Your Natural Habitat.

I have never had a friend who wasn’t brilliant.

Seriously. Quirky, creative, amazing people are my passion. I find genius in everyone. And there’s nothing more rewarding to me than creating the circumstances for your genius to thrive.

Because there seems to be a myth that gifted people have something extra. That the stresses and strains of everyday drudgery don’t apply to you. Our culture assumes that genius erupts in a vacuum, oblivious to physical reality, surging forth like a comet.


When we speak of a person as ‘gifted,’ we think somehow that the universe gave your gift TO YOU. When, more accurately, that gift comes THROUGH you, to the rest of the world.

Often, this gift comes at great personal cost to its bearer. It may be a direct or indirect function of illness, isolation, poverty, pain and alienation. It is often accompanied by sensory sensitivities and non-neurotypical brain configurations which can render the physical world a torment.

More times than we can count, gifted people can be crushed by circumstances, and their genius is lost forever.

Not on my watch.

Stephanie Lee Jackson, Photo by Amber Johnston.

I came to sensory design via my own spiral path. For more than twenty years, I was a fine artist, spending 10,000 hours and more striving to create paintings which charged the space around them, to such a degree that they would evoke a transcendent experience in the viewer.

This was hubris. Paintings, mostly, don’t change lives. But along the way I learned a lot about color, texture, visual design, space, and something that you might call ‘energy.’

At the same time, I was building a massage therapy practice, specializing in pain relief. I came to understand the ways in which the human nervous system interacts with the environment, in positive and negative feedback loops.

Practical Sanctuary emerged when my art and healing practices converged.

In late 2012, clients began to commission design projects for their homes and offices.  My experience with color, composition, design and art installation allowed me to manifest their ideas for extraordinary spaces. My experience with healing through relaxation gave me a deep understanding of how your surroundings affect your nervous system. These projects inspired me to help others in the creation of healing environments. 

Creating a personal sanctuary is collaborative. In sensory design, we tailor your space to your unique needs, with an emphasis on creating spaces which provide the exact levels of soothing and stimulation to help you and your family function at your peak. I approach a design project by getting to know you and your family, your concerns, vision and goals before making a plan. We work with your existing resources as much as possible, only making major alterations when we have determined the elements which will make your heart sing.

Living creatively for most of adulthood gave me an understanding of what things are essential, what things don’t matter, and how to find joy in every moment, whatever your resources. It is my privilege to put my skills and insights at your disposal.

Stephanie Lee Jackson

Philadelphia, 2018