Surely we, at INV Labs, aren’t the only ones that seek to make our homes comfortable and suitable reflections of how we live or prefer to. I personally replaced my bed’s headboard with a chalk and dry erase board. Call me crazy, but what I know is that it creates efficiency for my way of life and promotes the release of ideas and meandering thoughts that come to me while I should be resting.
The minute I sat in bed reprioritizing the next few weeks on my wall I knew I’d hacked my way of doing things. However, this occurred shortly at the tail end of me completely hacking my home for innovation.
Applying what I know to be best practices for innovation hubs, co-working spaces, and more around the world, I invested in transforming various elements in every room to promote creativity, serendipity, and drive. Here are a few things that can help you make your home a space that encourages innovative thinking because you may not always live where you’d like, but you can definitely recreate an environment to that which is more preferred.
- Swap the light bulbs Replacing soft white light bulbs with daylight bulbs is huge. Daylight bulbs promote activity and increase alertness. Furthermore, you’ll want to have a variety of light sources that can easily shift the atmosphere as needed.
- Create a canvas Utilize the awesomeness of dry erase, in any form. You can easily buy a nice sized dry erase board for the wall from Amazon. (Note: While stationed on a wall works wonderfully, having one on wheels or that remains mobile is best. My recommendation is having more than one of varied sizes.) Also consider Idea Paint. I’ve painted tables/desks with Idea Paint allowing me to write on the surface as needed. This is also great for children and promoting creativity and mental freedom without paying the costs.
- Get a standing desk or create a bar-height work area Standing up and walking gets your brain’s juices flowing. Consider why we tend to pace the floors when having conversations that require us to really think. Sitting down comfortably can push you to focus, but being happily uncomfortable advances you into staying actionable. Standing desks and bar stools have no “ease” in the seat and promote activity.
- Create an open area and/or spacious walkways You want to generate flow. A good way of allowing the elements and interactions in your home to flow is having open areas that allow for easy moving around and engagement. If you have tables in any tight hallways, consider moving them to allow more movement. However, tables can be great for entrances. You can place items on an entrance table that welcomes guest into the home. What you place on that table is up to you, but those items will set the tone for guests entering the space.
- Maintain flexibility Move furniture around or slowly replace clunky furniture with space saving, easily moveable pieces. This will allow you to continually alter the energy in the room and get into different modes of operating. While nothing is wrong with more stationary furniture, elements that can in any way stimulate change in thinking will continually reinforce that no idea has to be final.
- Prep the night stand Keeping a pen & pad (or any reliable writing materials) near the bedside allows for easy access to jotting down ideas that come to you throughout the day and night. However, it can be used for any reason that allows you to function better day-to-day. Some may want to write the following day’s to-do list on it before bed to relieve them from thinking about work instead of easing into sleep. Your call.
- Create a new identity I’ve called my home everything from the Treehouse (3rd floor living) to the Bat Cave (don’t judge me). But giving “home” an alter ego does for your environment what avatars do for gamers. You can also create various rooms or workspaces to promote a specific purpose.
- Find a creative way to reinforce beneficial affirmations or important information As the great Earl Nightingale once shared — what one thinks about, so he becomes. This could be anything from choosing mind stimulating paintings and other artwork to go on the walls, or could be a simple pin board for notes, sketches, etc. Essentially, finding a cool way to bring your mind out into the physical realm is always resourceful for foster creativity. You don’t have to go all “Being Mary Jane” on us, but the benefits of sticky notes are endless.
Certainly I haven’t captured everything in this one post, but these eight will definitely get the ball rolling in revamping your home for innovation. Nonetheless, we’re all unique so you may already know triggers that encourage your creative thinking and productivity.
When stressed, I use essential oils to soothe me for better focus. For that reason, it came natural to suggest the use of essential oils for a co-working space and innovation hub I’d been consulting since before the purchase of the property. The new space included rooms called Invigorate, Refresh, Rejuvenate, Co-Create, etc. Thus, for each room I suggested a different essential oil that tapped into that purpose, i.e. an energizing citrus essential oil for the Invigorate room. Had this not been something I myself do, I may not had suggested it to their delight. The components and quirks that make you, you, can become resources for others.
However you choose to make your living space drive creativity, remember that your environment and thinking are major keys to obtaining the outcomes you want in life. Make your space you, but giving it an added edge to help maximize your own abilities can make a world of difference. Good luck!