IMG - STIR: Yoga Whites header
Originally published in STIR®

By Megan Swoyer


In Kundalini yoga, wearing white is believed to expand one’s aura. Perhaps that’s why its various tones are so popular for in-home yoga spaces.

Yoga has come and not gone. And it won’t be going anywhere soon. In fact, yoga studios continue to pop up quicker than you can say “namaste.” About 20 million Americans over the age of 18 practiced yoga in 2012 ― 8.7 percent of the adult population ― up from 15.8 million in 2008, according to the study “Yoga in America” released by Yoga Journal.

And not only are there thousands of public yoga studios opening around the country, but many yoga fans are also creating dedicated yoga spaces in their homes, as well as giving their homes an overall yoga-inspired feel.

What does this mean for interior designers? “A lot,” says metro Detroit−based Armina Kasprowicz of AK Design and Accents.

“One of my clients in the area, a yoga teacher, wanted to have a space at home where she could go regularly to enjoy yoga alone on days when she’s not with her students,” Kasprowicz says. The designer’s first goal was to select a paint color for the ceiling and wall trim that would evoke a calm state of mind and complement a nature-inspired grass-cloth, wheat-hued wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries.

“She wanted a warm and cozy feeling, so it was paramount I find the right paint to go with the wallpaper,” Kasprowicz says. “I guess you could say my ‘mantra’ was ‘find peaceful colors.’”

For the trim, Kasprowicz chose Snowbound (SW 7004) and for the ceiling, Dover White (SW 6385).

“Both colors are clean and light with warm undertones,” Kasprowicz says. “They add so much brightness to the room, which is exactly what the client wanted. With the wallpaper, these shades look fantastic, especially when you take it all in, including the hardwood floor and Surya rug.” She also commissioned window treatments made from sheer fabric with a bit of shimmer by ADO. “All together, it’s quite an inviting and restful space,” Kasprowicz says.

In the home of Bev Maloney-Fischback, you’d expect a dedicated space for yoga, given Maloney-Fischback is CEO, founder and publisher of Organic Spa Magazine. Her life’s work and work life are all about health, wellness and sustainable living. And that applies at both her Cleveland-area home and office.

Maloney-Fischback’s dedicated meditation space at home is at the top of a staircase in what the publisher calls “the most beautiful part of the house.” Outside the room’s large window you can see Lake Erie in the distance, and “some pretty incredible sunsets that pour down our street and right into this space,” she says. In fact, she and her husband chose the yoga room’s location based on the sun’s path. “Plus, there’s a massive, century-old maple tree outside the window. When you’re on the mat and looking up, it’s like you’re actually under the tree,” Maloney-Fischback says.

The interior design of the family’s 1950s bungalow-style home evokes a warm, casual, rustic-modern sensibility. Maloney-Fischback selected three main paint colors in Emerald® Interior Acrylic Latex Paint for the yoga space and throughout most of the house: Snowfall White (SW 6000) for the walls, Dover White (SW 6385) for the ceiling and Extra White (SW 7006) for the trim.

“We’ve given the room more than one purpose. While yoga is the main thing, it’s also a place to just sit quietly; it’s a reprieve,” Maloney-Fischback says. The tranquil room is slowly catching on with her two sons. “The boys come up and do a little yoga, then they get to giggling. Then the dog comes in,” she says, laughing, “so we get through about a half hour.”

Jonny and Milla Kest are longtime Detroit-area yoga-business owners. For more than 20 years they’ve run the wildly popular yoga studios within Center for Yoga, now a subsidiary of LifePower Yoga/Life Time Fitness and Life Time Athletic. But rather than create a dedicated yoga space at their own home, they chose to simply use colors throughout that echo those at their studios.

The Kests, who are renovating their 1927 home in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, chose Pure White (SW 7005) for the walls. “I love white,” Milla says. “It’s fresh. It’s energizing yet peaceful. It’s a clean canvas. It’s also easy to bring in other colors with furniture and accessories.” As for a space dedicated solely to yoga? “Maybe someday, when one of the four kids move out,” Milla says with a laugh. “But really, any room can be a yoga room. All you need is a mat and your breath.”