Creating Serene Sanctuaries

Exploring the therapeutic power of nature-inspired colors and materials in interior design
Sponsored by Benjamin Moore & Co.
Sponsored by Benjamin Moore
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Webinar On-Demand
1 AIA LU/HSW; 0.1 ICC CEU; 0.1 IACET CEU*; 1 AIBD P-CE; AAA 1 Structured Learning Hour; This course can be self-reported to the AANB, as per their CE Guidelines; AAPEI 1 Structured Learning Hour; This course can be self-reported to the AIBC, as per their CE Guidelines.; MAA 1 Structured Learning Hour; This course can be self-reported to the NLAA.; This course can be self-reported to the NSAA; NWTAA 1 Structured Learning Hour; OAA 1 Learning Hour; SAA 1 Hour of Core Learning

Learning Objectives:

  1. Analyze the therapeutic benefits of nature-inspired materials and color choices in interior design, exploring their potential to create relaxing spaces and promote mental well-being.
  2. Examine the principles and challenges of mindful material selection in interior design, utilizing case studies to understand how thoughtful choices can evoke a sense of calm, connection to nature, and overall wellness in interior spaces.
  3. Identify strategies for integrating sustainable and eco-friendly nature-inspired materials into interior design, considering their environmental impact and long-term benefits for both occupants and the planet.
  4. Describe the specific products and techniques incorporated into each of the featured project interiors and how they helped support innovation, design goals, and occupant satisfaction.

This course is part of the Interiors Academy

This webinar is part of the Interiors Academy

In this thought-provoking webinar, we will delve into the profound impact that nature-inspired materials can have on creating tranquil and soothing interior spaces, fostering mental well-being, and promoting a sense of serenity. Throughout this session, we will embark on a journey to discover the transformative potential of mindful material selection and the ingenious use of color palettes in interior design. By carefully choosing materials that emulate the beauty and essence of the natural world, we can bring the outdoors indoors, allowing occupants to experience a harmonious connection to nature within their living and working environments.

Our expert panel will present captivating case studies and real-life examples, allowing us to explore how designers and architects have successfully incorporated eco-friendly, nature-inspired materials, such as reclaimed wood, natural stone, organic textiles, and biophilic elements, to evoke a sense of calm and tranquility. We will examine the established underpinnings behind the therapeutic effects of these materials, shedding light on the positive impact they have on occupants' overall well-being. The presentations will be followed by a moderated discussion focused on how the featured projects address several key issues.


Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore

Blair C

Blair Costello, Principal, Director of interiors and healthy living – Vera Iconica Architects. An intuitive problem solver, Blair listens to and dissects underlying currents of information to achieve thoughtful solutions alongside an innate sensitivity to the fluid energy of spaces and experiences. Blair uses her skills to compose interior architecture that responds to the rhythms and rituals of each client and helped develop the Vera Iconica Wellness Kitchen. She believes in healing through nature, behavior, and lifestyle, which has led to her specialization in indoor environments and materials that enhance well-being.


James W. Simeo Jr. FAIA, Leed AP, NCARB, Principal, CO Architects has over 27 years of experience with science & technology, higher education, healthcare and justice projects. He exhibits strong commitment to design excellence and client service in his projects, and he contributes to the firm’s development of new market sectors and building types. James understands the special requirements of advanced institutional facilities and the needs of institutional clients. His experience includes projects for five University of California campuses, and other universities and healthcare systems across the country. James holds a Master of Architecture from UCLA, and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Michigan. He has been associated with the firm since 1993.

Amy D

Amy Dishman, IIDA LEED AP NCIDQ LFA , Interior Designer is an NCIDQ certified and a LEED Accredited Professional with over 15 years design experience in education, residential, commercial, healthcare, corporate, governmental, and civic projects. She is known for her passion for sustainable and active design and believes in promoting health and well-being through the interaction between the natural and built environments. Amy is currently working on the new Construction Technologies Center at Southeast Community College in Lincoln, NE; the A to Z Naturals Nutrition Center in Douglasville, GA; and the Glenn Korff School of Music Renovation and Addition in Lincoln, NE. Her previous experience includes the Automotive Technology Center at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, NE; the new Residence Hall at Southeast Community College in Lincoln, NE; and the Nebraska Center for Advanced Professional Studies in Fairfield, NE.

Benjamin Moore & Co. Benjamin Moore & Co., a Berkshire Hathaway company, was founded in 1883. One of North America's leading manufacturers of premium-quality residential, commercial, and industrial maintenance coatings, it maintains a relentless commitment to innovation and sustainable manufacturing practices. The Benjamin Moore premium portfolio spans the brand’s flagship paint lines, including Aura®, Regal® Select, CENTURY®, Ultra Spec®, Natura®, and ben®. The Benjamin Moore Diversified Brands include specialty and architectural paints from Coronado®, Lenmar® and Insl-x®. Benjamin Moore & Co. coatings are available primarily from its more than 5,000 locally owned and operated paint and decorating retailers.


Originally published in September 2023