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Nikki Njeri Klugh: 5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy

An Interview With Candice Georgiadis

Show off your personality. The perfect way to do this is through artwork. Whether you put up a large mural or several smaller pieces, there was a reason you fell in love with it in the first place. Maybe it shows a place you would like to visit, a dream you have for yourself, or a cherished memory. Either way it is the perfect way to express yourself.

As part of my series on the “5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Nikki Njeri Klugh.

As the design genius behind Nikki Klugh Design Group, Inc, Nikki is particularly adept at creating homes that are personal sanctuaries for her beloved clients. Known as the “Excellence of Execution” Nikki’s zone of genius is her ability to masterfully transform your home into a haven you can sink into after a long day at the office. In addition, Nikki also creates sacred spaces that provide you rest and restore your very spirit as you return from long days in a sometimes cluttered, stressful, and draining world.

Thank you so much for joining us in this series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

The truth is I was once considered an ugly duckling. No amount of care, concern, and love from my family made me feel better about myself outside my home. School was such a dreadful place, and I did not fit in. I needed a place to call my own Sacred Space where I could feel nurtured, loved, happy and safe.

A few years ago, I made this deep and personal connection to why I am so passionate about interior design. I believe in the sanctity of homes filled with love and care that also have nurturing environments. Because no matter what ugliness the world throws at you, everyone deserves a place of respite. A sanctuary. A Sacred Space.

I now know that the peace I felt even during my awkward stage was fueled by the knowledge that things and people can be transformed. Thus, the transformation from ugly and discarded to beautiful and cherished is something that will forever bring me joy.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

I began broadcasting my work via Facebook Live a few years back. I would have a couple of live viewers now and then. I became very discouraged by the low numbers and wanted to stop doing the videos. A business friend who predicted the shift to video in all aspects of social media encouraged me to continue. So, for two years, I went live on Facebook and toured projects I was working on and shared design tips with little to no real engagement. Sometimes it felt like the only person that cared was my mom. HA!

HOWEVER, it turns out those videos were what paved the way for me to do a national television commercial for a well-known brand. It did three things: 1. gave the casting director and producers consistent footage of me; 2. allowed me to practice learning my lines “in the moment”, and 3. Helped me get comfortable in front of a camera. The day of the video shoot flowed so naturally, like I was meant to be there. I credit my two years of practice for the opportunity and the incredible results. The commercial ran for six weeks and provided phenomenal exposure for my company!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I had just finished reading the book “The Tipping Point” when I received an inquiry from a well-known celebrity. I was soooooo excited to get my first celebrity client and was CERTAIN that my business would take off because of working with them. I was so wrong!! It’s funny to me now as I look back and see all the work that I’ve done to grow my company since then. What was I thinking to believe that success would come as simple as serving one famous person? I clearly didn’t understand the context of the book, but reading it kept me going in a moment when I wanted to quit…I never gave up and I’m happy for the boost it provided.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

Last year I was able to partner with The Kaleidoscope Project to join other BIPOC designers in recreating 24 rooms in a bed and breakfast in Lenox, MA. I was able to name the room after my muse, my mother, and I got to use some colors that I don’t usually get to work with. We were able to restore the beauty back into this building AND show off some great talent in the BIPOC community.

I am currently working on bringing my design services to condo living for those that want a luxurious and beautifully designed space in a high-rise building. This type of design is not usually a project my company takes on, but we are excited and ready for this new venture! I am thrilled to provide condo owners the same luxury design and customization of a large home without the huge price tag.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“True beauty emanates from the soul. The more deeply one is able to connect, the more radiant they become.”

When you connect with something, whether it is a person, a story, or an object, you feel the connection deep inside of yourself. When I work with clients, I provide them with an in-depth design assessment. I do this so I can become connected with not only their wants and needs, but who they are as a person. This allows me to provide them with a design that truly speaks to their lifestyle and makes them feel understood.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

There are so many fellow entrepreneurs that have helped me along my journey; however, if it had not been for my friend, Kim Warren, inviting me to a two-day conference focused on entrepreneurship, I would not have started down this pathway to create something bigger than me. That conference was the beginning of me seeing the gaps in my understanding of business and challenged me to learn more. It also provided an amazing community that would continue to support me with every challenge, every win, and every breakthrough I’ve had in the past twelve years. I’m forever grateful for Kim and that I get to do business and life with people who are brilliant, generous, and supportive.

Thank you for that. Here is the main question of our discussion. What are your “5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

At the very core of sparking joy in your living space is the want to be surrounded by things that make us smile. We all work hard and at the end of the day we just want to come home to a space that shows us why we work so hard. There are things in our homes that diminish our joy, and we don’t even realize it! Boring walls, messy tables, basic colors, and so much more make us feel like we are just guests in our own space. Take back your space and amp up the joy with these tips:

  1. Show off your personality. The perfect way to do this is through artwork. Whether you put up a large mural or several smaller pieces, there was a reason you fell in love with it in the first place. Maybe it shows a place you would like to visit, a dream you have for yourself, or a cherished memory. Either way it is the perfect way to express yourself.
  2. Add pieces from your travels. When you travel, not only are you exposing yourself to a place that is different, but you are embarking on a treasure hunt that can remind you of this trip for years to come. Displaying your treasures in your living space will surround you in good memories, but they will also be conversation starters when you have friends and family over.
  3. Display photos of loved ones. Something the pandemic has taught us all is that we can’t take time with our loved ones for granted. Take those family photos. Get your group of friends together in a photo. Do a photo shoot at home with your furry friends. Once you have these photos, display them around your living space. Having your loved ones surrounding you will make your space feel more like home and make them feel closer when they can’t be there.
  4. Clear the Clutter. Nothing stresses you out more when you get home than coming home to an unorganized mess. I suggest creating a place where everything is supposed to go, but don’t make it too much work or you will end up in this same situation a few months from now. Utilize stylish bins or furniture with built in storage to add some function to your space without losing style.
  5. Utilize Color Theory. Certain colors spark different feelings when you see it. Take the time to look at a variety of colors and take note of how you feel when you see them. The colors that give you the feeling of happiness and serenity are the basis of your personal color wheel. Use these winning colors in your space in a variety of ways (paint, décor pieces, furniture, and textiles) to create your happy place.
  6. BONUS: Create a Conversation Area. Most living spaces are centered around a TV, but what if I told you it doesn’t have to be like that? Feel free to take a risk with your furniture arrangement and create a space that encourages conversation. Focusing the room on your guests will make them feel welcomed and provide great conversation which in turn sparks joy and creativity!

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

Mental health advocacy is something that I am deeply passionate about. Mental health disorders and diseases touch all our lives in some way whether it’s us personally or someone we know and love. I would give anything to remove the taboo nature of the subject of mental health so that people who are suffering would be free from the stigma and shame thus more willing to reach out when they need help.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, especially if we tag them :-)

I would love to have a private lunch with Angela Bassett because I am inspired by her dedication to not only her craft, but her moral convictions. She’s a brilliant woman of class and substance and it would be an honor to meet her and glean from her life experience.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Instagram: @nikkiklughdesign

Facebook: @nikkiklughdesigngroup

YouTube: Nikki Klugh Design Group

Pinterest: Nikki Klugh Design Group

LinkedIn: Nikki Klugh Design Group

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!

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In-depth Interviews with Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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Candice Georgiadis

Candice Georgiadis

Candice Georgiadis is an active mother of three as well as a designer, founder, social media expert, and philanthropist.

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