Weekend Warrior: Interior designer Kelly Deck goes for zen vibes through daily meditation

The founder of Kelly Deck Design draws a line between her personal and professional life

Before Kelly Deck started meditating in 2019, she was white-knuckling her way through life and business. Things can get personal for interior designers, she says, because it’s a business of bringing people’s dreams to life. “When they’re happy, it’s wonderful and you think their happiness is your happiness, and you get confusion about that. And the same thing happens when they’re unhappy—then you’re confused about your self-worth.”

After Deck gave birth to her daughter four years ago, it was time to refocus on her design company, Kelly Deck Design. But in the midst of being a new mom, a stepmom and an entrepreneur responsible for so many houses and clients, she lost touch with her personal outlet—yoga. She didn’t have two hours to spend at the studio anymore, especially on a daily basis.

Meditation, on the other hand, seemed more doable. Deck attended an hour-long orientation session on a whim and came out of it feeling incredibly light. “There was such a difference in what I was able to personally manage, just from that simple introduction,” she recalls. “If you’re not taking care of your mental health as an entrepreneur, then your journey is going to have a lot of limitations.”

Now, for her daily closed-eye practice, Deck sits on a chair at the foot of her bed, sets a timer for 15 minutes and puts on some earplugs (mom life). She starts to centre herself by drawing on different visualization tools, like picturing a literal boundary around her personal energy if she’s looking to set boundaries. “That allows me to be in a room with others, even when they’re in a heightened state,” she says, adding that she sometimes prefaces business meetings with group meditation—to help everyone drop into the conversation.

However, her favourite practices are the ones that help her settle down after high-energy engagements with clients. “You walk out and you feel kind of flustered,” she says, “so there’s one with a golden sun above you and you imagine pulling your energy back from everywhere it went that day, into the sun, and then you pull it all the way into your body and disperse the energy.”

Deck’s personal favourite is a showerhead: “You imagine it bathing you in golden light and it goes all the way down to the earth. It washes away and cleanses your energy to get back to a resourced and present state.”

Visual tools like these go a long way to support Deck, who maintains that she was born to be a designer. Originally from Alberta, she moved to B.C. at 18 years old to study ceramics, painting and sculpture at Emily Carr. She launched her first  company, an interior decor  boutique called Simple, at the age of 26 in Vancouver.

“The challenge sometimes with the entrepreneurial community, if you’re not in the right group, is that they’re just in a state of growing money and business,” says Deck, reflecting on two decades of entrepreneurship. “You can build incredible wealth from a grounded state. I just think a lot of people don’t.”

After Simple, Deck eventually got her own TV series, Take It Outside, followed by a lot of requests from potential clients who wanted her to decorate their homes. She launched Kelly Deck Design in 2005, and now, with a team of 15, she does design work all over the world, but predominantly in Western Canada.

“I always wanted to create beautiful things and beautiful spaces,” she stresses, “and home is something that, on some dharmic or karmic level, is what I’m supposed to do. I really don’t think I’m supposed to be anywhere else.”

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Since 2005, Kelly Deck’s Vancouver-based interior design company, Kelly Deck Design, has been working on luxury estates that are “almost exclusively single-family residential,” says the entrepreneur. “At the moment, in the public eye, all we’re doing is design service but by the end of 2024 we hope to have product.” Namely, she’s incubating a retail company into the business and also working on a wallpaper and fabric line. “That’s taking us a very long time to get off the ground, but we are  doing it,” says Deck.