One More Day

Long Table Dinner

outdoor long table dinner

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

Mahatma Gandhi

 

What we do for others, we truly do for ourselves.

Last June, a group of women and small businesses came together to put something incredibly special to honour some deserving moms in our community who are currently battling the effects of cancer. Every year, we set out to raise funds through the sales of our ‘One More Day’ shirts so that we can surprise the community with a random act of kindness. Once again, this year, we dedicated an afternoon Mama Retreat to help lift the spirits of mothers who often put others above themselves – even while fighting the battle of their lives – and we simply wanted to show them that we care and that there is an army of people rooting for them.

Starting off with a private yoga session from Studio Yoga B, each mama was treated to a session that was simple, calm, and healing. The objective was to leave the world outside and enter the retreat with an open mind and heart. Immediately afterwards all our guests partook in a private cooking class hosted by Jennifer Brott from My Edible Advice. All our amazing produce came just down the road from the Local Harvest and everyone was treated to an amazing farm to table dinner.

Although we have closed the door on our online apparel shop, we will still continue to raise funds this year in various ways with some of our community partners in order to continue supporting some of the most vulnerable families in our community. More on our community projects to come, but here’s a look back to that amazing summer afternoon:

 

https://vimeo.com/225281675

 


 

Thank you to our incredible sponsors:

  • Confetti & Sparkle Party Shop
  • Make Good Workshops
  • The Swank Social
  • Creative Wife & Joyful Worker
  • Sugar Plum Sisters
  • Rockababy
  • Juice Truck
  • Marsh & Mallow
  • Good Citizens Pilates
  • The Market by Spruce Collective
  • Saige and Skye
  • Salmon’s Rentals
  • Culver City Salad
  • Batch Sweet Kitchen
  • Canvas Candle Company
  • Numpfer
  • Pink House
  • Minimoc
  • Three Corners Artisan
  • Highstreet
  • K’Pure Naturals
  • Greenhouse Delight
  • Elma Voth
  • Jack Coffee
  • The Local Harvest Market
  • Makers Anonymous
  • Wood Pecker Tables
  • Chalkboard Art by Emily
  • Studio B Yoga
  • Kardz Kouture
  • Noreen Schulz
  • Saje Natural Wellness
  • My Edible Advice
  • Leah Alexandra Jewellery
  • Original Six Marketing
  • The Local Harvest
  • The Orchard Chilliwack

Purposeful Nursery

baby room nursery decor

More than just a nursery. 

One of the most exciting things about being a first time parent is planning the baby’s room. Putting together what will be (essentially) the sanctuary of your first-born child. Getting a project like this always makes me incredibly giddy. It means being able to bring a mother’s vision to life and hopefully making it everything she thought it would be, if not more. But what makes these projects so special is the time I get to spend with the soon to be mom: Getting to know her, listening to her dreams, hopes, fears, and sharing mom stories. The journey in motherhood is not easy and sometimes lonely. If we can let another mother know that she’s not alone (ever) in this journey, it may really help her during the harder days and nights. So designing a nursery doesn’t just mean meeting the needs of the baby, but also meeting the needs of the mother.

I had the pleasure of putting together this baby boy’s room and I cannot be happier with how it turned out. Light and airy, gender-neutral, and lots of natural wood tones was the goal for this magical room.

 

baby room nursery decor

We left the walls white as this space was a rental unit and the parents preferred not to commit to a specific colour. Rather, we broke up all the whiteness with some wall decals (Urbanwalls) and made a feature wall right by the changing table.

nursery decor baby room

We changed the hardware from a used dresser to match with the new crib and everything else just fell into place.

 

These IKEA drawers were actually meant to be floating drawers such as bedside tables but we added footings to it to create a low level table play area for the active toddler years (always thinking ahead…).

Having a place to hang all the little items that makes a mama smile is a good way to remind her of all the positive things to come. We really took advantage of the one wall that wasn’t taken up by the crib. This area will later be a place to stick family photos, artwork, and even little love notes for the little one to see while playing (have a quick read about how this helps with social and communicative development in our Functional Design blog)

nursery decor baby room

One of my favourite things in this room is the incredible macramé (Saige and Skye) and custom floral ring (Posie and Pine) above the crib. It’s the first thing you see when you walk in the room and the combination of the two works of art is beyond words.

macrame nursery

This mama had an incredible collection of books for her little one. So to display them all, we hung a dollhouse on the wall to add some extra shelf storage for the books. The books can easily be exchanged out for other toys in the future. The rest of the books are in the crate box on the floor for accessibility (more on our Functional Design blog. Seriously, it’s good stuff).

