Connecting With Your Kids Through Design

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Believe it or not, you are not the only one to benefit from the Design From Within process.  I am living proof that even the smallest design changes within the home create a positive flow of energy for all those living there.  My 13 year-old has mentioned to me on several occasions how much he likes it when our house “looks nice”. (And by “looks nice” he means clean, decorative candles lit, and fresh sheets on the beds.)  But truthfully, he loves when the furniture in the family or living room is rearranged and he frequently surprises me by arranging his room differently.  I don't always agree with his, ah-hem, layout choices,  but that’s not the point.

Kids need an opportunity for creative expression in a safe place.  Allowing them to go through the process of discovering what feels good to them in their space is important.  I encourage you to let them select their paint color and if possible, furniture. Let them work on the arrangement of their room, and the textiles that go in it.  You can lend a soft guiding hand without being overbearing.  Try to avoid steering them in a certain design direction or style. Seriously, it’s just a can of paint,  don’t worry about what company will think, or that it doesn’t “flow with the rest of the space”.  Kids have so few opportunities to be creative and express themselves imaginatively any more.  Instead, set some parameters such as budget, or rules (like no TV in the room). Then give them the green light to create their dream room and watch their faces light up.  Plan a weekend where it’s all about their space.  Make it a special day.  

Have them tell you why they like the colors the pick, or why they decided to arrange the furniture the way they did.  Ask them how they would like to feel in their new room.  And make a point to really listen.  

Their answers might surprise you.  

And no matter what their age, from child to sullen teenager, there are benefits to letting kids have a sense of ownership in their space:  They keep it clean (ish).  Pride in their space is often reflected in better care of their room and possessions.  You setting the example goes a long, long way.

Want more mindful design inspiration? Sign up for the Mindful Home Challenge here.

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Monique Becker