Vintage Bohemian in California

FP fans, meet Kathleen Russ, a therapist in Saratoga, CA!

1) HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE STYLE OF YOUR THERAPY OFFICE?

Vintage Bohemian: Art and Soul

I created my office to be an artful, comfortable and calm place with antique pieces that harken to the past. This soulful style suits me as a Jungian-oriented therapist with the belief that reflecting on the past is important to understanding the individual’s life path.

Every item in my office is selected with the utmost consideration and with the intention of fostering creativity and curiosity.

As a painter and photographer myself, I bring in my own work as well as my mother’s paintings to stimulate the imagination and invite the creative process. So, it is a creative place that inspires freedom of expression through collaborative dialogue, hands-on art, sand tray or even the handling of photographic images.

2) WHAT VIBE DO YOU HOPE YOUR OFFICE GIVES YOUR THERAPY CLIENTS?

My hope is that people feel a sense of comfort and healing when visiting my office.

Above all, I have fostered a creative vibe and to have a place people look forward to coming to and to discovering something new within them.

People have told me that they enjoy coming every week because each time they come they discover something different. This isn’t because I change things all the time but rather because there is an abundance of things to look at. This curio shop style is a different approach I know but it authentically suits my personality.

Before moving in, the walls were painted white throughout. It was so bright!

I searched for color that would tone down the energy and allow clients to drop down into a more relaxed state-of-mind. I found the perfect colors of Pewter (silvery gray) and Shadow (purple, almost black). The mood in the room immediately shifted.

3) DO YOU HAVE ANY CREATURE COMFORTS IN YOUR OFFICE FOR CLIENTS?

In the entry hall, we offer filtered water as well as a gourmet coffee machine with a vast variety of coffees and teas.

I’m a big fan of live plants to create a feeling of growth and fresh air, so they are interspersed throughout the premises. I also bring fresh flowers into my office every week.

Soft pillows and cozy blankets are abundant and grace the couch and chairs in my office.

4) WHO DESIGNED AND DECORATED YOUR THERAPY OFFICE? DID YOU GET HELP FROM PROFESSIONALS, COLLEAGUES, FRIENDS, OR FAMILY?

This is definitely my dream space and Barbara and I searched for a year or more to find and develop it.

I designed my office. It began with the creation of the velvet chair as the first thing I brought into the room. This chair was quite the labor of love.

I reupholstered it using 100% silk velvet fabric that I dyed myself using the Shibori method. During the months when Barbara and I were working with the building designers, I occupied myself making the chair by hand.

I was also hunting for the perfect elegant couch and found it on Craigslist. Piece by piece I built my office around the velvet chair.

The vintage fireplace mantle has followed me from office to office for years. Excited to have more space in this new office, I built out around the fireplace with antique columns topped with a long shelf salvaged from wood from an old redwood water tank.

The back-lit fireplace is the grounding piece and focal point of the room as a statement of hearth and home.

5) ANY ADVICE FOR THERAPISTS WHO ARE JUST STARTING OUT AND DESIGNING THEIR OFFICE FOR THE FIRST TIME, OR SEASONED THERAPISTS LOOKING TO REDESIGN THEIR OFFICES?

• Create a space that energizes and supports you, a place you look forward to coming to everyday.
• Start with a piece you love and work from there.
• Think outside of the box when designing an office that suits your practice.
• Don’t be afraid to look at estate sales, home consignment stores and Craigslist, etc. to seek interesting furniture.

Kathleen Russ is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT) in Saratoga, CA…

She is in private practice and has an Expressive Arts Specialization. She is also a Preliminary Candidate in the analytical training program at the C.G. Jung Institute in San Francisco.


Learn more about her work at:
www.kathleenruss.com