nursery baby decor

When renting a space, it is imperative that things can easily be moved around. Furthermore, being in a condo means sacrificing space for location. So the goal was to create a room with multi-functional furniture that can be used not only for this temporary home, but for their future forever home. And I think we did just that.

baby room nursery decor


Get the Look:

Crib: Babyletto Scoot 3-in-1 Crib (white/washnat) – Westcoast Kids

Crib sheet: Organic Bamboo Fitted Crib Sheet – Numpfer

Macrame Wall Hang – Saige and Skye

Custom Gold Ring Wall Hang – Posie and Pine

Palm Branches Wall Decals – Urbanwalls

Chunky Knit Heart Blanket – Lil Fox Shoppe

Lighting – IKEA

Rocker – Rove Concepts

Pegboard – Sprig West

Modern Baby Book – Mushybooks

Low Cabinets – IKEA

Custom Wooden Acron Garland – Coral and Cloud

Modern Kids Side Table – Wire Home

Wooden Dollhouse – IKEA

 

 

The Art of Functional Design

family room decor

The Art of Functional Design: The Wonder Years

playroom decor(image via Instagram @nr13b)

Ever wonder why you’re more attracted to certain designs than others? Or if certain things placed in a specific way will make you do a double take? Our brains are hardwired to respond to things that stimulates brain activity or elicit positive emotions. Things that provoke positive feelings often are triggered by past experiences and/or memories. And for little ones (we’re talking itty bitty ones), past experiences can mean a sudden memory to recent facial responses or movements of inanimate objects.

This is the key to firing a whole wack of neurons to activate certain brain functions at an early age. Moana was seriously right when she sang that “everything is by design” (yes, that is our new Frozen now). There is so much research out there on how to effectively promote cognitive, social-emotional, and communicative development in an enriched learning environment that something needs to be said about how this can be done at home; especially when we (as parents) spend so much time socializing and interacting with our child(ren) in our homes.

If you could design a room to help increase your child’s core competencies, would you? This means helping them activate certain areas of the brain at a higher level to help with brain development at a young age. What if I told you, you could? What if I told you, you could integrate your style in creating a room that you love AND help promote development?

Chances are, you’re probably already doing that – but simply unaware of it. But now that you’re about to become aware of it, you’ll only continue to enhance that level of interaction with your child even more.

kids playroom(image via Instagram @hudson_and_harlow)

When designing a space, it’s really important to understand why form should come after function. Meaning, understand the function of the room and space first, and then design it to individualize it to your style and what would provoke positive feelings in that space. A great article by Fresh Home gives a little insight about that. But when it comes to a child’s space, function takes on a whole other level.

If I could take anything from the last 15 years of clinical work with children, it would be that the environment we create will determine the socialization of the child. Ok, bare with me for a bit and let’s nerd this out for a second… it’ll help put things in perspective.

Socialization is a process described in which an individual acquires his or her own personal identity; the process in which one learns the values, norms, social behavioural patterns and social skills needed to integrate in and become a functioning member of society (Collins et al., 2000). Arguably, families, and later peer groups, communicate expectations and reinforce norms. Families set the foundation of what is considered the core values of the household, or community. In most research, this has been supported by using attachment theories and parenting styles to explain the development of the internal working model of an individual (Lamb & Lewis, 2011).

Ok – nerd time over. But, in short, before our children enter a world where their decisions are based on peer guidance (i.e. school), we as parents have an incredible influence on their development and who they will become in the future. The more we are able to socialize them between the ages of 0-5, the more we are able to cultivate their perspective of the world. A POSITIVE perspective. How does designing a room play a role in this? Easy, the way you define the function of the room plays a role in how you utilize the room. Is the playroom really for playing or for storing toys? Are preferred items that cause a positive association to your child easily accessible? Is your child able to communicate effectively to you their needs in a room? Are you providing opportunities for those communications to occur? Is there a space for your child to engage in independent play, successfully?

Believe it or not, the way a room is designed can truly help enhance your child’s cognitive, social, and communicative development. Where items are placed and how they are placed can actually help activate many areas of the brain. And when you activate those areas of the brain, you’re encouraging higher levels of functioning to occur. Here are some things to think about when designing, decorating, or organizing a child’s bedroom or play space:

  1. Get organized: Bins are not for throwing just ANY toys in.

It is imperative to keep things organized in its specific categories of play. This means the specific toys are stored in its respective bins. If possible, label with a picture or simple key words to increase recognition of sight words. The reason why bins shouldn’t be used as just storage bins for a range of toys is that because sorting and categorization is the first step to higher-level cognitive development. It is the prerequisite to much more sophisticated thought processes such as planned behaviour. Teaching how to sort at an early age can lead to stronger mental states in planned behaviour such as decision-making, executive functioning (working memory, mental flexibility, and self-control), and even language development.

