Designed to Heal: How Great Interior Design Can Nurture Your Soul
Ginger Curtis shares the inspiration behind her brand Urbanology and how mindful design can turn your life around
“Interior design for me is being intentional about how you live in and interact with your space. It’s a conscious effort to do that in the most beautiful and mindful way,” interior designer Ginger Curtis told us over a Zoom chat. And we couldn’t agree more.
With the home-intensive lives we’ve all grown accustomed to living in the last eighteen months, we’re slowly learning the invaluable lesson that the place where you live does matter. The objects you fill your house with matter, they way you place them, the colors you use, how they interact with each other and with the space overall. That is what turns a house into a home.
Ginger’s own journey to becoming an interior designer started from an intense need to be surrounded by beauty, calmness and mindfulness. As a child, Ginger struggled with an upbringing marked by extreme poverty and neglect, but she remembers her mother putting up drapes and wallpaper in their home, transmitting to her young heart the necessity to make your surroundings a place where you can flourish, no matter your circumstances.
“Ever since I was a child, I used to have a place for everything and was very particular about the things that surrounded me, folding my bed just so in the mornings, aware that somehow the environment I was in impacted how I felt.”
Years later, Ginger was faced with a life-shattering cancer diagnosis and became ever more aware of this. Between work, children, her marriage and taking care of herself, Ginger was acutely aware that her home would have to be the most perfect, nurturing place to face the difficult and painful path ahead.
At the time, Ginger and her husband used to run a weekly family group, and during a session they asked the participants what their dream job would be if they could choose freely. “It suddenly dawned on me that I didn’t have my own answer to that,” Ginger remembers, “I had spent so many years of my life just surviving and battling that I had never stopped and tried to answer that question myself.”
Deep from within Ginger’s heart, through her brain and out of her mouth came the resounding answer: interior design. Speaking her desire out loud was so powerful that Ginger took matters into her hands and decided to launch her own business, instead of accepting a job offer she had just received for someone else’s project. Urbanology Designs was born.
“My dad had seven children to feed and he was constantly hustling, launching new businesses, always evolving, and that totally normalized entrepreneurship for me. I never knew what a 9–5 life looked like, so I launched myself into my business heart and soul.”
Although entrepreneurship does run in Ginger’s blood, she still remembers her fear at the beginning, especially when the time to hire her first employee came. She felt the crushing responsibility of having someone work for her but understood that was what the business would need to grow and flourish.
“I thought, am I literally about to ruin someone’s life?” And while today that brings an endearing smile to her lips, Ginger hasn’t forgotten the struggles of the first three years, where the stress and burnout of running your own business became almost unbearable.
“For a time I was really worried that something I had loved all my life suddenly wasn’t bringing me joy anymore.” Thanks to the support of her husband and a strong team though, Ginger managed to push through the difficult times and Urbanology Designs kept growing into the inspirational business it is today.
Far from just making homes look beautiful, Ginger and her team use design to help clients craft a wholesome way of living. An Urbanology home isn’t just stunning but also aims at impacting positively those who live in it, to nurture and heal their souls and encourage them to live awe-inspiring lives.
Indeed, Ginger encourages a holistic approach to interiors. “The mistake people often make when designing their homes is to look at rooms individually, or buy a random piece of furniture they saw without considering how it will interact with the overall design. It’s important to understand what you are trying to achieve and how you want your home to make you feel.”
In line with their holistic approach to home decor, the aesthetics of Urbanology projects today is modern and design-forward, with materials, colors, and design interacting to create an elevated yet relaxed and approachable style.
Ginger is still very much influenced by the happy memories of her childhood when the whole family used to get the Amtrak Train from Texas to California to visit their grandparents. The three months of summer were spent playing in the sand, being outdoors feeling the crunch of the pine needles under her feet, the smell of the trees and the sea brought by the wind ruffling her hair.
Urbanology retains the rawness of that beauty as seen through the eyes of a child and manifests this in their collaboration with artisans and their keenness to work with natural materials and avoid waste as much as possible. “We collaborate with local as well as international artisans, and every time it’s magic to see how they take our ideas and manage to turn them into a reality just with the power of their hands.”
The story and meaning behind each of the artisanal crafts Ginger chooses for her projects are what sparked her interest in The Nopo too. “As soon as I heard about the story and ethos behind The Nopo, it was a no-brainer for me. It’s so important to uncover these stories and give the opportunity to these amazingly talented artisans to be seen by audiences around the world. The Nopo is solving the issue of access in a creative way that ultimately benefits everyone, customer and artisans alike.”
We’re honored to call someone like Ginger a friend of The Nopo’s and are thrilled to present her Curated Collection, featuring the best pieces of artisanal design to craft a home full of love, peace, and mindful beauty.
Ginger Curtis is an award-winning interior designer, book author, and serial entrepreneur. After surviving cancer, she began Urbanology Designs in 2015 to inspire and help others elevate their homes’ beauty, comfort, and function. Her new and highly acclaimed book, Beauty By Design, is available nationwide.