CANNOT FIND A PLACE TO SIT DOWN AND RELAX IN THE HOUSE?

ROUND AND ROUND WE GO

intelligent_traffic_flow_plan_I.jpg

http://www.designbasics.com/articles/intelligent-trafiic-flow.asp

We all know of houses or have even experienced it in some of our own homes, where it seems impossible to find a place where we can sit down and relax. Somehow the living room feels too cold, too disjointed, there is no corner to fit furniture to create a cozy space, there seem to be circulation paths all across the room.

 To learn more about circulation paths regarding interior design check out Nita Hull’s website: 

http://www.designbasics.com/articles/intelligent-trafiic-flow.asp

Or check out this definition from an architectural point of view at:

http://portico.space/journal//architectural-concepts-circulation

There may be too many doors and windows, few if any solid walls to rest furniture against, too strong and/or artificial lighting,  too hard of a sofa, no side tables to rest a coffee cup, no coffee table to lay books and magazines on, harsh surfaces, cold materials and the list goes on.

 Make no mistake the house interior may even actually look beautiful and stylish, the color coordination may be perfect yet there is no coherence, no harmonious sequence, no functionality, no special atmosphere, no sense of comfort, peace and relaxation.

 Everything seems as if it was put there without much thought for those living in that house, it could be a furniture show room, a home exhibition for that matter. It feels too formal, impersonal, unfriendly, dysfunctional, cold and indifferent. It feels as if the room is to be used for special occasions only but not to be lived in and enjoyed in every day life. It feels artificial, fake, unreal, a show case instead of a real cosy abode.

 The end result is that the room remains uninhabited for the most part, the users of the house finding refuge in the kitchen, the study or the bedroom instead. Sometimes it is the clutter that prevents the possibility of experiencing relaxation, too many unrelated pieces of furniture, disharmony or a dysfunctional layout.

MEET THE ENEMIES OF RELAXATION IN YOUR HOME

 The number 1 enemy of a cohesive and harmonious design that could promote a feeling of relaxation is the existence of too many circulation paths cutting across the room, preventing the possibility of creating a focal and functional seating area. Most homes have at least one corner space or central area that is unaffected by circulation paths which can constitute a whole and complete functional unit on its own, but some homes have none and that can be a problem.

 For example if a living room can have at least two comfortable seating pieces of furniture, be that a couch and an armchair with a third one to connect them, be that a coffee or side table and away from a direct circulation path, chances are that that seating arrangement would be able to act as a focal seating area that could be functional and lend to a feeling of relaxation.

 If the circulation paths are found around the seating area instead of cutting through it, or if there are at least secondary circulation paths available even if there still is a central one cutting through the seating arrangement, the negative and disrupting effect will be lessened and more manageable.

 Most people prefer to sit either in corner areas, or the deeper side of the room away from doors and openings to other rooms or in the centre of a room and away from circulation paths in order to relax. Having no other alternative but an awkward layout without supportive features, renders the feat quite difficult.

 Too many criss cross circulation paths from doors to windows to other room openings, make it hard to place furniture in a way that will allow a quiet and separate functional unit in the living space, which is what most people need in order to be able to shut down or reduce the ‘volume’ of alertness and mental or emotional arousal.

 Rooms with such characteristics make the inhabitants feel restless and on the move. Such rooms are good for short term activities but not for those where someone needs to be able to sit down, focus and concentrate in comfort and peace. Running around the space being unable to find a quiet, comfortable place to sit, drives a person to move to another room where they have more chances of being able to rest their mind and nervous system.

 This fact gets accentuated in households of many people. Sitting in an armchair in the middle of a room with criss cross circulation paths, will make it more likely that the person who may lets say want to read a book will be interrupted by members of the household passing by, in front of, the back or side of the person sitting in that armchair. End result, the person will most likely be unable to continue reading or enjoying doing so.

 If on the other hand that armchair was sitting in a corner of the room with its back against a wall and the circulation path passed at least 10 feet away and in front of the armchair, the person reading in it would be less likely to feel distracted, disturbed or annoyed by someone walking through that circulation path.

