“Being at “home” is a state of being that makes us feel like we belong in the world. Home is a predictable and secure place. It is where we manage our emotional and physical well-being. It is our centering place to build and grow healthy relationships, where we orientate ourselves, maintain order, organize our lives and improve our productivity as employees and students. What does “home” mean to you and your family?
Home is grounding. It is where we re-charge, connect, and can be our most authentic selves. That is why I always say that your home can be such an important reflection of who you are. Home to me and my family is where we begin and end our days together, reconnect and create some of the most important memories in our lives. It is a physical space, but also a state of mind – it is being at peace.
For each of us, home is the center of our world. It is where we design and manifest our future. While we have come to enjoy a deeper appreciation for “home” during the pandemic, there still seems to be a pervasive view that someone will do just fine if they simply have a roof over their head. Can you please share with us your views on this and how we, as a society, don’t seem to fully understand how imperative “home” is to our own success?
The past couple of years have really demonstrated that, although we may be spending more time at home, our living spaces should still continue to inspire us to do our best work each day. Again, a home is a state of mind, and so much more than a simple physical place. The more positive energy that we put into our living spaces, the more we will receive in return. I get so energized working on projects with A Sense of Home and thinking about creative ways to design spaces that would help set-up a deserving family for success.
For aged-out foster youth, once they receive their sense of home, they finally have a place where they can make plans for birthdays, holiday gatherings, and family dinners. It becomes a wellspring of inspiration to grow their confidence, to go out into the world, and work to improve their life. Have you observed that as you create or complete a home with A Sense of Home? What else have you noticed that particularly inspires or moves you?
That is why I’ve always been an ardent supporter of the organization. We most recently helped create a home for a young mother, and I was moved knowing that she will be able to provide a safe, permanent place for her daughter, where they will be able to create memories and experience life together. I love to be able to include my own family, studio and vendors that I work regularly with in the experience too, and I hope to inspire others to take part.
A safe and stable place to live is widely recognized by the scientific community as imperative to maintaining good health, lessening the deterioration of mental health, and vital for an individual to achieve positive outcomes in education and employment. Is this something that you personally relate to and/ or has this motivated you to support the work of A Sense of Home?
Absolutely. I believe a home base is crucial; having a home grounds someone and gives them confidence and self-worth. I am so grateful I get to work with an organization like A Sense of Home to be able to make this a reality for young families. A Sense of Home has also fostered an amazing sense of community with initiatives like pay it forward in which past recipients help in the creation of homes for other aged-out foster youth is truly special.
Environmental psychology has proven that we see ourselves the way that we see our environment. The more our environment inspires us the more we elevate our own personal goals. When we live in an uplifting home, it increases the likelihood of maintaining successful relationships, and staying on track with our educational and career goals. Is that why you pour so much heart, soul, resources, energy and love into the homes you create with A Sense of Home?
Yes, we’ve included pieces and a color scheme that is warm, inviting and also aspirational. I hope the homes we help create motivate and inspire the young people who live in them.
A Sense of Home strives to create a home environment that feels safe and reflects the personality of each individual they serve. The work of positive psychology expert Martin Seligman demonstrates that this can significantly improve one’s sense of agency, optimism, and imagination. If we are successful in inspiring and aligning all three elements, immune systems grow stronger, there are fewer infections, and bodies heal faster. Can you please share with us your approach on improving well-being through a serene and well functioning home?
Color, form, and texture all play key roles when creating a serene and welcoming home. No two spaces are ever the same, and what this means for one family might be different from another, so the possibilities on how this comes together are endless. Organization and function is pretty consistent throughout though. Placement of furniture, lighting and storage are key to ensure a room can play a supporting role and allow a person to thrive.
We recently wrote to you: “We continue to be awe struck by your humility, chill vibe, grounded nature and authenticity. Your entire team and family have been incredibly gracious and generous.” We truly feel that the how we create a home impacts the energy in the home. We are focused on doing the work with love, joy and an open-heart. Do you approach your design in this way?
Yes, everything I am passionate about in design stems from love! I genuinely love learning, developing, and creating new design hobbies and projects, and it serves as the basis of why I put this energy into everything I do. I am inspired by everything, so I always look to pour the positive energies of the environment around me into my projects.
You are incredibly generous to ASOH and to those we serve. And it is not just in the material sense. According to the Neuroscience Institute, students and employees are more productive and better able to process information when living in an organized and functional home. And recent research by APS Fellow Eldar Shafir, of Princeton University, indicates that removing the financial burden of creating a home will most likely extract an individual from the “scarcity trap” which ensnares and keeps someone in poverty. We want to thank you for not only providing the material necessities so that one can escape poverty and have a functioning home that enables them to improve outcomes in their education and careers — but thank you for filling these homes with love and joy. So this isn’t another question… it is another thank you from their depths of our hearts. We so deeply appreciate your munificence, time, resources, and humanitarianism.