Gala Magriñá: “Maximize Access to Fresh Air”

Maximize Access to Fresh Air: Our indoor environments are more polluted than our outdoor air. With that said, it’s important to air our spaces out and maximize natural airflow. A breath of fresh air provides an instant mood boost and is another simple way to bring more joy into our spaces, especially office spaces which […]

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Maximize Access to Fresh Air: Our indoor environments are more polluted than our outdoor air. With that said, it’s important to air our spaces out and maximize natural airflow. A breath of fresh air provides an instant mood boost and is another simple way to bring more joy into our spaces, especially office spaces which tend to be closed off.


As part of my series on the “5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Gala Magriñá, founder & principal of Gala Magriñá Design.

Raised in New York City and Barcelona, Gala Magriñá is a multidisciplinary, multicultural force to be reckoned with. Building on the success of her Event Design + Production Agency, M Crown Productions, Gala launched Gala Magriñá Design in 2017, a New York-based commercial and residential interior design agency.

Her goal is to change the world one space and conversation at a time, bringing mindfulness to the forefront of our daily lives and design practices and as a result living happier and more successful lives. Gala’s belief is that if we create mindful environments that have the power to heal and push us to be better versions of ourselves, in doing so we are elevating individual consciousness and in turn, the collective conscious.

“In terms of my process, I am guided by our client’s desires and needs, the story we want to tell, my intuition, and the inspiration I have collected from my travels and everyday life. Mix in the incredible eye my team has, a collective OCD we all have when it comes to the details, and you have standout interiors that move you and make you feel right at home.”


Thank you so much for joining us in this series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

“Absolutely! I was born to Spanish parents in Kansas and raised from an early age on the Upper East Side. I attended the United Nations International High School, and always had an interest in design. As soon as I turned 18, I jumped into working in design and my first role was with Diesel, as a window stylist helping to launch their first US flagship store in New York City.

After I graduated high school, I headed west to attend UCLA, where I became immersed in the L.A. film culture, working on film sets, helming a few on my own, and making friends throughout the entertainment and fashion industries. During this time, I started working as a window stylist at Diesel at their Santa Monica location.

A few years later I moved back to NYC and finished my schooling at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where I majored in Film and Television. I remained with Diesel and eventually became a full-time employee, working out of their New York City corporate offices. In my 12 years there, I worked on all things creative — windows, showrooms, offices, retail stores, and event design. In 2008 I founded my own design and production agency, M Crown Productions, Inc. that focused on events, pop-ups, retail windows, and displays.

Throughout the years, I have developed a real passion for wellness and holistic interior design and eventually transitioned from events and pop-ups to being principal of my own commercial and residential interior design firm. “Events and pop-ups were a lot of fun to design and produce, but after 10 years in business, I eventually realized I wanted to create permanent, happy, healthy spaces for my clients to enjoy.”

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

The more I study different holistic modalities, the more I see how our spaces reflect our inner selves. Sometimes when I’m walking through clients’ spaces, whether it be an office or home, I feel like a psychologist. By seeing how my clients live within their spaces, I am able to begin to see who they are as people and can pinpoint areas in their lives where they may be struggling or what type of personality traits they may have. It’s a total gift as it allows me to go deeper and be more intentional with design. It also blows my mind at the same time!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

One mistake I will never make again is not taking extremely thorough measurements for a project. We once completed an office remodel in New York City and it was a tight floor plan so every inch counted. I was off by 5’’ in one of my calculations, which created a few challenges. Luckily, we had to tweak the open concept seating layout later on in the design process so we were able to make everything fit perfectly. I will never forget the moment of panic I had experienced when I realized my mistake — I will never take less than the perfect measurements again!

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

With the COVID-19 pandemic and more people working from home, we launched a residential arm of the business to assist those who are looking to reimagine their spaces for their own mental and spiritual well being. It’s been extremely rewarding to help these clients understand how our environments and spaces affect our daily motivations, behaviors, and lifestyle and how these in turn affect our health outcomes. The impact a designer has on their client is HUGE. I never forget this, no matter how big or small a residential project may be. It is a great reward to be able to improve someone’s living space.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

There are so many life lessons to choose from, but I think a major one for me as a true, ambitious, hard-working Capricorn is ‘Don’t Push The Boulder Up The Hill’. In the past, I used to force and bulldoze things into existence and it was both taxing and exhausting. Fast forward to today, I work hard, but also smart, realizing when something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably because I’m trying to ‘push a boulder up a hill’ and it’s time to do something else. My meditation teacher says, “Do less, accomplish more. Do the least and accomplish the most.” I never understood what that meant until these past couple of years.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I’ve been so lucky to have so many mentors and teachers. I would say the following three that have been the most impactful in my life:

Number 1: My best friend of over 20 years, Hasani Reyes (@hasani_mamavida_wellbeing, www.hasanireyes.com), who also happens to be a powerful intuitive, holistic transformational coach. Over the years of friendship, she has helped me to understand countless important concepts around the ego, our shadows, and our authentic self. She has worked with me to help me see and work on so many parts of myself. Hasani is quick and to the point so that the transformations she inspires are profound. Not only is she so intuitive, but she’s also one of the smartest and wisest people I know. Any time I feel stuck or blocked, Hasani is there to help me see and move through the challenges that are in my way when no one else can. No doubt I wouldn’t be who I am today without her!

