I have known Kristen for a long time: she had contacted me back in 2012 to help her in the selection of a space that would become Radiant Light Yoga Brussels, a second location for her Radiant Light Yoga business based in Antwerp.
Over the years we visited quite a few spaces together and became good friends in the meantime!
Then 2015 was the year where everything came together: she found a new house for herself and a perfect space for her yoga studio.
The house needed a serious change of look and involved a light renovation.
The studio needed… everything.
It was an unfinished space that had been used as a “dump” and had to be created from scratch. When you look at the before pictures it is not easy to imagine that, after a few months of full renovation, such mess could become a peaceful and radiant space.
But let’s hear it from Kristen.
What was your starting point?
My starting point was the space itself, with the intention of making use of as much floor space as possible. I spent a lot of time on Pinterest to get ideas for how I wanted the interior to look. I also had the benefit of years of daydreaming about a place where I would want to practice yoga.
What were you hoping to achieve?
I was hoping that we could create a space that felt clean and bright, yet cozy and inviting. I also wanted the space to function well, to include everything that we needed for a busy yoga centre, and for it to be well organised. I wanted people to come in and feel like they had arrived in a welcoming atmosphere that felt serene and cheerful.
What was the biggest challenge you faced?
Without a doubt the largest challenge was waiting for the owner of the building to do what was needed to remove the things that were being stored in the space, and to put the big wall in place. Once that began, it made the process much easier!
What were the best moments of the renovations?
I absolutely loved stopping by and seeing all of the work progressing. I’m not sure if the builders had ever seen someone so enthusiastic about a plastered ceiling! It was so exciting to see what I had imagined turning into something real and tangible.
What are you most proud of?
I feel such a huge source of pride when people come in for yoga classes and tell me that they feel so happy in the space, and when they notice little details (like the gorgeous baby-changing unit). I also feel proud of having undertaken this project with the help of a network of professionals. As an ex-pat working independently, it was too daunting a task to begin with – and then I met Francesca, which changed everything.
Any ‘crazy decision’ you are glad you took?
Well, I’m not sure there are any crazy elements, but the wallpaper in the toilet felt like it was a bit of a radical choice (birds and clouds) but I smile every time I see it!
Would you have done anything differently?
I would have tried to find a way of fitting in a second changing room, and would have splurged on an integrated music system.
What’s the best advice you received?
The best advice was to think about how people would enter the space and how they would move around within the space. I also really value the advice I was given about the importance of lighting. It has made such a difference to the environment of the yoga center and I just love dimming the lights for deep relaxation using the little remotes.
What do your clients say?
I hear from people all the time who comment on the design of the space (even those within the design field!), saying they find it beautiful. I think people appreciate the details like the wood floors and the calming colours on the walls.
Describe your new interior in one sentence:
A warm and inviting space for creating community.
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