their healing, for whatever circumstances they may be going through.  This literally creates an environment for healing, from the inside out, many times on a deeper level than just inside the client’s four walls and I’ve heard from clients that they feel a shift on a personal level, as well.  Again, we’re right back to ‘our environment affects everything’!


Our environment affects everything, from how we feel, to how we heal | www.cdgdesign.com

Our environment affects everything, from how we feel, to how we heal (Nicole Cavanaugh)


Since making that decision, it’s all seems to have taken on a life of its own and I’m more connected to my purpose than ever before,  working on a few amazing, heart-felt projects! I have begun designing a surrogacy clinic here in Orange County, to create healing environments for couples that come from around the world on their journey to begin a family and we’ll begin work on a chiropractic wellness clinic shortly that will serve the Santa Barbara and Ventura area by providing healing and wellness to the children of that area, possibly with a strong focus on helping children with autism and autism spectrum disorder.  It is such an honor to connect with these clients and to know that the work we do together will help families for many, many years to come!


Healing happens in so many ways, and usually the most profound changes are those that begin on the inside.  :)

If you are thinking about creating a space you truly love, contact me about our in-person or virtual design services at nicole@cdgdesign.com

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Nicole Cavanaugh

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