Designer Tips on How to Combat Cabin Fever: ASID

As the world shelters in place and moves even its biggest businesses into home offices, there are countless questions circulating. Working from home is a new experience for most—and an unwelcome one for some. It raises concerns for productivity, community, and general wellbeing, particularly among the creative classes that thrive in collaborative and vibrant work environments.

Faced with this new reality, the ASID asked professionals: in this new live/work-in-isolation setting, how will you avoid cabin fever and stay creative?

Carolyn Ames Noble, ASID, WELL AP

Founder, Ames Design Studio |

In this new normal, we’ll be on screen often, engaging virtually and utilizing technology through flat, glass screens. It is essential to remember that immersive experiences in nature are intrinsic to humans. Spring is blossoming here in Atlanta and taking a walk to the local park or in the greenspace surrounding my neighborhood reminds me of what is real and tangible, as I explore color and textures and listen to the sounds in ecology. I return to my desk refreshed and revitalized.

Kerrie Kelly, FASID, NKBA, CAPS

Creative Director, Kerrie Kelly Design Lab | @kerriekelly

When working from home, be sure to limit working from your bed; shower and get dressed each day and take calls from your front porch or at least near a window to take in views and enjoy fresh air.

Now is the time to take good care of those things that linger on our “someday” to-do list and to make strides to keep us on top of our personal and professional responsibilities. With mandatory lockdown on the calendar, our team definitely wanted to create safe ways to continue to engage with our valued clients — e-meetings, zoom calls and online information shares — but we also wanted to fill the gaps while working at home and during nights and weekends.*

*Excerpted with permission from the Kerrie Kelly Design Lab Blog. Read the full post Coronavirus: Your Uplift While on Lockdown

Angie Scott, PhD, Allied ASID, IDEC

Founder + Principal, Angie Scott Design | @angiescottdesign

In this live/work isolation environment, I am not too worried about cabin fever. I look at it as a time when I can actually get a lot done and recharge. I recently started an interior design wellbeing consulting business and am also a full-time interior design professor. I will be working from home, teaching and ensuring our students have a smooth transition (as much as possible) to online learning.

For my business, I will continue with projects, create content, and work on back-end administration tasks. My business was set up to be completely online, so I am not worried about having to make any major changes there. In addition, this gives me much needed time to go inward and focus on me and on my family’s health and wellbeing. I am looking forward to spending real quality time with them at home, while maintaining a somewhat structured schedule.

I would tell people to keep exposure to nature, fresh air, and some kind of physical activity at top of mind. Nature as we know, is one of the key factors of wellbeing, by way of reducing stress and increasing happiness and has other positive impacts on our mental and physical state. I think we all need that right now!