 On the other hand these facts may not be of much importance if a person lives alone in the house or even with one other person in a large enough house. The likelihood of one’s activity being interrupted by the other person walking by is much less, especially the larger the space. The smaller the space the more we get back to the scenario of the household with many family members and to the lack of available ‘private’ and quiet space.

ENEMY NO 2

Relaxation enemy No 2 are hard surfaces and materials which may render seating uncomfortable. People spend less time on hard uncomfortable sofas than softer comfy ones, making the fact pretty self evident. Additionally cold and hard surfaces are less attractive than softer or warmer ones, especially in colder climates. A marble or tile floor may feel pleasant to walk on barefoot in hot climates but would feel morbidly cold in a cold climate without floor heating where a wooden floor of carpet would feel more pleasant.

 There is very little if any research available for the psychological effects of design parameters in home environments, even though there are quite a few regarding health and work environments such as hospitals and offices. The ancient Chinese Art of Placement, otherwise known as Feng Shui though, uses very specific concepts to create harmonious environments conducive to well-being. Unfortunately these are stated in simple rules without much explanation - if at all - other than the general classification of specific items creating positive or negative Qi, which means energy.

WHAT FENG SHUI HAS TO SAY

 In that light in Feng Shui, sharp objects or forms such as pointed or angular ones are believed to create Sha Qi which means ‘Killing energy’ and as such are to be avoided as they are considered ‘inauspicious’. Personally even though I have extensively studied Feng Shui in the past and used it eclectically in my practice, I do not believe in its metaphysical aspect. I do however believe in the common sense psychological aspect of it which even though never mentioned or explained in Feng Shui is what I humbly believe to be the real and considerable value of it.

 In other words, Feng Shui concepts of auspicious or inauspicious energies and how these are created and influence the individual, can be traced back to our reptilian brain and our ancient fight or flight mechanism and instinct of survival. For example, if you sleep under a huge overhead wooden beam –something which is a big no-no in Feng Shui – it makes sense that a part of your subconscious mind will have taken a mental note of the feature and evaluated it as potentially dangerous or not. What matters is not the actual real or imaginary threat but how it may have been perceived and registered by your subconscious mind. If for example you have registered the large wooden beam as potentially threatening because of living in a highly seismogenic area for example, the quality of your sleep could be potentially affected.

 This is where the snowball effect of Feng Shui concepts begins to make sense. If the quality of your sleep is indeed affected to whatever degree, it is logical to presume that your daily activities and general health and well-being could be affected in one way or another to a greater or lesser degree. Your mood and/or concentration may suffer which will have repercussions in your family and work life. The way you show up to the outside world will be less than par and the way the outside world reacts to you will be less positive than if you were to function at your very best. See where this is going?

 Even though this is a very simplistic example for the purpose of illustration, if we are to consider all the different aspects of our home design and how these may or may not affect us positively or negatively and to what extent, it is easy to realize that the quality of our home environment has a direct and causative effect on our well-being. This in turn influences how we feel physically as well as mentally and emotionally and dictates how we show up to the world. How we show up to the world influences how people perceive us and dictates how they will in turn react to us and the snow ball effect gets activated. Just imagine going for a job interview having slept badly, stumbled upon a cluttered hall way and having had an argument with your wife because of your bad mood. How likely would you be to be able to show your best?

 The less well we feel, the less positive energy we input into the external world. The more negative energy we input out there the more negative energy we shall get back in return, which in turn will make us feel even worse and so on and so forth. So in that sense the importance of design elements affecting us in a positive or negative manner could be indeed argued to be ‘auspicious or inauspicious’ in our life in general due to the end result they have the potential to generate.