Number 2: Terry from Interior Design Business Academy (@interiordesignbusinessacademy, interior designbusinessacademy.com), an interior design business coach. I never went to school for interior design and instead, I learned by doing it. When my company began to transition to interior design work in 2017, I quickly realized I was running the new parts of the business like my event design and product business, but the two could not have been any more different (at least on the business side of things). Terry really helped me with nailing down proper processes, procedures, pricing, and strategy pitching. After working with her, our interior design business took off!

Number 3: My Vedic Meditation teacher Thom Knoles (@thethomknoles, www.thomknoles.com), who is just so smart and has an enlightened soul. I was fortunate enough to spend two weeks in India on a Vedic Meditation retreat with him and it was a life-changing experience. Thom introduced me to a new way of life and helped me understand how the world is rooted in the ancient Indian texts, the Vedas. While on the retreat, we would meet twice daily for meditation. With this insight and knowledge, I’ve been able to transform my life and view of the world. I feel so much better and happier with this awareness — it’s a gift that keeps on giving!

Thank you for that. Here is the main question of our discussion! What are your “5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Clear the Clutter: In Feng Shui, clutter represents old, emotional baggage that no longer serves us and actually holds us back by taking up space where new opportunities could come into our lives. I recommend going through everything in your home and as Marie Kondo says, we should thank and then get rid of or donate what no longer sparks joy or serves us. If you are holding onto something out of guilt, then I recommend saying bye to it as the things that we hold onto out of guilt are holding us back. My goal for our clients is for them to be aware of every single item in their home and I recommend that, after conducting a first main decluttering, they do one every spring for maintenance. This way, as our lives and tastes evolve, the things we surround ourselves with evolve with us instead of holding us back.

After my Feng Shui certification, I put the decluttering concept to the test with my own home library. It was overflowing with books and I was feeling stuck looking for new books to read, new courses to take, and looking for a new mentor. Within two weeks of editing down the library, I found a new course to take and met my next mentor. A lot of holistic interior design techniques are backed by science and many need to be experienced to be understood. Clearing the clutter is one of them — it’s super powerful. Commit to doing it and you will be amazed at the results and what begins to shift in your life.

Be Intentional With Your Art: The art we surround ourselves with in our home has a huge impact on us so it’s important to be intentional about it and not just hang up any old thing. Power positions for art are in the foyer (because you see it every time you come in and out ) and on the wall opposite your bed. I like to challenge clients to be really intentional in these two spaces and think about what makes them happy, what motivates them, and what reflects where they are in their lives and where they want to be.

We had a client that we did a holistic interior design home consult for and she had art in her living room that felt dark and heavy. When I asked her how it felt to her, she said that she hadn’t really thought about it because it had been a gift from an artist friend of hers. Afterward, she ended up removing it and replacing it with something else more uplifting and she instantly felt the energy in the room shift.

Maximize Access To Natural Light: The sun and the different colors it emits throughout the day has a direct effect on our circadian rhythms. The more in tune we can be with that natural process the better for our mood, hormone levels, alertness, and quality of sleep. Think about how you feel on a sunny day versus a cloudy day. Maximizing access to natural light is an inexpensive and easy way to bring more joy into your space.

We get wonderful feedback from our commercial clients after office remodels when we have increased natural light exposure. Business leaders find their employees are happier and more productive, which creates a healthier office environment.

Maximize Access to Fresh Air: Our indoor environments are more polluted than our outdoor air. With that said, it’s important to air our spaces out and maximize natural airflow. A breath of fresh air provides an instant mood boost and is another simple way to bring more joy into our spaces, especially office spaces which tend to be closed off.

Any time we have been able to change out windows and window coverings that make it easier for clients to open a window, we have seen a huge impact on air quality in the space. Spaces with fresh air flowing through them feel lighter and brighter.

Pick Furniture + Décor That Sparks Joy: Our homes are everything to us these days. If you’re holding onto an old sofa table or coffee table you hate I recommend investing the time in finding something that sparks joy instead. As I mentioned before, the spaces we spend time in have a serious effect on us so it’s important to get intentional about them and ensure that they are a perfect reflection of us. We spend so much time focusing on diet and exercise for our wellbeing and I strongly believe that our spaces should be just as much of a priority when it comes to our personal wellness and wellbeing.

We see the effects of this all the time when we complete a project and hear how happy our clients are in their new space. Our spaces have the ability to lift us up or keep us down, so improving your space and intentionally selecting pieces that spark joy is paramount for wellbeing.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

My movement would be to provide holistically and intentionally designed spaces for every single human on the planet. This means not only designing beautiful and functional spaces, but going beyond the physical world and looking at things like the existing energy within a spaceand electromagnetic disturbances, using sustainable and healthy materials, and listening to people’s problems. We want to create spaces where we can help solve the everyday issues of users, leveraging the built environment to help people move past their problems and blockages and ultimately lead the best life possible.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, especially if we tag them 🙂

Glennon Doyle is really rocking my world right now. I read her book “Untamed” during my first month of WFH back in April 2020 and it’s exactly what my soul needed. Her Instagram posts are so raw, funny, and honest and bring me so much joy! I also know from one of her posts that when she gets anxious she goes into deep cleaning mode and I can really relate to that! ☺

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/galamagrinadesign

Blog: http://blog.galamagrinadesign.com/

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!

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