They say clothes make the man. For buildings, the decor is the cloth that gives the building its character, over and above its form.
I work in a space where I’ve consciously made an effort to decorate. To make my space more comfortable to spend time in, more visually pleasing – more mine. From time to time, I change this to suit the season, my current needs, interests, and even my mood. Why? I spend ten hours a day in this space. I need to feel that it is mine, and reflects who I am. It makes me happy and even gives a jolt to my creative output.
It’s true that the world is obsessed with personality. The whys of the things we do, and whether we can influence them to go our way. However, the nature versus nurture debate has never been conclusively answered. Therefore, parents will continue to surround their children with images of what they could become – what they would like them to be – whenever possible. A blue room for boys, and a pink room for girls… This is nurturing them – through decor – to make them ultra feminine, or ultra masculine, God forbid anything else… Stuffing a room full of toy soldiers and train sets, and girls’ rooms with tiny utensils is a common manifestation of this. Of course, this gender stereotyping – though persistent – does not always work. Some of the most celebrated chefs in the world are men. Let the children choose what facets of their personality they wish to emphasize.
Since space, no matter how little, is a reflection of ourselves, workers will continue to add “imprints of themselves” on their spaces. Whether in the form of posters, potted plants, stickers what in essence would be knickknacks. They add no material value to space, but they do add an emotional and mental well-being component to it. Employees who are allowed to modify their workspaces are happier at work.
A number of studies have shown that something as simple as color can affect productivity, appetite and even peace of mind. Restaurants and eateries, for the most part, are aware of this. Therefore, you will frequently find red in their decor, in an effort to rouse and sustain your appetite. Hospitals, on the other hand, avoid red. It is not a restful color to be around. In fact, they actively favor hospital gardens to help speed up the healing process, because it has been scientifically proven to work. Many hospitals around the world are actively investing in gardens, in order to help their patients recover.
Employers also know this. This is why companies such giant companies as Google, and Amazon go out of their way to create a comfortable working space for their employees. The benefit is two way. If the employees are happy being there, their productivity and creativity will increase greatly. Some scientists in Psychology today have attempted to quantify this, and the figures they are throwing out 20%, 50% increased output is nothing to sniff at. Decor matters greatly. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.