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Align Design, LLC Community Spotlight by Amanda Merritt


f you took one step into Shawn Merkel’s house, you would immediately know that she has a knack for something special, an eye for design and a way to make an ordinary residential or commercial space become extraordinary. Merkel, owner of Align Design, LLC, has thrived on creativity her entire life and, for the past four years, has put that passion to use in Interior Design upon receiving her Bachelors of Fine Arts from Kendall College of Art and Design. She initially pursued this path directly out of high school, but stepped away to raise her family who eventually inspired her to once again follow her dreams and put her most prominent skills to work in a field that she absolutely loves. Inspired by the transformation she sees in the lives of her clients, Merkel said, “I want their spaces to nurture them and create a better life for them. Your environment changes you.” Environments can have such an indirect impact on a person, and Merkel strives to make that impact as positive as possible. “It is important to have a functioning, supportive environment to live and work in. It enhances your income level, your happiness, your health, etc. People need to realize that,” said Merkel. The approach to interior design taken by Merkel encompasses all aspects from space planning issues, such as things that might be involved in a new build or renovation, like moving walls, etc. to Feng Shui. Feng Shui is the Chinese art of placement which is a calculated assessment of the most favorable conditions for any venture and used to correct the flow of energy in the home and workspace, by working with the five elements. With this in mind, Merkel incorporates an intuitive technique that helps her design a space to allow that health and happiness to flourish. Sensitive to her clients’ needs, Merkel forms a relationship with each of them and works closely with them so that she can feel them in their space and truly envision the space for them. “I’m selling what I know how to do, and hopefully saving my clients money in the process. I love interacting with my clients and getting to know them well enough so I can get them into a space that they love,” said Merkel.

Designing is not just about decorating. It is much more than that, spilling over even into the functionality of a space. Merkel hosts an educational background to design just about anything and she is happy and eager to help her clients in any way that she can. She pointed out that sometimes hiring a designer can even save a client money because of the access to various resources they have. As all of the steps in her life aligned, Merkel found herself deeply involved in her passion for design and helping her clients with their projects, which is where her business derives its name, Align Design. Her passion continues to grow, as she takes on the challenge of learning as much as possible. Merkel noted that in this field, “The more you learn, the less you know,” and she uses this as inspiration to carry on and push herself to learn what she can to serve her clients’ needs in the best way possible. With the help of Align Design, your environment will change for the better and impact a lot of different levels in your life that you may not even be aware of right now, you’ll most likely get your hands on some more resources that you wouldn’t even know about if you hadn’t hired a designer and you’ll probably enjoy your project much more by allowing someone else to take charge of it. Consider how Align Design can help you with your next project. For more information or questions about Align Design, LLC, call 616-916-1071 or visit www.AlignDesignGR. com. See ad page 20 & 44. Amanda Merritt is a recent graduate of Cornerstone University with a degree in Communication Arts and Journalism/Public Relations. You can contact her at

natural awakenings

June 2013


Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ June 2013  

Natural Awakenings Magazine is West Michigan's premiere natural health, holistic living, green magazine focusing on conscious living and sus...

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