How One Interior Designer Is Prioritizing Tranquility And Comfort For Her Clients | Ventus...

Throughout the past year, we’ve all learned about the importance of living in a space that feels like it’s truly ours. Our homes are meant to provide a sense of safety and comfort every time we’re in them, which is why Reiko Lewis is so passionate about the work she does with Ventus Design, a luxury interior design company that proudly infuses the four core Japanese values of Harmony, Respect, Purity, and Serenity.

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As human beings, it is said that we spend around 90% of our lives in an interior space, and the majority of it is at home. The past year has shown us just how real that percentage actually is, and because of this, many individuals are focusing on modifying the interior design of their spaces to give themselves a place where they feel comfortable, and most like themselves. 

Many of us take for granted the overall sense of safety that we feel when we’re home everyday. Prioritizing our personal space and how it looks is an important investment to make, especially if you feel like your current living space is more of a house that you’re staying in, instead of a home that is all yours. 

Reiko Lewis started Ventus Design in 2010, an interior design firm that describes itself as a “design evolution that infuses your life with a refreshing and invigorating space.” The word “Ventus” is Latin for wind, as when she first began the company, Lewis saw that through her design she was able to bring fresh air and perspective into homes, visitor accommodations, workspaces, and the many places in which we experience life. Ventus wants to be a wind that fills people’s sails and makes it easier for them to move forward.

Lewis accomplishes this by infusing her work with the four core Japanese values of Wa (Harmony), Kei (Respect), Sei (Purity), and Jaku (Serenity) in every project she completes. “Harmony in design and team building, respect for the indigenous culture and individual culture, purity in acts through clean design, and serenity through the creation of spaces that offer internal peace.”

“At Ventus Design, we focus on functionality, simplicity, and of course, comfort. People want comfortable and clean spaces where they can clear their minds and alleviate stress, and we provide that.”

According to her amazing story, Reiko Lewis was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. “At the age of 10, she made up her mind to be in TV journalism and studied international politics and economy in college. She was later hired by CNN’s Tokyo bureau chief, John Lewis (who would later become her husband) to be an assistant producer. John was a start-up member of CNN’s Asia division, and helped to establish all Asian CNN bureaus. 

Though she became the senior producer of CNN Tokyo and found her work very fulfilling, she started feeling she was missing something in her life. She decided to terminate her 16-year career at CNN and explore something new and different. After John was transferred to CNN’s headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, she decided to enroll in interior design school. She realized a ‘house is not just a shelter from rain and wind but a place of mental relaxation and invigoration; and wanted to help people by creating a functional and comfortable interior space.’”

Though Atlanta was the first time Reiko was attending school outside of Japan, she adapted well and graduated with top honors. Reiko’s design talents and skills are highly regarded by her peers. Shortly before she lost her beloved husband, she established Ventus Design in 2010. Though devastated by her loss, she decided to continue her firm.

I was in a state of depression and was in my house a lot. During that time, I learned a lot about the importance of being in an environment where you feel comfortable and safe, especially when you’re struggling/healing in any aspect of your life.

That’s also how the name of the company came to be. ‘Ventus’ is the Latin word for wind, and at Ventus Design, we do a pretty even split between luxury commercial and residential spaces. Almost every client who enters my office takes note of how creative, comfortable, and beautiful the environment is, and that’s what we deliver to everyone who seeks out our services. 90% of your entire life is spent inside, so when it comes to interior design, it’s much more than just transforming and beautifying a space, it’s about creating a place where you feel the most comfortable, a place where you can truly call your space”

After her husband passed away, Reiko’s mother moved all the way from Japan to be with her daughter in the US. During that time, Lewis learned a lot about the design for the aging generation. She is also focusing on design needs and carefully considering criteria and conditions catering for aging individuals.

Ventus Design consistently provides a feeling of comfortability and safety in the spaces we design for our clients. The pandemic changed all of our prospects when it comes to the interior spaces we spend our time in, so it’s our job to work with every client and their specific needs as they continue to change as well.”

