'My Happy Place' is a weekly Press series in which local notables take us on a tour of a favorite spot in their home. 

LINWOOD — Alexandra “Allie” Nunzi finds serenity and happiness in her open great room and meditation garden.

Nunzi is the co-founder and executive director of Grace and Glory Yoga and the Leadership Studio in Atlantic City.

She moved back to the Atlantic County area seven years ago from Washington, D.C. She noticed there wasn’t a community for those interested in yoga and meditation in the area. Nunzi saw this as an opportunity to build something that could have an impact and be beneficial for the community.

The earliest form of documentation on the house goes as far back as 1823 and is roughly 200 years old. Nunzi and her husband, Ray, have not made any major reconstruction on their home; however, they did make minor construction changes to improve the structural integrity.

She has lived in her Linwood home with her husband and 18-month-old daughter, Josephine, for about two and a half years.

Nunzi’s great room is surrounded by windows to let in natural light, and it has a great view of her backyard and a glimpse of her meditation garden. She describes the great room as being “minimalistic” but has all the necessities they could really need.

“We love that there are so many windows,” Nunzi said. “We can see the different changes in the weather, like when it rains, snows or is sunny out.”

The outdoor meditation garden was a project among their neighbors prior to their arrival, and they adopted it once they moved in. The garden sits near a bike path and an intersection between the Nunzi family’s backyard and their neighbors’. The residents have the option of sitting on a stone or bench in the garden to meditate.

Nunzi and her husband have worked on many humanitarian projects with the children in Nairobi, Kenya. The mantle above their fireplace holds many souvenirs, pictures and memorabilia from their trips. Some of their pictures include the children they worked with as well as pictures of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Some of Ray Nunzi’s hobbies include woodwork, art and photography. Their family is into hiking and camping, along with their artistic hobbies.

The Leadership Studio is a partnered project with the Orange Loop to give the Atlantic City community a place to practice yoga and mentor high school students to expand their environmental and educational limits. Nunzi plans to further expand Grace and Glory Yoga in the future and continue her projects with The Leadership Studio.

“Our great room is our favorite place because our life happens here,” Nunzi said. “We consistently have guests over, and this is where our daughter plays. We spend most of our time in this room.”

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