The space in which children grow, play, learn and develop is essential to their wellbeing. Children, therefore, need a secure, creative space in their home, at school or elsewhere for them to find inspiration and reach their potential. The environment around us plays a significant role in shaping our moods, productivity levels, personal growth and mental wellbeing. As adults, we have more control over the ability of our external surroundings to manipulate our feelings. Children, on the other hand, are less inclined to make a conscious decision that goes against the forces of their environment. It is, therefore, our responsibility to ensure that all children at all times, find themselves in compelling, inspirational and safe environments.
There are a number of design strategies and techniques that can help to stimulate the brain, evoke emotion and promote inquisitive thinking for children. To enable this, the most basic and preliminary tools- colour and light, have the capacity to create a sense of harmony, invite magic and surprise and encourage sensory stimulation. It is within such a room, we can anticipate the highest levels of inspiration and growth.
Colour and Light
Colour has the power to inspire, soothe, heal, excite and relax us. Children are especially sensitive to the power of colour. Much scientific research has been attributed to the way colour influences our mental and physical wellbeing and the psychology of colour has become a necessary component of interior design for children.
Red- at first instance is very bold. It grabs attention and draws focus to the subject matter. Simultaneously, it evokes excitement and stimulates alertness. The colour red has been found to encourage creativity. When combined with other inspiring design strategies, red works well to get children’s imagination going and their brains ticking more attentively.
Blue- a colour we often see in places such as hospitals and office buildings. It welcomes calmness, peace, serenity as well as security. For children to prosper and grow in any environment, the underlying theme of the space must be safety.
Yellow- the colour of optimism! And children certainly have everything to be optimistic about. Extrapolate positive feelings and improve confidence in children with the strategic use of the colour yellow. When children feel capable, confident and positive, they are automatically inspired and ready to get creative.
Green- a clear symbol of nature and the natural world. For children, green represents balance, growth and tranquillity. It has also been found to relieve stress and evoke a sense of healing. Whilst reds, oranges and yellows all have the capacity topo excite and promote creativity, green hails the calmness needed to think rationally and deliberately. Structure, of course, cannot go forsaken in the daily lives of children.
Implementing colour strategically
Interior design in the educational context, using colour in the interior design of a children’s space should be done with care. Bright and bold colours should be used sparingly or with a neutral background to avoid drawing too much attention to the wrong thing. When the eye is attracted to too many things at once, it can risk the full appreciation of one thing being undermined.
The use of colour in a building or even a room can be done strategically so as to manipulate different emotions in different areas of the room. For example, providing a comfortable and quiet place for children in a busy room, for reflection and thought can be imperative to the child materialising their inspiration.
By using calming and soothing shades of blues, greens and yellow, decorative walls and ceilings and a smaller door through which only children can pass, children are likely to trust this environment, be themselves and explore deeper thought.
Lighting plays a central role in the interior design of any room for all who exist within it. For children, often a room will be multifunctional- as opposed to only an office working space or solely a place for fun- and so adaptable and multifunctional lighting is key.
Yes, artificial and ambient lighting can inspire and stimulate children by evoking a sense of magic, surprise and harmony- but the importance of natural lighting should not be overlooked. Exposure to natural sunlight helps to improve overall health by promoting healthy physical growth.
Access to direct sunlight encourages better academic performance and better behaviour in children. Just as with adults, symptoms of depression are alleviated with natural light. Increase exposure to sunlight by installing skylights to encourage better moods. When children are happy, productive and healthy, they are more likely to be inspiring and inspired.