What Mindful Zoning Can Do for You

Cape Town-based interior creator, behavioural specialist, and spatial strategist, Kim Williams, is changing perspective on our spaces. For Kim, the key to great multi-functional design is a balance between functionality, behaviour, and emotion. Zoning our spaces is a key tool in achieving the perfect balance between form, function, flow, and finesse.

Our homes are the epicenter for a vast array of functions, including exercise, entertainment, relaxation, family time, and work. After being locked inside during the pandemic, we have rediscovered the importance of residential spaces and see a lasting sociological shift from people spending their lives in public spaces to living back inside their homes.

What is Zoning?

Zoning is defined as separating our spaces according to their function. Whilst many can easily define the function of a space, we often underestimate how our environment influences our behaviour and emotion. Needing our space to make us feel a certain way is also a function of what we need from our homes.

Every individual has different emotional needs and reacts to their environment in unique ways. Some of us need more time alone, some need time together, some of us get a lot of energy exercising, some of us write and some of us are artists. These emotional components must be given consideration in the home because they are important to how we sustain ourselves and grow as human beings.

Here are Kim’s top tips on how to zone your home:


  • Declutter your space. You need to actively make room for the new, especially when zoning a small space. Analyse what in your space is serving you and declutter items that do not serve multiple purposes.
  • Consider your layout. We have been conditioned to believe in a very traditionalist idea of a home, however focusing on what we need our space to do and what boundaries we need to work around in our spaces will lead to a more functional design.
  • Subdivide your workspace. It has been proven in the Pavlovian theory that different parts of our brains are triggered by different stimuli. Having multiple environments, with multiple stimuli, helps to keep your mind active and inspired as you work.
  • Make shared spaces flexible. The lounge is used as a social space, a relaxation space, and an exercise space. It is useful for items that can be moved around easily and that double as storage. Nesting tables, tuck away ottomans that double as storage, and modular furniture are great examples of multi-functional furniture.


  • Be mindful of the seasons. An outdoor area is a wonderful place for revival. When designing your garden, remember to pay attention to seasonality. Be mindful of how the sun flows into different spaces at different times of the year and you will create a space to enjoy all year round.
  • Bring plants into your home. Post- lockdown we are acutely aware that we need a connection to nature. There has been a resurgence in the 70’s trend of filling our houses with plants because bringing nature into our space has a soothing influence over our emotional state.
  • Get creative with how you disguise your necessities. Gardens need to store water, lock away tools, and give us space to hang our laundry. These solutions do not have to be aesthetically unpleasing and disguising them with laser cut metal screens can add an element of art to your space.
  • Embrace dark colours. Darker colours make garden walls recede and create an illusion of space. In a home Kim recently did, painting the wall black and adding plants vertically up the wall, draws your eye away from a nearby narrow path where the discrete space for a retractable line is.

Kim’s ability to understand design from a psychological and social perspective guides all that she does in her client’s spaces. Zoning that is mindful of function, behaviour, and emotion allows her to create spaces that are both perfectly tailored and timeless for her clients. By skillfully using zoning, we can all expand the satisfaction we get from our spaces, without having to expand our footprint.


Kim is an entrepreneur and well-respected local interior creative of the full-service Cape Town-based interior studio, Kim Williams, working across décor, design, and interior architecture.

Kim started renovating her own properties during her early twenties, with the aim of increase their resell value and making a good profit.

However, it was in Kim’s 40s that she truly found her life’s calling, after becoming ill and relocating back to Cape Town she decided to combine her years of business experience with her passion for beautiful buildings and interiors.

Kim’s first-hand experience of the importance of well-functioning, energising interiors became the cornerstone of her own blueprint called the Pure Design Innovation ID, which involves a process of extracting what people want and need from their interior spaces. Kim developed this Blueprint to guarantee a focus on the client – what they want – and matching this with their unique personal style. The practice can be applied to corporate environments, hospitality, residential homes, developments, businesses, or even a single room.

Kim has uniquely married this process successfully with her creative talents and practical skills, which includes the intelligent use of space, her unique design talent, and years of valuable experience.

Kim completed her certification for Interior Design and Styling with the JD London Institute of Design, wrote the NHBRC technical exam for building professionals, and is registered with the NHBRC. Kim holds several qualifications in business management, human behaviour, marketing, training, assessment, and communications to name a few.

Kim’s background also includes her working as a change management consultant and behaviour specialist in the corporate world for 21 years. During this time, she acquired valuable business skills and developed great insights into human behaviour, corporate work culture, and workspaces. She then went to open her own consulting business which she has successfully run for 12 years.

Kim has seen first-hand the value of experiencing an overall sense of well-being, of being your best self when in a well-designed space, which far offsets the cost. It translates into a return on investment not just in the quality of life and work, but into tangible value for the property, development, or business.

Kim’s clients enjoy her passion and love for quirky, fresh, and on-trend, yet classic interior design space solutions. Her easy, energetic, and sparkly personality helps create her client’s dream space that exceeds even their best imagination. Knowing this brings her real happiness.

Currently, Kim Williams’ portfolio adds up to millions of rands in retail value. She has worked across several building and construction projects, alongside developers and architects of more than 25 residential properties, 3 apartment blocks and more recently expanding into commercial projects. These projects include a variety of interior architecture, design, and finishing, as well as soft furnishing.

Read more about Kim Williams, follow her on social media @kimwilliamsdesign or go to www.kimwilliams.co.za and subscribe to her blog: My Yellow Room, or her monthly design insights newsletters.