Anne Sage offers mindful decorating tips in new book ‘Sage Living’

Can mindful decorating inspire us to have the life we want?

Design writer and blogger Anne Sage thinks so.

In her new book “Sage Living: Decorate for the Life You Want” (Chronicle Books, $30), the co-founder of Rue Magazine shares 28 interiors that have been designed with personal growth in mind.

The book evolved from Sage’s own journey following her move to Los Angeles from San Francisco several years ago. “I went through a period of feeling pretty lost,” she said recently. “My apartment was empty for seven to eight months. I couldn’t even commit to buying a chair. I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted my life to look like.”

Sage said she moved out of that dark period thanks to time, introspection and trying different things. “I discovered what didn’t work -- jobs, relationships -- and learned from each one.”

She recently spoke to The Times about her book, mindfulness -- being present in the moment -- and how to decorate for the life you want. She will be at West Elm on Beverly Boulevard on Sept. 24 for a book signing party from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. In addition to her book, she’ll be sharing a few of her favorite things: dessert, tequila, cocktails and tarot card readings.

Mindfulness is not new. But the idea that mindful decorating can shape the direction of our lives is a unique take on interior design. Can you elaborate?


My philosophy reaches in to the mindfulness of a space and personal growth. The message is that design is absolutely another avenue for self-realization. And that the intentional and mindful creation of beauty around us, for our own space and for those we love, looks different for all of us. We can tap in to it and celebrate ourselves in this way.

How do our interiors influence who we want to be?

It’s built around the idea that we create our own reality. Whether it’s positive thoughts or a positive relationship that we’re building. Our environment is the same way. Even if it’s subtle. Any time we set an intention and focus on that intention, our thoughts and actions will bring us there. Why not take that intention for yourself? Whether it is to eat better or de-stress -- and tap into how we can subliminally build success for ourselves by building our space to support that intention.

Can you give an example?

The Toronto bedroom of Christine Flynn in the book is absolutely beautiful -- industrial meets Parisian glamor. While I was interviewing her, we both came to the realization that she had recreated her favorite parts of the boutique hotel she shared with her mother on her travels. ... She did it because she liked the way it looked. But there was a deeper meaning that she tapped into. These interiors are going to make you happier in life and in building relationships. It’s the support of our loved ones that carry us through life. How can we foster these in our home?

You seem to be a fan of muted palettes. There is not a lot of color on your Instagram feed or in the book. How does this further your thesis about how our homes affect us?

I think it’s so funny that you noted that there is not a ton of color in the spaces. I thought they were so colorful! That tells you something about me [laughing]. I get overstimulated easily. I like quiet retreats. I like to add interest with texture and history, vintage pieces that have a story or rough linens as I’m very tactile.

One of your takeaways in the book is to ‘connect with chaos.’ How can you embrace chaos without your house looking like a mess?

It’s more about thinking about your interior spaces. Recognize chaos as a time of day. It’s more about a chaotic moment. In one home, the homeowner had young kids and she accepted that there were some pieces she’s not going to be able to have. She focused on the positive aspects of chaos: Things are chaotic because she has two beautiful children and a thriving career. There is a lot to be grateful for. Once you’ve done the thinking, allow the interiors to transfer to your existence. I’m very analytical. Any time I can bring my thoughts into my physical realm, it is really empowering.

Twitter: lisaboone19


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