Mandeville Canyon Designs on El Paseo takes cues from the outdoors to create healthful living spaces.
By Lisa Marie Hart
Photography courtesy Mandeville Canyon Designs
The owner of a new studio-showroom on El Paseo creates soothing spaces that not only help her clients live comfortably at home but also achieve a range of specific desired results.
Earlier this year, designer and Southern California native Renee (pronounced REE-ni) Carman moved her business from the fast-paced East Coast to Palm Desert to realign with her West Coast roots. Since 2004, Mandeville Canyon Designs has intrigued clients and the industry at large by designing interiors with nature and science in mind.
“Beyond using natural and sustainable materials, I adhere to a set of standards that allows me to tap into how the brain responds to sight, smell, texture, and sound,” Carman says. “With an understanding of the neuroscience behind the design, I can help clients to relax their minds, focus on tasks, or stimulate conversation all by using elements found in the natural world, and, quite often, a healthy dose of color.”
Whether a project calls for light-handed upgrades or a gut-job renovation, Carman’s bag of tricks stretches far deeper than the local mantra of “bringing the outside in.” Her holistic approach to “biophilic design” incorporates a range of techniques including a meaningful use of color, the five earth elements, a bit of feng shui, and abundant access to organic, healthful materials that make any home a haven for well-being.
Do you have a water element? Do your plants remove CO2 and toxins from the air? Do you use wool rather than a synthetic? These are some of her starting points. “We become intentional about it,” she says. “We find out where that person or the family might be lacking, and we introduce a little bit more of that in a very unobtrusive way.”
If aromatherapy, chromotherapy, and biophilia are not part of your decorating vocab, don’t overthink it. Carman’s approach appeals to anyone who appreciates the beauty of the earth’s flora, fauna, and varied landscapes as she does.
“We have this natural propensity toward being in nature,” she explains. “We gravitate toward it. Our design ideas intend to invigorate the senses and celebrate the natural balance of design found effortlessly within nature.”
Located at the Sage Place complex near Sage Lane and El Paseo, Mandeville Canyon Designs is a meeting place for creative exchange while offering a glimpse of the possibilities that await. Carman welcomes everyone to touch and feel curated products that are sustainable, handmade, and locally or ethically sourced. You can also learn more about the anatomy of a couch and discover how to buy one that fits your body and the individual ways you sit and lounge.
“The showroom portion is only one one-hundredth of what we offer in terms of furnishings and accessories,” she notes. “It is meant to spark curiosity and conversation.”
Carman’s work has received numerous awards, been widely published, and she has appeared on HGTV’s Decorating Cents. Her formal design education is in decorative arts from Boston Architectural College. Yet her client’s homes are more than decorative.
“We are always exploring how a person’s brain responds to design, color, and texture. And what do your memory banks say?” she says. “We strive to create a space that’s cool and inviting, but also nurtures your soul, your mind, and the environment.”
73255 El Paseo, Studio 9, Palm Desert