Schools and colleges are the institutions that make us who we are. The décor in your environment has the ability to impact your mental and physical health. However, an often-overlooked aspect of an educational institution is the décor.
Students’ minds are just developing, and the décor that they experience every day is sure to affect their wellbeing and thought process. If you want to know how to increase the productivity of your students and make them learn more efficiently, here are the top tips for you.
These tips will help you improve the look and appeal of your school in general and your classrooms in particular. Try these out, see what works for you, throw in your own ideas, and make it rock.
Don’t be afraid to use color
It is a popular consensus that serious, professional places like educational institutions must only use dark palettes. This could not be farther from the truth. When used correctly, color has the ability to transform the room and offer a new perspective completely.
If you are looking for an appropriate color, then consider your search over, for Pantone’s color of the year is the choice for you. The color, called “living coral,” is inviting, soothing and is sure to encourage lively conversations and content-rich discussions. It is sure to rock your students’ worlds.
Pro tip- a great way to use color in the classroom is to color code everything, from projects to student details such as logins. It makes the staff’s job much easier and is practical.
Greenery makes the classroom enjoyable
Everyone loves greenery, and students are no different. Hence, making your school clean and green is very crucial. Lush greenery is not just for the outdoors, and it can also be incorporated in the classroom. But in an institution that is perpetually short of time and houses hundreds of students with fast-paced lives, maintaining real pants is certainly impossible. So go artificial. Artificial greenery is very realistic and long-lasting.
Pro tip- Kids can be involved in a DIY project to make a giant fake tree out of paper and other materials, set up in a suitable place in the classroom. It would serve as a great attraction, and could even function as a reading nook for the kids with some benches or chairs.
Make good use of your outdoor space
Students spend a lot of time outside their classes, and so the outdoor area must be landscaped and designed to perfection. Aside from a well functioning, safe playground, a school needs to have a patch of greenery, filled with flowers and plants. In a school filled with kids, real plants can prove to be an impractical choice, what with its germs and cumbersome caretaking. The better option for you is artificial greenery. Install some artificial plants outside. Well made fake plants do not usually fade, so there is virtually no maintenance. On a similar note, artificial hedges made out of boxwood are usually much better than real traditional ones.
If you are looking for something a little unconventional, go no further than a gazebo. You might think- isn’t gazebo a little daring for an educational institution? Well, gazebos take the learning outside, set your students down amidst lush greenery, enticing them to learn. Patio Gazebos are water resistant and can seat a big group of up to 70 students. Gazebos in schools are used to encourage core learning, and a love for the greenery and outdoors.
Use the available area efficiently
Coming to the classroom, the biggest hurdle is storing and organizing the vast amounts of stationery, paperwork, documents, books, and other resources. These keep growing every year while the space available remains constant and inadequate. You must learn to use the available space effectively. Use the back of doors to hang slots which you can use to store paper. Instead of installing faux plants in vases, you can choose to hang those artificial flowers from a basket, tied on the ceiling.
Encourage creativity by being creative
You might teach your students to be creative, but if they don’t see any creativity in the campus, how would their learning be effective? Walk the talk by thinking outside the box. If you want to display your creativity in your premises, a subtle and suitable choice would be outdoor topiary trees. They can be shaped according to your specifications, like your college/school logo, or if you want to go wacky, there are even faux topiary animals. They come fitted with lights, upping their aesthetic appeal.
Pro tip- You could encourage outdoor activity and artistry by holding a horticulture week every year. This promotes oneness with nature and attention to detail.
Motivate the students with poor displays
Often times, we need the motivation to realize our true potential. The students need to reminded of their visions and dreams from time to time. A door display is a creative idea that can help in this respect. It is a DIY activity that fosters unity and teamwork. It can teach them that despite differences they are the same and that they need to respect and care for each other.
Don’t plan everything at the beginning
Your first instinct may be to plan everything down to a T, but not only is that impossible, but it is also unnecessary. A new academic year would bring in new students, and new ideas and thoughts. If you have a wall blank at the beginning of the year, let it be. Chances are, it would get filled with the fantastic work of your students, sooner than you think.
An educational institution doesn’t have to be restricted to one idea just because that is the norm. Schools and colleges have the immense responsibility and blessing of shaping the minds of tomorrow. They should explore and expand to new horizons. They must lead by example, and show the students that creativity and innovation are values to be cherished.
The school cafeteria can be intimidating. It might seem like a battleground, with groups after groups of students being led in to forget their deadlines and syllabi for a few minutes and to fuel their bodies for the rest of the day, but the chaos might take mindful eating out of the equation. School cafeterias should be carefree places that encourage good decisions about food and nutrition. Here are some décor hacks that would help you design the school cafeteria of your dreams.
Paint Your Walls With Murals
Murals are attention-grabbing, innovative, and absolutely beautiful- all of which are great qualities for your cafeteria. You can paint murals that depict the school’s beliefs and philosophy- for instance, if your core tenets are inclusivity and diversity, you can portray these qualities in your murals. The students can immensely benefit from viewing these values every day, and it would shape the way they view the world.
Spread positivity with thoughtful quotes
Display introspective, positive quotes on your café walls. The students can learn a lot from successful people, their failures and victories. At a young age, being exposed to the powerful thoughts of achievers in several fields can influence their own thought processes. Provide your students with this gift of learning. The power of reaffirmation is vast- your students will inculcate optimism just by being around these motivational ideas for a few minutes every day.
Encourage participation by involving the students
When you are looking to decorate the cafeteria, look no further than your students. They are little artists, full of potential and enthusiasm. Ask the students to come up with a theme and ideas, let them decide how to decorate their café, and what furniture and fixtures must be used. The teachers can assist them with this. This DIY project will surely get your students hyped up and will encourage creativity.
Use student-grown vegetables in your cooking
The best way to encourage healthy eating practices among the students is by leading them by example. Set up a vegetable patch in your school, and get the students to plant their favorite vegetables and fruits in it, and use it to cook your school lunches. The kids are involved in every step of the way, from planting the seeds, taking care of the plants, to tasting the fresh, home-grown veggies. They learn the importance of safely grown food and are more likely to stay away from junk.
Support the local artists of your community
It is very important to support your local community. There are hoards of talented people in your immediate surroundings, bring them in to transform your cafeteria. Locals know your hometown like none other- they know the cherished charm of the area, what the highlights are and what the attitudes are like. It will add a personal touch to the cafeteria.
Opt for thematic décor
Themed restaurants have been a craze for years now, and there is no reason why your school cafeteria shouldn’t be themed. After all, won’t the students be enticed by a creative, new age café theme? You can include pop culture references, such as a trending movie or character. You can even opt for a forest-based theme.
To complete this décor, choose an artificial boxwood green mat for a grassy effect on the walls. They are versatile, durable, and very effective. Artificial boxwood hedge walls can be installed indoors, providing lush greenery in the cafeteria. Preserved boxwood can last a long time, and can take a beating, so you don’t have to worry about the cost and maintenance.
Pay homage to the iconic aspects of your school
Every school has some iconic elements. It might be a tree, a room or a club, or even an exceptional teacher or principal. The vast space in your cafeteria is the perfect spot to shine the spotlight on these elements and celebrate them. Incorporate these in your design, maybe in the form of text, or maybe a pictorial representation, to cherish all that makes your school special.
Flood your cafeteria with natural light
Sunlight is a mood booster, feeds you with the essential nutrients, and lights up the rooms much better than any artificial light, and it warms you up if you are in a cold area. These benefits are too good to pass on. Utilize this free resource efficiently. Glass windows let the light in, and also offer the students a view of the outside world, for a much-needed break from their academics.
Value sustainability and green practices
Tonnes of food go to waste in school cafeterias every year. The packaging of the food is often made out of plastic, contributing to the increasing waste problem in the world. The food that gets served to the students is also poor in nutrition. Scrap all unhealthy practices in the schools and introduce clean habits. Use eco-friendly materials for the packaging, create awareness about the serious waste problem and encourage the students to get reasonable portion sizes, and to reduce food waste as much as possible.
Decorate the cafeteria according to the months of the year
You can change up the décor every month, or you can incorporate all the months in a single design. For instance, November, the month of Thanksgiving, can stand for the importance of charity and family.
Pro tip- A great idea to involve kids in kindergarten or primary school, is to have them display facts about themselves on the cafeteria wall, making it easier for them to get to know each other.
Introduce greenery and nature
Greenery is refreshing and relaxing. When the students enter the cafeteria full of flowers, plants, and trees, they feel tranquil and at ease. You can adopt a forest theme, complete with green walls, and artificial flowers.
Real plants can become very messy in the cafeteria, so go for artificial greenery arrangements that do not fade. Install fern and hydrangea fern fillers in the cafeteria. You can also use artificial boxwood wreath or artificial boxwood in planters, to complete the green theme.
Learning is not restricted to just the classroom; it extends to all the spots the students spend time in. The school cafeteria should hence be well decorated and classy so that the students can learn and practice good values. Your students must also eat healthy, nutritious food to supply their bodies with the energy that the modern, competitive life demands, so an ideal cafeteria must push them to make wise decisions about food.