At this point Lewis took me through the actual process of making a space come to life, particularly with the four core Japanese values that she adopts for every single project she takes on. 

“When meeting with a client, and going through the entire process of creating, designing, and bringing an interior design concept to life, we follow the four Japanese principles of Wa (Harmony), Kei (Respect), Sei (Purity), and Jaku (Serenity). The concepts apply to everyone involved in the project, with the clients being the main focus.

When we first meet, we’re creating harmony between each other as client and expert willing to help bring their dreams to life. We both need to respect each other in bringing these concepts together by learning the client’s lifestyle, needs, wants, how they live, and help them get a better understanding of their specific design needs and styles.

Purity also means a translucent process of design for the clients, and clear understanding for all project members. Which also goes back to the concept of harmony with the client, to ensure that we’re all on the same page before we actually start the physical design process. We work hard to achieve harmony between client design and value by assessing their initial priorities, and making any revisions necessary to fit new priorities. Once we’re all on the same page, we can bring the space to life, and give our clients a sense of complete serenity, and joy, which is my favorite part of the job. 

Most interior design firms will listen to the style of space their client wants and will create a basic layout to fulfill those wishes. I like to approach each project by listening to clients, and focusing more personally. We’re providing, as mentioned, comfortability and a sense of safety for our clients, but how can we do that if we don’t know who our clients really are? 

We want to provide that peace that you feel after a long day at work, walking into your home and getting that immediate sense of relief to be in your own safe space.”

“Even in the commercial spaces we design at Ventus, we want to create spaces where companies feel like they can truly thrive. The fact that we do a lot of hospitality, spa, and luxury retail/commercial spaces gives us a great base to start from in terms of creating a space that exudes harmony, purity, respect, and tranquility.”

Lewis then explained how the pandemic gave many of us the opportunity to learn about what we actually value in a space, and what we need to make it feel like it’s truly our. 

“Through the pandemic people have realized how important their interior spaces are. Before Covid we all kind of accepted the reality of living in our scheduled work lives and coming home to our space, going to bed, and repeating the cycle. Now that more of us are at home, we’re recognizing how important it actually is to create an environment where you can feel your best at all times.

Homes now have multiple functions: it’s a place where people can be together with family, but also where they can be alone to reflect, to learn, to recharge. Home has now also become the place to conduct work. Which is why at Ventus we always aim to create comfortable, functional, and safe spaces for our clients. We all value our privacy but how do we make the spaces where we expect the most privacy truly ours? ” 

Lewis’ philosophy on luxury style isn’t just about materials either — rather, “it’s about designing a blissful and sophisticated space that allows people to share in elevated and elegant comfort.

I always admired Coco Chanel, she distilled the essence of the Luxury Design that I wanted to create. ‘Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise, it is not luxury.’ Luxury doesn’t have to mean expensive goods and design. It means time and place with your loved ones and that is what I want to create.

Luxury refers to the sense of time when you feel the most at peace and loved. Spending time with your loved ones in a space that feels truly yours, that’s luxury. It’s so rewarding creating these bonds with my clients, learning all about what makes them truly feel happy, and doing everything I can to deliver that same sense of luxury and positivity in the spaces where they will spend the rest of their lives. 

We also practice sustainable design as much as we can. Appreciating nature and the natural world in general is extremely important to me, and the business. Not only do we utilize a space to make the outdoors a focus, but we strive to use materials and processes that are as environmentally friendly as possible. A lot of materials used in construction, and the process of construction as well, can really hurt the environment, so we strive every day to take on new practices that work to protect the Earth as much as possible. 

When people ask me about my favorite projects, I never have a direct answer, I always normally just say ‘I hope whatever the next one will be! It could be a project with you!”

To learn more about Reiko Lewis and the amazing work they do at Ventus Design, click here!