 All that the so called Feng Shui ‘cures’ do to ‘combat negative energy’ is to put the mind of the individual at rest that whatever negative energy may be produced by a negative or inauspicious feature ‘has been taken care of’ so that their subconscious as well as conscious mind can relax and not be preoccupied by it at any level. Furthermore, it helps create a positive mental attitude by instilling the belief that ‘things will be all right’ and/or ‘corrected’, thus putting the individual into a positive state of mind which will then in turn reflect into the outside world which will too react in a positive manner towards the person, thus creating a positive snow ball effect.

 As with everything, the stronger the belief of the individual in the ‘power’ of Feng Shui, the better the results. The more convincing the Feng Shui Master, the stronger the effect will be. In itself that is not necessarily a bad thing or to be considered as a mumbo jumbo scam for naïve westerners. Underneath it all it is based on sound psychological concepts which rule the subconscious mind and influence self-programming as well as design concepts that promote balance and harmony in our environment which may prove to be very beneficial for the individual.  Furthermore the desired balance between the Feng Shui ‘five elements’ from an interior design point of view brings our attention to the importance of maintaining a harmonious balance between colors, shapes and materials.

 My personal objection comes from my scientific background which cannot accept things at face value without being studied and explained for. A knowledge that can be used by the individual themselves with positive self-programming, self-awareness and attention to how one’s environment may affect the person positively or negatively, is indeed something very powerful and valuable. As such I find that the way traditional Feng Shui is ‘served’ to the Western world instead of being of service does a disservice because it keeps the individual hostage to a Feng Shui practitioner or rigid Feng Shui rules which at face value are not always intuitively clear, without allowing for self-empowerment and further development.

 It keeps the person in a static and disempowered state, one where they believe that manipulation of external design factors alone can influence their life and/or well-being one way or the other. Instead, it could be the case where the individual armed with this knowledge could actively change and influence their own state of mind and well-being by making sure their living environment is designed in such a harmonious and functional way so as to create the most positive and beneficial influence.

 Having said that, really good and experienced Feng Shui Masters may be able to convey to their clients notions of balance and harmony that they may need in their lives in order to achieve a state of well-being, calm and confidence that will allow them to feel and be their best and show up to the world in their best possible self.

WHAT YOU CAN INFLUENCE AND CONTROL

We may be unable to control our wider environment, physical, social, work, political, financial and so on, but we can certainly ensure that our home environment is the most optimum there is for us and fulfills our wants and needs. Our home is our holy sanctuary as our body is the home of our soul. It pays to pay attention to and care for it, for it to care for us in return and support our well-being and goals. A house is not a home, a home is made by careful consideration of all the design elements and not only that turn that house into the ideal home for us and our family. A space in which we feel not only safe and secure, but where we can function optimally, feel good, relax and restore our energy, engage in the activities that give us pleasure and make us happy, share it with those we love and care for. Of course a home is much more than that, it is the quality of the relationships between the family members, the state of mind of the individuals and how they use their home to create and maintain a harmonious household that fulfills their needs.

 The way the design elements of a space work together cohesively and harmoniously to create an environment that will satisfy our functional, aesthetic and emotional needs is what makes it successful or not. Many factors play an important role in this, from the basic bones of the house and how good and functional of a layout it has or not, to the quality of the materials, the inherent or not sense of aesthetics and harmony the owner/inhabitant has or not, to the possibility of finding satisfactory design solutions to rectify or improve existing problems or not, to the specific design professional’s abilities to create something that will be in tune with the owner’s wants and needs and much more.

ENEMY NO 3

 But I digress here and we need to talk about enemy No 3 which is Clutter. Clutter is an important enemy of relaxation the reason being that it does not allow the mind to rest fully because it overstimulates the mind which is trying to make sense of it visually. Furthermore it constitutes a constant distraction and reminder that it has to be dealt with at some point, something which of its own is a source of stress as it is usually perceived as a chore by most people. Having storage space to put or hide away items that may be cluttering a room, render it automatically invisible and lessens the level of stress significantly – yet not totally because the mind knows the truth - by diminishing and even eradicating visual clutter.

