Lead Photo: Courtesy Brie Williams
Naples interior designer Lisa Kahn meditated inside her newly purchased office building, listening for the blank building’s needs as candle flames bathed it in a soft glow.
“I believe there is a bit of interiority to spaces, and I think they have their own personalities and spirit of the divine,” Kahn says. “I just tried to quiet down enough so I could hear what the building thought. It was time to have a new owner and expression.”
Kahn seems to rely heavily on energy when creating “sanctuaries,” as she calls them. Her award-winning interior design firm, Lisa Kahn Designs, has become known for thoughtful creations that connect the mind, body and spirit over its 20 years in Naples. The new location—the firm’s first non-rented office space—reflects that.
“I decided [to] create the very best expression of what sanctuary is, so it’s not just something we talk about. It’s something people can experience when they come to our studio,” Kahn says.
A giant preserved moss wall greets guests in the foyer, immediately erasing the boundaries of indoors and out.
“I wanted to walk in and almost have the feeling of [entering] a beautiful forest,” Kahn says. “That’s exactly what it feels like.”
A cluster of crystals within the wall represents the crown chakra. In other words, every detail has meaning.
“We chose to lay the space out in a way that would allow for the best sensory experience for everyone there,” Kahn says. There are calming scents and sounds, and surfaces are smooth to the touch. It would almost be like entering a serene spa rather than a bustling small business—if it weren’t for the enticing design library at the heart of the studio.
Clients can view their entire projects pinned up on the wall in the library when visiting, to preview how each space will flow into the next. Naturally lit by skylights and surrounded by live plants, the collaborative space is airy and uplifting and meant to inspire employees to do their best work, Kahn says.
Kahn’s staff also had a hand in designing their own office spaces for the same reason. Her private office is soft, harmonious and reflective of her gentle nature.
“Walking into my personal office feels a little bit like stepping into a warm bath,” Kahn says. The walls are painted a calming blue color called meditative (“which seemed utterly perfect to me,” she says). Her custom-made black walnut live-edge desk is a nod to her love of wood and trees. A gallery wall features some of her favorite art from Paris. “I find it all really inspiring,” she says. “When we are in our most balanced, grounded state, that is when our creativity is just on full display.”
The design company partnered with some of its favorite vendors to source materials, such as the planked wood floors carried by Abbey Carpet & Floor that prison inmates in South Carolina earned money to hand-finish as part of a rehabilitation program.
“It gave another level of meaning to what we did, and I just feel so good that we supported that program,” she says.
Located at 1148 Goodlette-Frank Road in Naples, the Lisa Kahn Designs studio also features a meditation room and full kitchen. Kahn looks forward to hosting community events in the office to share its peaceful energy.
“I would like to open our space to the community because I think it will speak to them,” Kahn says. “If we can help create for themselves a sacred safe space where they could refresh themselves and fill their own vessel, imagine what everybody coming back out into the world would bring.”