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We all know about positive environments. We know they help us learn and make us more productive. We’ve been told time and time again that bringing our children up in a positive environment is vital for their well-being – it will encourage them, make them happy, and mould them into rounded human beings. We’re told of the horrors of the much dreaded negative environment and how that can have a disastrous impact on our future. We know this, we really do, the only problem is, we don’t know how to actually create these positive environments.
How do you design positivity? Is a positive environment one where you get everything you want? Is it green or pink? Should a positive environment be upstairs or downstairs? Should we use specific textures or light the environment in a certain way or has this environment got less to do with how it looks and more to do with how it feels?
When you were looking for schools for your kids, weren’t you aware of the environment? Didn’t you smile from ear to ear in some rooms and rapidly back out of others? Wasn’t it the same when you were looking for your home? Did you instantly feel ‘at home’ in some houses and strangely lonely or uncomfortable in other buildings? We instinctively know which environments work for us. We can become giddy and excited by them or simply have a feeling of being at one with ourselves. This is the positive environment we want for ourselves and for our children and it is possible to design such a place purposefully.
It requires a system – just as any building requires a blueprint, so does creating a positive environment. As with architecture, a positive environment requires foundations, though rather than spending weeks in the mud and the rain digging holes and laying concrete, these foundations require time thinking about your values, your taste and your future.
Three foundations are required – the art of personal styling, the science of family thinking and the discipline of house rules. Build your home on these three foundations and you will create an environment that is pleasing on the eye, it will reflect who you are today and who you want to grow into becoming. Your home will be designed around family dynamics, an appreciation of how the others in your family think and how you can harness this to make your home-life a little smoother. And the discipline of house rules will ensure that the positive environment is maintained. It remains healthy in the long-term not simply feeling good for the weekend but returning to chaos by Wednesday afternoon.
This process starts with some questions. Give these some thought.
1. What does home mean to me? What do I want it to mean to my family?
2. What do I want my home to say about me? What are my 3 top personality traits?
3. Do I have enough time to take care of my environment? What can I stop doing in order that I can find time?
Your own answers and intuition will give you direction.
Niki Schafer is an interior designer and an NLP coach, she has built a small school for young children to learn in and designed several family homes in which they grow. She is also a parent and has spent her design career discovering how to create a happy home – a positive environment. ‘Creating Space’ (available on Amazon) by Niki Schafer is a step-by-step guide to designing a calm, sane and outrageously gorgeous home and family-life. It explains the Dwell-Being (TM) system and will show you how to create a positive environment for you and your family.