 Random objects scattered around a space, related or unrelated, constitute visual clutter and act as a distraction for the mind. If you feel like digging into science check this research article out: http://jov.arvojournals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2193442 It talks about the role of the ‘crowding effect’ in the perception of clutter and how changing the density or layout of the objects that constitute the clutter, changes the actual perception of it.

 “Based on the operational definition of clutter, we can identify two factors that appear to play an important role in clutter: information density and information layout. This implies that there are also two ways to deal with clutter, viz., reducing the information density and changing the layout.”

 In plain English this may explain the obvious common sense notion that it is all the more important to keep small spaces clutter free, as the density of clutter is much more visible and impactful. Another implication is that if the clutter items are concentrated in one corner or area of the room they will have less of an impact than if they were scattered all around the room.

 Yet apart from the well-known negative effect clutter has on our sense of peace and well-being, it seems that clutter can be more tricky than we think. Another interesting study: http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.0040056  shows how cluttered environments may be more conducive to errors of judgment:

“These results have practical implications for perceptual decisions in everyday life in that they predict an increase in high-confidence errors when decisions are made in cluttered environments.”

 So, if you keep forgetting things, not finding your keys, picking up the wrong bills to pay or bag to do your grocery shopping, you may need to consider the possible role clutter and disorganization may play in your home. Am only half joking here, as indeed a considerable amount of clutter paired with a poor and dysfunctional layout in your space may steal away both of your well-being  as well as of your productivity and efficiency and that holds true not just for the home but also for the work environment.

 TO SUM IT ALL UP WITH A FEW PIECES OF ADVICE

 ·       Examine the circulation paths of your home and try to work around them or improve the situation by eliminating some of them by closing a door that may not be needed or changing the layout of the furniture in the room. The aim is to create seating areas that can act as focal points, individual units so to speak which will not be disturbed or affected by people using the circulation paths in that space. Also in order to avoid uncomfortable sensations and/or distractions of attention of the individual who wants to sit down and relax, do not sit for example with your back at the door or next to an opened door in your back or your side.

·       Ensure that the seating furniture is comfortable for you, the materials pleasant and that the arrangement is such that it can accommodate your needs. Be that being able to have a cup of coffee close by, books and magazines, ipad or notebook, a stool to rest your feet, a throw to cover yourself if you feel chilly, cushions to accommodate your back etc.

·       Eliminate clutter to a maximum before engaging in any kind of work or activity that needs focus and concentration or if you just want to sit down and relax. If you do not have the time to sort it all out, ensure that you have available storage space where you can put it away, even if temporarily. Ideally, you might want to consider to keep your environment clutter free by reducing the number of items you bring in and keep into your household, and even more importantly to adopt a consistent habit of keeping your things organized. That means putting back right away things you take out of a cupboard or a drawer, have a place for everything and put everything in its place.

·       Visual clutter may also be created by busy decorative themes, strong and bright colors, too much furniture, decorative objects, paintings, too much of anything. Ensure that you create a design theme that is balanced and harmonious for you, that soothes your senses without dulling them and offers you a sense of well-being. The right balance between openness and cosiness, lightness and darkness, simplicity and complexity, warmth and coolness is different for everybody. Find the right one for you.

·       It may be helpful when creating the ideal environment for you and/or your family to write down and keep into consideration what your wants and needs are and what are your main goals. Establish how you want to use your space, for what activities and purpose. Be specific and include the element of time in the equation, that is at what times each of you will be more likely to want to engage in which activity and in which area of the house. Consider possible clashes or busy times or areas and try and find solutions that will accommodate everyone’s needs as best as possible. Everything is figureoutable as Marie Forleo says!

On that positive note am going to leave you for today with food for thought, wishing you all the very best! Do not hesitate to contact me for help and advice.

You can either call me at 1-778.584.2050 or email me at: info@innerdreamtoouterform.com

Alternatively you can leave your comment below!

Cheers,

Emmanuelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DESIGN FOR CALM, FOCUS AND ENJOYMENT

In order to design a calm enjoyable environment where one can focus and be creative, certain things like avoiding using very bright energizing colors may seem obvious. The truth however is far more complex and relative than we may think. Even though there are certain research findings which seem to help us by offering certain guidelines to create environments conducive to relaxation and concentration, the truth is highly subjective and relative.

