Happy Placers: Grace Recovery

Photos by Heidi Ryder

Photos by Heidi Ryder

I have often shared with you how The Happy Place began. A philosophy that was born from my desire to create a home that my family connected to as we traveled from city to city with our work. It was magnified once we had Emme. And by the time Sailor arrived I was immersed in interior design courses and actually creating happy places for the people I loved most. I loved digging in and supporting the way people truly wanted to feel when they walked through their front door.

As the business has grown and I have started to work with clients that I’m meeting for the first time, I have found myself equally as challenged as I am inspired. Getting to know each person individually is a really special part of the experience. So when I was asked to design Grace Recovery, an addiction treatment center in Los Angeles, I knew I had to create a happy place for a community of people that were in a very fragile and important time in their lives. I was guided by owner Greg Holden and his right hand woman Joelene on the types of needs that each space had to fill. But this time, there wasn’t just one client, with one version of their happy place. This is a working, living, breathing rehabilitation center that needs to be a safe haven for its residents. And with THAT idea, I dove in.

After a quick tour of the residence, I immediately felt compelled to create a series of homes that are synonymous with healing and serenity. They already had that bright and airy vibe that makes you FEEL good when you walk into the homes. So, I wanted to highlight that and make it cozy and comfortable. A lot of important, emotional work goes into day to day life there and since I haven’t personally met any of its residents to know what their happy place looks like, I concentrated on making the home feel simple and free of any chaos. I also had to keep in mind the length of stay of each resident and the ever changing community. Also, with 12 plus residents and staff at any given time there is bound to be a lot of wear and tear on the furnishings. I had to make choices that were cost friendly and could easily be repaired or replaced.


In keeping with the California bungalow feel, I chose furnishings with a relaxed and modern mid-century feel.



We have almost completed the first of five units. This is the main dining and living space of the entire compound.



It’s the hub of the entire operation and also the first place any client will visit as they embark on their journey to heal.

Now that I have shared a bit of the ‘before’ of Bungalow 1, I CANNOT WAIT to share the finished product with you! In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at one of the vision boards I created when imagining what the Happy Place would look like for the clients and employees of Grace Recovery.