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The impact of interior design and childhood development

A couple years ago, I was a part of a group mentoring program. The instructor told us to identify what either "lights you up" or "pisses you off" to define your place in the interior design industry.

The interior design industry is saturated. Everyone is a "designer". For people like me, who actually hear objects in the room, or sense a composition, color, or pattern within seconds of being in the space, it can get a little annoying. But piss me off? Eh, I try to stay in my own lane.

It took me a few times hearing this statement from potential clients, but it finally hit me.

My biggest pet peeve is when people say "I can't have a nice house because I have kids."


I feel so badly for the kids. To have a parent discount the health benefits that a beautiful home has on a human being, on a human being in their care no less, is heartbreaking. These kids don't have the capacity or knowledge to know how to create a healthy environment. Just like it is up to the parents to feed and clothe, it is also up to them to create an environment that supports their children's mental development.

Childhood development is directly linked to their environment. Alexandros Lavdas, a Tenured Senior Researcher. Neuroscience, Neuroaesthetics, Imaging, says that "Engagement with beauty positively correlates to agreeableness, extraversion, and openness." Environmental Psychology, as it's called, is the interplay between the person and their environment. Why does this matter? Because as humans, we crave places that fit our need for pleasure. We desire beauty to feel comfort, belonging, and connection. The feeling of beauty regulates our nervous system which effects the way we learn, the way we heal, how we digest, just to name a few.

We inherently recognize the aesthetic qualities of our habitat, and that sensory data leads to either good or bad hormones to be released within our bodies. It is of incredible importance that during this time of development, children are presented a place for growth, rather than feeling like they're in survival mode because of chaos, mess, and here I'll say it, low standards.

Low standards on the outside will absolutely translate to low standards on the inside. Believe me, I've met these kids and don't enjoy their company, and I don't let my daughters spend too much time with them either.

I've also met kids that have a "nice house" as my daughters say. They're respectful, they look you in the eye when they speak to you in full sentences, and they have a generally pleasant disposition. High standards.

At Elan Design, I'm hired to design spaces for families often. It is an absolute requirement that we meet at least once with all of the members of the household. We listen to the kids and let them know that they have a say in what they want their house to look like and feel like.

This is what creates a "happy home". The kids have an affiliation with the whole house, not just their rooms. They know where things go, they have the systems down, and are happy to participate in the rhythms of the house. Why? Because they can! They have been included in the ownership, and they have a sense of pride and belonging in their home. And that benefits the parents a well.

Code Words & Systems

Here's an example. Use this in your house. I can say to my daughters every night after dinner, "please get me to a resting table." They know that they need to work together (bonus points) to :

1 - clear the table from dishes, glasses, silverware

2 - wipe down the placemats

3 - wipe down the table

4 - put the fruit bowl / flowers / candles back to the center of the table

5 - compose the pillows on the banquette.

All I have to say is "resting table" and they know what that means.

If you find that your kids room is completely different from the rest of your house, I will bet that there is a disconnect in your relationship. They can have their personality, their preferences, their sentimental objects in their space and it doesn't have to feel disassociated with the rest of the house.

"The physical form translates to the energetic form every time." - Eryn Oruncak

I know that parents can say up and down, a million times a day how much they love their children, how valued they are, how important they are. When those words are backed by actions, even the smallest thing like getting a fancy lamp with a dimmer for their nightstand so there's a soft light in the early morning. This act of creating a pleasant, and safe, and comforting - we call it luxurious - space for kids and the parents makes every difference in living in a "happy home" or not. It also makes a difference in your relationship. 100%

Ready to set up a family meeting? Our Room Reading is a great way to identify the energy that everyone in the house may feel, and advise on adjustments you can make to make it the way you want to feel. If you're planning on starting from scratch or are beginning the process of building a new home, we’re pleased to to join you on a call to talk about how we can help you create the happy home you and your family have always wanted. Click here to get in touch with us.

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