Designing Wellness for Interiors

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designing for wellness for interiors, the three tomatoesAll Tomatoes have stories to tell about how their lives have unfolded. My journey lead me to the creation of “EcoChi” and began when I worked as a real estate broker for the Corcoran group. I was selling luxury residential real estate in Manhattan and specialized in unusual properties. I spent a lot of time with property owners, and got to know the human story of each space… Every property had a unique history and as I discovered, they also had a distinctive energy that impacted inhabitants and visitors.

You’ve all experienced this, whether you were looking at a potential place to live, or just walking into a residence, office, spa, restaurant, or hotel room. There is a noticeable feeling when we are inside of a space. Sometimes this energy draws us in…and other times it seems to chase us away. We are influenced by our environment. The air, views, lighting, rugs, plants, furniture, and colors….everything we see, smell, touch and hear in a space affects us in a profound way.

As I continued on my EcoChi® path, I wrote a book and continued my studies in my small house on the North Fork of Long Island. The house has few creature comforts and has not been updated in 40 years! I have spent many hours wondering…”why am I so happy in this tiny space?” I realized, that no matter where I sit, my eyes rest upon nature. The house is surrounded by trees and wildlife. I can hear the pitter patter of acorns hitting the ground, smell the rain and see the birds returning after a long, cold winter. The experience of being inside the house is in fact, exactly like being outdoors.

Studies prove that our connection to nature is essential for our mental and physical wellbeing. Surprisingly, brain scans have shown that we react similarly when immersed in nature and when we are indoors with symbols of images surrounding us.

Tomatoes, NYC is only one of the many places where green and sustainable neighborhood planning show increased amounts of our population living in urban areas, sometimes far from the natural environment. If we are to be disconnected from the outdoor world, it is imperative that plants, art and symbols of nature become a focus in our interior design concepts.

The understanding that bringing the outdoors indoors has the potential to promote health and wellness, is what inspired me to create EcoChi®. When we connect with nature we feel happier and regain our natural rhythm. When all of our senses become alive and heightened, we are reminded of our innate ability to heal ourselves and dwell well.

Debra Duneier is an accredited LEED® Green Associate, Certified Eco-Designer, Feng Shui Master, Author of EcoChi: Designing the Human Experience.  For more about EcoChi and Debra visit


  • Debra Duneier

    Debra Duneier, the Founder and President of EcoChi, LLC, is a Feng Shui Master Practitioner, an accredited LEED® Green Associate, a Certified Eco-Designer, and a Graduate Gemologist. Ms. Duneier is the creator of the EcoChi® system of design, a globally recognized wellness design standard that incorporates Feng Shui. She is the award-winning author of “EcoChi: Designing the Human Experience.” Her training, background and perspective have made her a valued resource for media outlets including Martha Stewart Radio, Brokers Weekly, Social Life Magazine,, Better Homes and Gardens TV, CNBC, MSNBC, CBS, and the Associated Press. Debra was a featured personality, as the Feng Shui expert on the Cable TV show, Natural Reboot, on the Z Living Network.

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