Shannon Tate-Giordano is a Renaissance woman. An accomplished interior designer, she has led a fascinating life filled with a variety of career interests – fine art, fashion, her own jewelry line, refurbishing & making furniture. She also spent five years as a Health and Lifestyle coach and Reiki practitioner. These life experiences inform her philosophy and bring unique insights into her design process.
We love the sacred nature of Shannon’s collaboration with clients that ensures their homes reflect their lifestyles and feed their souls. We asked Shannon to share her story and thoughts on design.
Tell us a little about your journey leading you to your current design approach.
I spent five years as a Health and Lifestyle coach and a Reiki practitioner. I worked intimately with clients and helped them to overcome internal obstacles, health and spiritual challenges and align their lives with their biggest dreams. While doing this work I began to look within and realized that I was not aligned with my own dreams and passions. I started to question everything.
A series of almost magically aligned events had my family and I leaving the hustle and bustle of New York and moving to the country in Massachusetts. I welcomed the change and opportunity to wipe my slate clean and start on my own life redesign. I was determined to find a way to blend my natural gifts of design, with my purpose of helping others and founded Shannon Tate Interiors in 2011. After working with my first few clients, I realized redesign of your space does inspire positive change in all areas of life and I’ve been doing this work with love, joy and passion ever since.
You have said that your goal in working with clients is to uplift them. Would you describe what that means to you and how you collaborate with your clients?
All anyone really wants in life is to feel good and feel seen. I feel like those are the core desires of all human beings. I use that as my kind of ‘north star’, not only in design, but in life in general. I really dig in and get to know my clients, through my design questionnaire and interactions. I feel like I’m quite good at reading people and it’s helpful in work and life.
How has your time as a life coach influenced your design philosophy and approach?
My training as a coach was absolutely life changing for me. It made me self-reflect in ways I never had before, made me take a look at things I never had noticed in my behaviors, it also helped me to listen in a deeper, more meaningful way. When I was doing my coaching training, we were taught about a holistic philosophy including self care, love, high quality foods and spiritual practice. It felt natural to me to add ‘beautiful home’ to the list.
We spend so much time in our homes, they need to be there to support us and make us feel good so we can bring our best selves to life.
How did you decide that design needed to be an integral part of your life?
Design has always been an integral part of my life. I did go through a period where I thought it was a shallow endeavor to be an artist, and that I should dedicate my life to helping people. Which led me to coaching school. And while I loved the coaching, and still do, I also saw pretty glaringly loud and in my face, that I wasn’t walking my talk. How could I continuously tell people how important it was to find time for their passions and build their lives around their unique gifts, when I wasn’t doing it myself? I took a break from business for a while, hired a coach and got to work on myself. I was very afraid of failure, I was afraid to start over in my 30’s (like that was old!? what was I thinking?), but more than all that fear, I was afraid of how ‘sucky’ it would feel to get to the end of my life never having given it a shot. And so, I felt the fear and did it anyway. These are the moments where you find what you’re made of.
What is your design philosophy?
My slogan has always been ‘Synchronize your Space and Soul’. My background in coaching and the healing arts has really brought that home for me. I truly feel like having a beautiful, well designed home that is a reflection of who you are is an important part of the self care puzzle. It changes the way you feel about everything; changes how your day begins and ends …. either supports or hinders you in life. And I really, really believe that in my heart.
Above: Shannon’s Living Room Project in Massachusetts
How does your design philosophy come to life in your own home?
My house is like a giant bowl of feelings, always being tweaked to make sure the energy and flow feels right. My parents were over the other weekend and my Dad said, ‘your house is like your workshop … you’re always trying out new things and seeing if they work’ – and it’s true. It’s my place to experiment and get a little weird and see what works and what doesn’t. I love that. Luckily, my husband and daughter are patient and (mostly) cool with my need for constant change and experimentation around the house.”
Are there some design tips you would like to share with our readers?
- Try to look at your home with an editor’s eye; sometimes it’s good to have a friend help. Look at your space with fresh eyes and ask yourself what you really love and what’s just around because you’ve always had it or because someone gave it to you or it was free.
- Only keep the things that speak to you. That is a powerful thing to do because it raises the vibration in your space tremendously when you only keep what speaks to your soul.
- Define who you are as a person. Find a few adjectives and ask yourself if you feel your home reflects that.
- Read at least the first 2 chapters of Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It’s like a mic drop moment. POW.
- I think the most impactful change can be paint. The wrong color in a space can really weigh it down and a fresh coat of light paint can make you feel like you’re immediately in heaven. It lifts the vibe tremendously.”
What is your Modern Sanctuary? What brings you peace, comfort and joy, and why?
Bright spaces, sunlight flooding in, plants to care for and watch grow, the feeling of water, good music, good food, good friends, Moroccan, African, Native American and Asian textiles, linen, leather, books, and art. I think they bring me joy because they remind me of my childhood and remind me of who I am, the experiences I’ve had, and where I come from.
Meet Shannon and learn more about her design philosophy in this short video: