Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Decorating With ADHD

When it comes to décorating, it can often be a challenge to find the perfect balance between homey and sterile. Many homey interiors can over time, become inundated with clutter. Shelves become more like open storage and an overload of décor ends up looking like the thrift store down the street. On the other hand, without a resident's personal touches, many homes can look like museums or office waiting rooms.

For people with ADHD, decorating can be even more of a challenge. An environment with too much to look at can overwhelm the senses, making it difficult for that person to focus. Too sterile of a décor can prolong the ability to feel comfortable. Here are some decorating tips specifically aimed to help those with ADHD.

De clutter and organize. This statement just may be the most difficult task to accomplish simply because many times there is sentiment attached to personal items. Try getting rid of items that aren't necessary. Not every nook, cranny and inch of wall space needs to be filled. This can be a process and doesn't need to be done overnight. When considering what to keep and what to get rid of, consider removing it and setting it in a closet, spare room or the garage. Try living without the item for a month or two. If you don't miss it, get rid of it. Move on to the next item until the room is free from clutter and unnecessary stimuli. 

Organize collections. Collections are a source of enjoyment, but for the person with ADHD, the accumilation of multiple items can overwhelm the senses. This in turn can cause a sense of anxiety among other symptoms. To minimize this, collections can be grouped together to create a statement or theme, rather than to spread each item all over the room. Grouping items causes the eye to stay in one area instead of traveling through other elements of the room to find the next item in the collection. Extensive collections on the other hand can be displayed in groups of 5, so long as the surrounding area is clutter free. For instance, try displaying five collectibles lined up on a book shelf. In another part of the room, display five more on a sofa table, and still another five more on a long shelf on wall. Fifteen items in one area is a lot to look at unless they're displayed in a large enough cabinet and organized so they're not crammed together. Lining up the items creates a sense of order and organization whereas displaying in a boutique style with risers and assorted angles sends the eye in multiple directions. For the person with ADHD it can be additional and unnecessary stimuli.

Monochromatic or muted colors on the walls help calm the senses. Soft sage green or slate blues are very calming colors. Neutral colors such as tans or taupes are good for background colors. Adding an accent color can add interest and individuality without adding visual chaos. Vibrant colors can add a needed pop of color but should be used very sparingly with accessories such as candles or vases. Use the same discretion when using patterns as you would with vibrant colors. Limit florals and patterns on upholstered pieces. Instead, try your favorite pattern on window valances, a folded throw, or perhaps a couple of decorative pillows.

If you happen to love ornate furniture, choose a favorite piece to make a statement. If you own a particular item that you cannot part you can decorate the room around it. Many times, a cohesive look can be obtained by adding just a few accessories. For example, books can be sparingly and attractively displayed on a large, heavy bookcase. A simple centerpiece or candle arrangement can be set on an exquisite table or buffet. The key is to not take away from the beauty of the statement piece by cluttering it with too many items. Remember less is more.

Soothing accessories can also help create a serene room. Tabletop fountains have the calming sound of running water. Candles offer warm, soothing light and live plants clean the air and bring the relaxing effects of nature inside

. Any combination of these items will make the room welcoming and comforting. For the person with ADHD, this can help keep him or her remain relaxed and focused. Soothing enviroments can also lower blood pressure, lower heart rate and induce a more relaxed state of mind.

Decorating for the person with ADHD is quite easy. By simply being aware when choosing home furnishings, your home can be a soothing retreat. A peaceful environment will not only benefit the person with ADHD, but for everyone else who shares the space. - Angelica Mordant

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