Comfort Tone

A wellness interior designer shares how she helps her clientele of busy professionals relax and unwind—no at-home spa necessary.

Gail Jamentz likes running in the hills of Altadena. “I feel stronger now at age 61 than I did in my 20s and 30s,” she says. Raised in a family of doctors, she plans her lean-protein, healthy-fats meals with her husband on Sunday afternoons. Wellness is an art form for the Pasadena-based interior designer. But when Jamentz founded Soul Interiors Design in 2001, her design philosophy wasn’t about promoting wellness through the built environment as much as it was about creating timeless spaces that reflected her clients’ tastes.

Then 2020 happened, ushering in an era of remote work, Netflix binges, and Uber Eats. Work-life balance disappeared as the home became the new office. That’s when Jamentz began fusing wellness and design, based on her training at the International WELL Building Institute. “I wanted homeowners to understand that interior design is not just about aesthetics,” she says. Her cure for depression? Eschew trendy light fixtures for human-centric lighting. Her immune-boosting remedy? Natural building materials, instant sparkling-water faucets, and steam showers.

Jamentz doesn’t design bedrooms. She reimagines sleep sanctuaries. “Function always comes first,” she says. “If a space doesn’t meet the needs of its users, it doesn’t matter how attractive it looks.” The template for a sleep sanctuary includes thermal-insulated blackout curtains that absorb sound and block light. Beds are fitted with natural linen, cotton, or hemp sheets. A portable air purifier cleanses the air of allergens, while a bedside carafe holds filtered water. To promote restorative sleep, Jamentz opts for light, calming color palettes.

Gail Jamentz

Of course, Jamentz doesn’t shun aesthetics in favor of practicality. Instead, she combines them. Recently, she transformed a 1908 Pasadena carriage house into a creative oasis for a long-term client. The two-room property felt cluttered and drab. Jamentz renovated the hardwood floors, added millwork, and spruced up the electrical systems to fashion an efficient home office for the husband, who works as a lawyer. The wife’s craft workshop was brightened with a Japanese woodblock–style floral wallpaper from Thibaut’s Dynasty collection to spark creativity. Round pink rugs flirt with apple-green desk chairs, balanced by white cabinets and shelves that house materials for jewelry making, painting, and crafting. It’s a comfy getaway from the couple’s main home and bustling Pasadena law firm.

Now that many people are back in the workplace, Jamentz also has some design updates for offices to increase productivity and happiness. Bigger windows. More plants. Sit-to-stand desks. Filtered water systems. She also encourages clients to provide healthy food for the team. It’s not about being edgy or provocative. Good design, as far as Jamentz is concerned, is about making life better.

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