As someone who graduated with a chemistry degree, Stephany Eaton didn’t come at interior design from what most would consider the usual avenues. “It goes back to my childhood,” says the owner and principal of PureAlchemy Design. (Her German parents were both technically educated, her father an engineer and her mother in the architectural field but both with a strong artistic eye.) “For us, it went hand-in-hand. They always said something should be put together well to function, but it should also be beautiful to experience.” During her younger years in Europe, she was surrounded by Old World beauty combined with contemporary design, which influences her work to this day.
After working as a chemist, Eaton began expanding into interior design — and fell in love. Her client base grew, and she left her day job to fully pursue commercial and branded-space design, also earning a degree in sustainable design from Boston College. Her final research project was all about how design impacts human well-being, health and productivity.
It’s that marriage of science and art — the alchemy, if you will — instilled by her parents and reinforced by her training that today powers her interiors business, where she designs sustainable commercial spaces to reflect a company’s energy and to optimize employee efficiency.
Her love of science is evident as she harnesses the power of design to transform and energize environments. Her work is influenced by research on productivity, quality of life, light (fluorescents are a no-no), color (“In Minnesota, half the year is white, so color is important!”), sustainability (she’s a LEED Green Associate) and, of course, layout. “If you have intrigue in how you pass through an office, it enhances well-being and creativity,” she says. And doing it sustainably only makes good sense.
“I love bringing an ambiguous entity like a commercial environment to life for people to live in during their waking hours,” Eaton exclaims. “You see the change in the people who work there, which is the greatest reward for me. Bettering someone’s life by fostering an environment that feeds who they are is good for the human experience, which in turn promotes health and productivity for all of us. That’s a win-win scenario: for the ultimate good of employers, employees and also the human experience in life.”
For a decade now, she and her team have seen the clear results of translating wellness research into transformational environments where employees are actually excited to work. And the science behind it all drives the PureAlchemy mission to this day: to inspire authentic connection to brands, and the work companies do, through creative and dynamic spaces.