For example, we know that that the color yellow is mind stimulating and thus would not be the ideal color for a bedroom or for the home of a hyperactive person. We also know that blue is calming and lowers the blood pressure. So what could be the ideal color for a study?

Sense of Self and Self esteem

Sense of Self and Self esteem

Sense of Self and Self Esteem are often used interchangeably yet are not exactly the same thing and one does not ensure or insinuate the other. You may have a strong sense of self but if it is not a positive and/or healthy one it does not necessarily guarantee a good sense of self-esteem. Knowing who you are and what you want may not necessarily mean you value yourself or believe you deserve to be, do or have what you could be, do or have. What dictates your belief about yourself and what you deserve or not in this world, is what shapes, maintains, grows or destroys your sense of self-esteem.

Redesigning your life and space

Very few things are black and white in life apart from the very moment we enter and exit this world. What happens before, in between and after are all open to possibility and/or the unknown. Personally, even though I may have some curiosity as to the before and after, I think both are rather irrelevant to our present life, or to put it better, not of much use. All the magic, wonder and thrill are in the present and the future we visualize and hope to create for ourselves.

The past even though gone and behind us, becomes part of who we are for good or for bad. In the first case it can transcend into nurturing and precious memories, lessons learned, experience gained, strengths and capabilities acquired. In the latter case it may become the chains that drag us down, our traumas, hang ups, limitations and unresolved baggage we keep carrying around in our present.

Internet miscommunications

Social media, texting and emailing, in general written fast communication, is the perfect recipe for disaster in human communication. Cold short sentences denuded of the tone of voice of verbal communication or the visual cues of body language, are subject to anything the recipient may perceive it as for whatever reason.

The dynamic of Harmony, Balance and the dead end of extremes

Anything taken to its extreme, good or bad, becomes absolute, totalitarian, dictatorial, oppressive and negative. Where there is no balance there can be no harmony, diversity, beauty, love, freedom, happiness. Where you can see no different shades of grey, there is only black and white.

Extremes by definition lay at the end of a spectrum and thus are rigid and inflexible, there is no space to go any further when you are at the end of a continuum. When at the edge of an extreme you are making contact with inevitable endings, death but also change and transformation.

A simpler, clutter free, meaningful life

What is clutter? The accumulation of things you bought at some point which no longer serve their original purpose and have now become a burden that fills up space in your home that you could find a better use for.

Clutter is the superfluous, the non essential, the surplus, the non useful. At best it can turn into the disposable, the garbage, at worst it can turn into a nightmare you cannot sort out.

How does that translate into more general terms in your reality? What could you define as ‘clutter’ in your emotional, social, personal or work life? What burdens you that you could do without? What weighs you down? What keeps you from moving forward? What gets in your way? What causes you confusion? 

The most asked question: What colours should I paint my home to feel happy?

The answer is, there is no straight answer. Colour is subjective and relative. Colour preferences are unique to the individual, their aesthetic history, their emotional experiences of colour, their personality, state of mind, values and beliefs. To make things even more complicated colour preferences are not static, they change over time, they grow, they mature, they evolve.

A better question to ask is “What kind of environment atmosphere do I need to feel happy?” 

What about our inner environment? Happy place or rabbit hole?

Are you living in your happy place or down into your rabbit hole? Wonderland or wasteland? What is your inner topography like? Do you live in light or darkness, or in endless shades of grey?

No matter how much you may work to redesign your external environment, if your inner one is challenging, blue, or outright flat and barren, your soul will be unable to appreciate what your eyes are looking at. Your senses will not function optimally, will deny you of pleasure and enjoyment.

Visible and invisible disabilities - May is Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes awareness month

Was watching a fitness inspiration video today and came to realize that these quotes, articles, courses and so on about fitness, are mainly addressed to able bodied, reasonably healthy people and therefore the language used is targeted towards that group. Understandable, it makes total sense.