  • Note: large bins can be used to store larger categorical play activities (e.g., things a child can do by him/herself) while smaller bins can be used to store specific play activities (e.g., lego, puzzles, vehicles, food, animals). A combination of both will effectively help keep things organized in small spaces.

kids room deco(image via Instagram @carlberg_home)

  1. Keep books low to the ground and child accessible:

Books are essential to the growth of many components in child development. Books are like water for our brains. It is truly a necessity. It helps create mental imagery that is significantly important for:

  • Communicative development (language),
  • Social development (connecting on shared experiences)
  • Emotional development (self-regulation)
  • Cognitive development (sight words or word association)

The point is, books are vital to our child’s well-being. So having books easily accessible will ultimately increase their ability to 1) get a book on their own 2) choose to read a book whenever possible 3) initiate book reading. Once this is done, you’ll quickly see how often they go to that little book nook you’ve set up. If space is limited, change up the books once in a while to keep things novel (see what I did there?).

bookshelf decor

image via Instagram (@maggieandrose)

  1. Provide a table space

Allowing a space for your child to sit/stand with a table surface is tremendously advantageous for development. Most of the time, your child would be playing on the ground simply because it is the largest surface area for activities. However, providing an elevated surface will encourage your child to work on their gross motor development (larger muscles in the arms, legs, and core) and fine motor skills (movement involving small muscle groups). A significant body of research has positively correlated having good motor control with increase in cognitive development. Furthermore, anytime a child is engaged in an activity at a table, they are more likely to focus for a longer period of time. Plus, kid furniture are so incredibly cute – you’ll probably start your design/décor ideas from that.

kids play decor

(image via Instagram @maggieandrose) 

  1. Provide high contrasting colour/images

By now you’ve seen or heard how high contrasting colours or images help stimulate brain activities in newborns. This is true. And it continues into adulthood. Whenever something is high in contrasting colours, it always catches our eyes and demands us to focus on it for just a little bit longer. This is why monochrome effects are so powerful; but this doesn’t mean every room should be monochrome. In fact, too much may be overly stimulating for newborns. As long as there is something highly contrasting in the room (whether it be bright toys on the shelf against a white wall or white prints against a dark background) this will provide some stimulation to the brain that can help activate other components through development.kids decor

 

  1. Print out family photos

In this digital age, it is sometimes difficult to get actual photos printed out in your home, let alone have them framed and neatly organized. However, studies have shown that looking at pictures enhances our communication skills by increasing our attention, comprehension, recall, and adherence. For little ones who may not yet have the vocabulary to communicate or have low literacy skills, pictures allow a way to connect a 2D image with the 3D world, thus strengthening their language development. Furthermore, family photos of specific events (vs. portrait photos) will help a child with their recall and episodic memory. A strong episodic memory promotes the ability to readily share experiences with others and improve on communication/conversation skills.

  • We love using our Polaroid camera for this. It’s instant and it allows us to immediately help our children connect the image to what is currently going on in their surroundings. These then can be hung in their room or around the house.

These are some of the fundamental key designs we take into account with every room we create for a family. Even though we’ve designed the room for its intention to be used in a meaningful way, a child cannot grow on his or her own without the scaffolds of a loving adult. And for a loving adult to scaffold a child to become a better version of themselves, meaningful spaces must also be created to help with one’s emotional well-being. We often put our children’s needs first (even when it comes to designing their rooms), that many of our rooms in the house get neglected. It is important that we strive to create a space for ourselves that provides positivity and meaning to our daily lives. With every design project that we are lucky to be involved in, that is our goal for each family/business. It is to help find that positivity and meaning amongst the choas. To find more on this incredible topic, check out Karla Dreyer’s published work on the art of “Hygge design – the art the practice.” Everything is certainly by design.

I hope this piece helps guide the design of your family space. Leave a comment to let me know what you think and of course, if you have any questions, feel free to let me know and I would be happy to dive into a deeper discussion regarding your vision.

 

References:

Collins, W.A., Maccoby, E.E., Steiinberg, L., Hetherington, E.M., Bornstein, M.H. (2000).

Contemporary research on parenting: The case for nature and nurture. American Pscyhologist, 55 (2), 218-232.

 

Lamb, M.E. & Lewis, C. (2011). The role of parent-child relationships in child development. In

M.E. Lamb & M.H. Bornstein (Eds.) Social and Personality Development: An Advanced Textbook (pp. 259-308).