The Wellness Revolution Podcast with Amber Shaw

TWR 100: How to Build Your Own Zen Space with James Stanley

In this episode, Amber’s guest is the first Architectural Designer to be on The Wellness Revolution podcast! James Stanley brings a unique perspective to his clients through his weaving of spirituality and Zen into his work. Amber’s discussion with James begins with his childhood and growing up in southern California watching his mother expand her business into an empire. As a child and an adolescent, James was fascinated by many different religions. As he entered his 20s, he helped his mother in her business but felt a longing for many years to connect to a higher power. He moved from California to Miami where he encountered a life-changing moment and began studying Egyptian Kabbalah.

With his degrees in Engineering, as well as Interior and Architectural Design, James left Miami and headed to New York City. He started his design career through an agency in 2000. After working for an event company for five years, James decided to open James Stanley Designs. He connected with his first client through a friend and designed his first project. James believes it was through this first client who let him express himself that led to him building his own business.

James and Amber continue to deep-dive into the meaning of Zen and how to find internal peace and happiness in life. They discuss how to hold on loosely to material things and be aware of that attachment in order to be content with your life’s path. Their conversation goes on to connect these principles to creating space in the home for a Zen room or space and how to do this in a practical and budget-friendly way. Amber goes on to discuss with James about meditation and how to connect it to creating a room conducive to that practice. They also delve into the difference between thoughts and meditation and how to grow in deciphering between the two. James and Amber’s personal experiences and backgrounds in meditation lead them to talk about some of the obstacles that can come up during the journey into meditation.

Tune in to hear more of James’ practical advice on how to create a Zen space that is based on your own unique style and tastes, from music and scents to colors and textures.

Key Highlights

  • James discusses his background and how it brought him to begin an architectural design company based on his childhood helping his mother in her business
  • Zen and what it means for your home
  • Not getting caught up in the distractions in life
  • Recognizing a thought for just a thought
  • Choosing to feel a certain way
  • Meditation and how it is a journey
  • Practical tips for creating a Zen space in your own home
  • Finding things you love as inspiration for your space
  • Specific budget-friendly ideas for items to design your space

Episode Resources:

Connect with James


Instagram: @jamesstanleyny

Connect with Amber

Instagram: @msambershaw

TikTok: @msambershaw