The usual motivator used to inspire people into taking action, getting off their buts and exercise is that it is a ' Choice' and it is! For most healthy folks out there, they have a choice between feeling weak and out of shape or feeling strong and fit. This can apply even for physically challenged people as the Paraolympics have so wonderfully proven.

This unfortunately is not the case for people with chronic or congenital disorders that render them unable to engage in any form of exercise. Disorders that affect the muscles, nervous system and/or connective tissue, joints etc Things such as MS, Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes, Hypermobility Syndromes, Myalgic Encephalitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, the list is long...

Business Space Redesign & Customer Service

I had a client once who wanted me to evaluate her business, a beauty product shop, and suggest possible changes. When I visited the premises, there was nothing much more that I could have suggested, as the actual interior design of the shop was really nice and reflected the brand of the business very well. 

Having said that, I noticed that the employees working there could have benefited from some training. The customer service was simply horrible! It was clear that the young girls had been hired basically for their looks but had absolutely no experience in sales.

Sometimes the actual built environment might be very close to perfect, yet the human factor, the customer service of a commercial place, be that a retail, service or hospitality business, may need drastic redesign. 

Widowhood Transitions & Moving/Downsizing

It has been six months already, yet that moment feels as raw and painful as a knife stabbing your heart. At first you thought you wouldn’t be able to breathe again, as if you were dying yourself, every single moment, every single day. The short relief you would get from sleep would vanish after the first few seconds you opened your eyes in the morning and you knew it was true. They were gone, forever, that was it, you were alone now.

Alone to deal with a world you were used to handling and enjoying as a couple. A world that has bitterly and painfully changed and you feel no part of it, as if there was a veil separating you from it. Everything feels cold, painful and grey. You long for some relief, you try hard to focus on the present moment, the tasks at hand, look at and appreciate the beauty of nature around you, be present for your children, family, friends, people in need. Yet you’re exhausted from all the effort, you feel drained, empty, dry.

Community identity and DNA - What makes Oak Bay, Oak Bay?

From the Oak Bay municipality website we get the following description: Oak Bay is defined by its attractive residential neighborhoods, strong sense of community, mature tree canopy, scenic shoreline to the east and south, natural environment, and historic character. The municipality includes Oak Bay Village, a vibrant hub of arts, culture, and business, and other smaller villages and commercial areas within neighborhoods. The community has excellent parks and recreation facilities that contribute to a high quality of life.

From Wikipedia: Oak Bay is a community of British heritage, and has a stereotyped reputation as a quaint, charming neighborhood with an elitist British atmosphere. Oak Bay has been referred to as being located "Behind the Tweed Curtain",[4] a lighthearted allusion to the Iron Curtain. Continued to be referred to it as "More English Than England Itself"

From these brief descriptions one can get a pretty good general idea about what constitutes the identity, the DNA of Oak Bay: Attractive residential single family detached homes, low density and quiet neighborhoods, historic character, mature trees, beautiful natural environment, beaches, strong British heritage, golf course, marina, relaxed rhythm, slow traffic, available parking space, community activities, social networking etc.

Cafes with a soul

Cafes can be places for a quick coffee on the go, or become a cult culture of their own.
Places where one can feel the time stop and allow the mind to wonder in the decor.
A decor that does not only produce an aesthetic effect but invites the visitor to a whole experience at many levels.
One that triggers curiosity, historical and cultural interest, a sense of relaxation and reflection, creativity and enjoyment with others or alone.
A place that emphasizes quality from every aspect. From the product itself, environmental aesthetic satisfaction, to customer service.
When all these factors rate high, you get a Coffee Place that is not just a Space to drink coffee, but a Place that you can call your 'own' in which you can enjoy a full sensory, emotional and social experience. One that you will want to repeat and share with others.
There are various 'recipes' to achieve that special atmosphere, even though the most successful ones have sprung out of authenticity and care for the customer.
There is an element of originality and spontaneity together with the human factor that allows the visitor to enjoy a sense of 'belonging'.