When someone asks us to imagine a hospital waiting room, we’re sure you don't paint a very graceful picture. Monochrome and monotony added with gloomy people faces are what comes to our mind first. Every one of us is very familiar with the glum associated with hospitals. Unnecessary worry about a thousand things creeps at the moment you step in.
As you sit biting your nails in the nerve-racking ambiance, you start apprehending how your doctor's going to be, what diagnosis he will draw, etc. Your mind doesn’t stop racing and start getting more and more anxious. To create a more calming environment for the visitors, doctors have thought to upgrade the aesthetics a little.
Let us have a quick look at the ways in which you can uplift the distressing atmosphere and look at a hospital setting.
Waiting room seats:
‘Comfort' comes first when it comes to serving people. While we run after creating the perfect setting we often overlook the chairs, where visitors come and sit. This might seem a bit weird but the longer the wait, the better they are going to remember their experiences.
You can revamp the decor by opting for modular seating instead of the conventional waiting room benches or chairs. Long and wide cushioned seats provided with subtle, mobile separators complimenting body types can accommodating more people.
Following your budget, you can even opt for individual chairs if not couches. Good for people who don't like sharing seats with strangers or while they fill out personal medical forms.
You can also add life to your room by introducing artificial outdoor shrubs and bushes that would not demand your attention and care, unlike natural foliage. Remember to keep your chairs facing the reception. Special seating arrangement like higher chairs for the disabled or elderly is expected.
Don't forget to get some durable and wider varieties for obese patients. This will be more economical and will help you in the long run.
Pleasing reception décor:
Keep aside the cheerful spirit of the receptionist, and the furnishings should be enough to create a welcoming and accessible corner. An artificial boxwood hedge in planter beside the reception table would be a fantastic mark of sophistication.
Reception is the first thing a patient notices when they walk in. You may drop the idea of a confidential interview room and remember to build the reception desk at a place directly visible from the entrance.
The entrance should be warm and welcoming:
You can install artificial outdoor plants for the front door as a symbol of elegance and promise. Make sure the entrance is well lit. You can keep the coat, shoe racks, umbrella stands beside the front door, to ease out the obstruction.
A board at the entrance holding the doctors' names along with their timings clearly displayed can help to clear the clutter at the reception.
Carpet and curtains:
Choosing carpet on the floor would promisingly cut off of noise and provide a warmer feeling, although it is hard to maintain. Choosing darker colors that match with the furniture, would hide stains. Remember to put welcome mats where there is high foot traffic.
Choose light-colored breezy curtains to lock in that elegance. Outdoor topiary trees with lights beside the curtains will put a smile on everyone’s face.
Lighting and wall paint:
Fluorescent lights can make you feel restrained. Fill in the place with natural lights or the soft incandescent ones to keep up the comfort. Make sure you mix the lights with filters in such a way that they soften the glare. Hang them from overhead or place them on the table top, in any way they are going to give a cozy feeling and comfort anxiousness.
Size of the waiting room:
Who would want to sit beside a guy spilling his gut over the armrests or one coughing incessantly? Decide how many patients you want to accommodate in a particular time and chalk out the area and the number of chairs. Necessary after that.
Entertainment and decorations:
A separate stack of interesting, inoffensive, neutral and colorful magazines for kids and adults, a few good books to read for those who prefer hard copies more.
You can scatter the magazines over a set of tables to make them more accessible to the visitors.
Free Wi-Fi is a must in today’s busy schedule. Visitors can get their pending work done during the waiting time.
Play relaxing instrumental music in the background, to check the anxiety levels of the visitors. Satellite radio stations are good if they provide non-stop music.
Eliminating external stressors
A television set is a strict no-no, as it would only invite a lot of noise and stress. You may keep it at one corner just to keep the children engaged.
Don't just make your visitors sit in silence, instead you can install water fountains beside small artificial topiary trees that make serene sounds. This will relieve the tension and set out a more natural setting.
Offer them some healthy snacks like a small bowl of candies or mints to the kids for waiting patiently. Cucumber or lemon infused water can add to a soothing refreshment.
You can arrange for a tea or coffee bar for the families of patients accompanying them.
Ascent of serenity
Hospitals and nursing rooms have a characteristic smell of alcohol and medicine, and I’m sure nobody likes that. More often we tend to overlook this point until and unless we are trying to conceal a foul one.
You can light up scented candles to add bling of aroma that's not only facades the unpleasant ones but keeps you feeling fresh.
Remember to use a soft fragrance like that of essential oils or aromatherapy, and not the overpowering ones.
