March 2022
Design for Healthier, Happier Home
Environments by Nick Borrell

I’m a tinkerer, and in every dwelling I’ve ever occupied, whether owned or rented, I’ve been compelled to make changes large and small to better suit me. So last year it was with some extra interest I noticed a new 5enses advertiser offering architectural services to “enhance the true potential of your home and well-being.” I recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk about how this can be approached with architectural designer Nicholas Borrell of The Healing Home.

Asked to boil down what his business is about, Nick is expansive: “It’s a dynamic universe, it works mostly in a metaphysical way, of subtle energy becoming reality. What I do is create environments that respond to subtle energy changes.”

Nick and his wife, graphic designer Anne Borrell, came to Prescott from Colorado about a year ago to be closer to family. He began his career working for high-dollar clients in New York and Connecticut, and draws from a well of traditional craft.

“I’ve been in the construction business since I was in college. The craftsmen who were in my world early on, the artisans, the masons, the Irish plasterers, the copper workers, they came from a very deep history of craftsmanship.

“Architecture at that time was not engineering, it was art. I learned early the power of hand-drawn renderings, which is pretty much what I do. I pass it off to more capable people to produce CAD plans, but the gist of it is it’s an art process.

“I’ve produced in every genre of architecture, hundreds of projects over the years. Along the way I’ve learned that if I get the energy stream of the home correct — if I improve balance, harmony, proportion, energy flow — (the clients) are healthier and happier.

“It’s a client-centered business. Everything I do is about the intuitive read of the client. The closer you listen to what they say about their existing house, the easier it is to fulfill the potential of the house and the client’s relationship with it. You can’t do that for everyone, you can’t make people happy, but you can add to their happiness by creating some harmony there. When you get it all right, something great happens that will stand the test of time. And that’s what I’m in it for, more than anything.

“The Healing Home is all about creating an environment that has enough integrity to fulfill someone’s dreams and life purpose.”

As a former design-build professional, Nick easily renders these ideals into practical choices, starting with what he finds as the most common fault in home environments.

“Fresh air; the ability to control and balance air is key. The subtle energy flow is mostly carried on air. I can smell it coming in the front door, whether it’s stagnant air or not. That’s the first thing I try to correct. Do the windows work? Is the heating system healthy? Does the furnace have fresh-air intake? Because once you have stagnant energy, it holds the vibration of the space down. Then, of course, there’s how the energy flows. In traditional feng shui analysis, the direction of the front door is extraordinarily important. Is the energy coming into the house impeded? Is it being resisted, or is it being allowed to enter, fill the house and circulate? Correcting those patterns starts with opening the doors and windows.”

Along with the amazingly high prices on materials in the current market, the costs of design and contractor services put renovation plans out of reach for many. Asked what homeowners can do on their own, Nick is both sympathetic and hard-headed: “Do your own plan, you can’t go forward without a plan. Find some money. Then have the confidence to go forward.

“We have a fast-track service where you can pay me for four hours and get a complete review of the house, a review of your ideas, a review of the neighborhood — not an appraisal, but a snapshot of where you’re at and possible budgets. It can give some grasp of reality” as a basis for practical decision-making.

“Do you have the energy to do what needs to be done here? Are you practical, are you gonna do the legwork? If you expect other people to do the work, it’s gonna be really expensive.” Some DIY study and experience can pay off even when you’re hiring an expert. “Tradesmen really respect homeowners who are willing to put in the sweat equity and show they’re capable.”

Above all Nick is a believer in the power of creativity. “The superconsciousness of the universe is so vast that we’re nothing, yet we’re in partnership with the creative process of the universe. When we do that as artists, it’s a feedback loop: you end up with more energy than you started with. It definitely opens a flow into your life. You learn about yourself and what you’re capable of.

“We’re out of touch with the natural energy flow in this society, in every way imaginable. The Healing Home offers an opportunity to the client to get more in touch with the natural energy flow. That’s it, in a nutshell. We’re in it for the beauty. The big game is creating something beautiful.”

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Steven Ayres is Editor of 5enses. Courtesy photos

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