Interior Decorating Information

Creating Positive Environments for Home and Office

From the office cubicle to the executive penthouse suite and from apartments to mansions, people are trying to carve out spaces to call their own. Outside, the world may be a stressful place but inside these spaces, people strive to create positive environments where they can live and work happily and peacefully. It may seem like a fairy tale to some. However, for others, it is a way to survive many of the negative effects of stressful living.

In the book, Future Shock, Alvin Toffler prophesized that the speed at which technology would develop and be introduced would in the end overwhelm many people. He foretold a future where human's inability to keep up would cause stress and depression. Here we are over twenty years later and his words have come to pass. Even greeting card companies study the trends and in Karen Moore's book, You Can Write Creating Cards she cites these trends forecasted by lifestyle trend researchers that people would:

-make their homes more comfortable places in order to avoid the outside world.

-buy affordable little luxuries for themselves or for their homes.

-seek broader awareness of spiritual things.

-desire to be seen as unique and special.

-feel somewhat overwhelmed by responsibilities.

-like alternative medicines and holistic health.

-question belief systems of previous generations.

-be genuinely interested in caring for the environment.

So, how would one describe a positive place? Appealing? Attractive? Humans are complex beings, even if they cannot keep up with nanotechnology and super computers. For an environment to feel positive or attractive, it needs to be appealing to the senses, particularly - sight, sound, smell, or touch. The more senses that are stimulated simultaneously, the more appealing, attractive, and positive the situation is perceived. Any thing that detracts from that perception is usually judged as negative, instead.

Although some architects, space planners, interior designers, and Feng Shui consultants have been addressing the issue of creating positive environments over the past years, most of the general public is just beginning to investigate the possibilities. Ways to turn up the 'positivity' of a space, that appeal to one or more senses at time, might include:

-a fountain made of various materials.(sight-sound-touch)

-a contemporary, mixed media painting or sculpture.

(sight-touch-smell, if oil paints are used)

-chimes or bells.(sight, sound, touch)

-incense, potpourri, and aromatherapy.(smell, sight,touch)


-Plants and flowers. (sight, touch, smell)

Situations perceived by the brain as positive gives people a sense of well-being and happiness. When in this state, sometimes called euphoria, the domino effect occurs.

-People become open to more positive stimuli.

-Concentration and performance improves.

-Self-confidence and self-assurance soars.

-Creativity blossoms.

-Handling stress becomes easier.

In today's environment, more and more people will be searching for ways to reduce stress. By creating positive environments, they will be able to do that no matter where they live or work. In doing so, how they live and work will be better, too.

Copyright 2005 Kathy Iwanowski. All Rights Reserved.

Kathy Iwanowski, a former cancer nurse and manager, creates art, speaks, and writes about creative living and work. Her articles, editorials, and reviews on art, business, creativity, and nursing subjects have been published in newsletters, ezines, and books in the United States.

To arrange for Kathy as a speaker for your next event or to find out more about her work, visit her website at

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