You can only provide a fantastic client experience only when you care about their senses. Compromising on any amenity cannot be compensated by others, no matter how better they get. Focusing solely on client satisfaction will only provide them with an all-rounded experience.
Children playing in a garden is a delightful sight, like flowers blooming in spring. Playing is a crucial activity amidst learning. No wonder why memories of playgrounds are the most fantastic part of school days. School playtime counts in one active and alluring segment in every child’s schedule. No wonder why we all made random excuses just to go and play in the school ground.
Almost everything in life requires touch-ups from time to time and playgrounds are no exception. As years pass by play areas are bound to run down and become drab. This calls for a transformation.
But don't worry! For putting in vibrancy and excitement in any sphere of the ground, you don’t need to be on a huge budget.
Pay attention to these few decoration hacks discussed below, if you want to make a change without creating a hole in your pocket.
Chalking out the problem areas:
As soon as you make up your mind to re-decorate your school playground, you need to point out the problem areas specifically. This could be any shabby or forbidden area the children are most likely to fall for grace. Well, although it all depends upon the environment and the playground still, how you want to renovate it is entirely up to you.
Refurbishing the existing equipment:
Fun and physical activity are what comes to our mind first when we think of the school playground. Improving the play equipment and introducing newer ones, can engage a child more than anything.
A colorful and polished swing is bound to attract the child more than the broken and squeaky ones. In order to manage their activities, keep them collaborating or playing replace the old unbroken instruments with new and brighter ones.
We learn better when we are happy. And we know, nothing made us happy more than play during our school days.
Embellishing the ambiance:
Revamping the playground with new equipment would be vain if you do nothing to improve the surroundings. Children love flowers and plants. Real boxwood hedge wall can make the playground look attractive all year round, in all seasons.
Artificial greenery for outdoors is the most intelligent move when you seek lucrative yet durable options for decoration.
You have to utilize all of the areas carefully. This starts from clearing up all the litters, trimming the existing plantation properly, clearing the clutter and painting and polishing the equipment. This might seem very simple and easy, but once you do this, the whole space will be transformed magically.
Renovation can take off by merely making and mending seats. You can also lay a few picnic tables where kids can sit, talk and play games. By building a stage for the children to perform and host shows, installing chalkboards for creating their classroom, you give them a sense of responsibility that helps them grow.
Talking about decorations, it can come in any way like asking the students to doodle on the walls, painting murals, designing mosaics or whatever and whichever way they like. This would be a fantastic way of fostering independence within them.
You can ask groups of children to draw on the walls that would be displayed for a fortnight before the next group comes up with new ideas. This would be a fantastic way to showcase their talent and instill confidence.
Having an attention-grabbing construction:
You can enhance the visual appeal of the school playground by installing artificial boxwood topiary outdoor.
Summer calls for vacation and summer camps. And it is also the best time for a renovation. How wonderful would it be to install a wooden gazebo in the summers? You can drop the idea of cliche benches and relax sitting in a gazebo this summer. It would definitely be one of the star attraction during the summer camp days.
Outdoor topiary trees with lights would be ideal since artificial plants require almost zero maintenance and care. Camping would be much fun when these light up at night is creating an ambiance of utter elegance and style.
Demarking playground zones for a positive playground attitude:
A school playground where students of different standards come and play, a zone specification becomes inevitable. This is to make sure the younger children are in a much safer zone, and the elder ones can seamlessly continue with their strenuous games. You can divide zones as a separate badminton court, a ground for playing cricket and football, etc. Following this, we can restrict playground injuries, enhance physical activity and lessen bullying.
Delineating a sensory area for young learners:
Children should not only know but they should feel what they learn is the primary motive behind creating a sensory space for learning. Popularly known by the term ‘a secret agents outdoor lab' is a scientific domain, where the child learns through experimental learning and smells the essence of discovery. Events like, sand play, water play is where children learn through sensation. They come in touch with various textures and get to play with several substances. This fosters an equal interaction with wildlife and science to enhance creative thinking among them.
Outdoor learning experiences would have stayed incomplete without school gardens or playgrounds. The latter is a great way to make a child stay put when the first join school.
But sensory sensitivity varies across children. So, don’t forget to keep aside a small silent place at one corner as 'retreat areas,' beautifully decorated with foliage. This would not only be ideal for small group conversations, but special children will find this extremely beneficial too.
Ask any adult, and all will say, the brightest memories are of the school days. From snatching away lunch boxes to catching our breath while playing lock and key, the impressions are still golden. No matter what, school playground will always remain the first reason why we all fell in love with ‘school.’
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