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Phoenix Designer Nicholas Cappele

Author: Shawndrea Corbin
Issue: November, 2012, Page 40
Photos by Garrett Cook

Designer Nicholas Cappele meditates at one of his altar tables.

New Hori-zen

Designer nicholas cappele’s focus on energy and balance transcends into all aspects of his growing Business

I start each day by focusing on my motivation and my intent, no matter how busy I am,” says Phoenix designer Nicholas Cappele. “And I end each day with gratitude.” Fondly known among friends and clients as “Zen Boy,” Cappele has been in the interior design business for more than 30 years. A “military brat” upbringing rendered him a seasoned traveler with a worldly perspective and respect for diverse cultures at a young age, he says.

His interior design company, H2E, which he formed in 1985, stands for “heaven to earth.” According to Cappele, the logo was derived from a Japanese family crest book he found in SoHo, New York, the symbols from which he repositioned to resemble heaven embracing earth. Recently,
Cappele wrote his first book, Altared Space: Harnessing Healing Energy Using Feng Shui Principles, and created a Chakra Line of essential oil products, as well as a line of furniture.

Cappele explains that he had to search for quite a while to find a local artisan who could bring his furniture designs to life. The line includes personal altars and meditation chairs. He says that remaining local is one of the biggest goals of his growing business. “I want to put Phoenix on the map. If I take my business national, or even global, I want to keep it centered here,” he remarks.

Cappele is known for incorporating traditional feng shui principles—some of which date back more than 3,000 years—into his designs for both residential and commercial settings. For instance, he says that by including plants and nature-related pieces in a room, he creates biophilia. He explains the concept of biophilia as the “primal” state people enter when they are exposed to nature. In this primal state they are more comfortable and relaxed because they feel connected to nature on a subconscious level.

According to Cappele, the majority of his clients are lawyers, doctors or engineers, whom he refers to as linear thinkers. “They pay me for my conceptual thinking,” he says. “Everyone has a need for peace, and I’m able to help do that using feng shui principles.” 

The designer says that he began incorporating feng shui into his work silently at first. Being more vocal about it was something that just evolved, he remarks. “I just try to create space for energy.”

Photos - From left: According to Cappele, this steel meditation chair is designed to keep the spine erect for proper energy flow during meditation. All of H2E’s furniture is made in Arizona. • This low altar table by H2E has a top of Madagascar ebony wood. Cappele’s Chakra series of soy candles is centered on the altar in a linear formation.

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