Spring Cleaning fun?

Don’t expect me to post tips about how to make Spring Cleaning fun. As someone with a bad back, Spring Cleaning is not exactly my idea of having fun as it involves quite a bit of risk and effort from my part! Having said that, there is one part of the Spring cleaning process that I do enjoy tremendously and that is Spring De-cluttering!

Spring Decluttering is an inherent part of Spring Cleaning, as one goes hand in hand with the other. Spring is perhaps the best time of the year to get into the decluttering process full blast! You are tired of the Winter blues, Spring is smiling at you, and your energy levels are rising again. So here you go! Best time to tackle that mountain of clutter as ruthlessly or as joyfully as you wish! It is all a matter of perception after all…

Falling in love with a kitchen -One wall storage

Falling in love with a kitchen -One wall storage

I can confidently say, that I am in love with this kitchen! Perhaps the first thing I got infatuated with were the gorgeous turquoise green tiles, but right after was the functionality and the design.

The hidden extractor fan behind the wall and beautiful wooden beam, is something that I particularly like since am not a great fan of visible extractor fans, unless they have an exceptionally beautiful design.

The fact that the cooking area is nicely delineated from the rest of the kitchen in it’s own nook, lends it that old fashioned hearth style that is so charming.

I also love the little side built shelves for spices and other essentials and the fact that there is enough room on either side of the stove to rest pots and pans while cooking and in general have a bit of worktop area to work on.

Yet what really got me is what is not seen on the picture. The visible island worktop area, insinuates that there is ample free from upper cabinets working area and that there must be one wall in that kitchen where one can find the fridge, pantry and top to bottom storage cabinets. Making it an exceptionally functional and pleasurable to work in kitchen!

The Original Mini Homes

The Original Mini Homes

There is an ever increasing in popularity trend nowadays about getting mortgage free and opting for mini home living.

Some of them are really beautiful and ingenious, ergonomically sound and smart. The added bonus is that they are mobile and one can move around like a nomad and experience different places for as long as one feels like it.

If you take a look at the beautiful interiors of the caravan in the picture, modern mini homes are but the evolution of the Gypsy caravan, perhaps enlarged height wise with a mezzanine taking the place of the 'split level' bedroom of the caravan here.

Experimental Dandelion Farm - Do Not Disturb Weeds...

Experimental Dandelion Farm - Do Not Disturb Weeds...

Sometimes one comes across a house that is the ‘eccentric guy’ in the neighbourhood… You cannot always spot it from afar, as you may have to go closer to discover all the surprising little messages left here and there, with such lovely intent that you cannot help but smile.

This particular one had collections of sea shells and stones all around the fence and this great sign on the garden gate: ‘Experimental Dandelion Farm – Do not disturb weeds’

When I first saw it a couple of years ago when visiting Victoria BC, I felt an immediate connection with the home’s owner/s, even though I never met them. My soul recognized the subtle ‘language’ so delicately ‘painted’ all around the house. Little soul messages hidden in sea shells and stones and a message to leave Mother Nature alone on the gate.

I couldn’t help but remember a moment in my past, across the Atlantic and in a Northern suburb of Athens, Greece, when one day my neighbour shouted angrily at me over the fence: “You should get rid of all your weeds because the wind transports their seeds onto my lawn and destroy it!”…

Turning Inner Dreams To Outer Form

Turning Inner Dreams To Outer Form

It takes one ray of sunshine to light the darkness, one person's smile to brighten our day, one little step to get on our way. Yet if we do not know what constitutes our darkness. If we can not see the smile on that person's face, if we do not know our destination but most importantly our 'why', our purpose and intentions, then there can be no meaningful creation.

Without meaning there is chaos, everything is abstract and floating into the void. There can be no form without definition, intention and meaningfulness.

For something to take form and become reality there has to be harmonious communication and interconnection of it's parts, patterns and matrices. There needs to be an intention to create and a clear definition of the creation itself.