Home » Journal » How does the space we live in affect us?
4 May 2023 •   

How does the space we live in affect us?

Maybe someone could tell me that we are the ones who characterize a place. We convey our personality to it as we live it: whether at home, or where we work, or the place where we stay for a short or long time.

In my opinion, it doesn't take much to start this process of mutual adaptation.

Most people have more or less figured out what the average hospital bed looks like. In short: neon lights, colors ranging from white to shades of blue/green, sometimes a religious symbol, sometimes a TV. And yet beds are at most uncomfortable with rough cotton linen, lockers, bedside tables, tables, chairs marked by wear and tear.

The whole thing is very aseptic and standard, occupied in rotation by different people who both leave and don’t leave any trace.

As soon as you enter you feel lost, partly because of the context that brings you there, partly because you are in an environment that feels very distant from you. Almost automatically you try to personalize it. A book, some magazines, a notepad, a bag of snacks, soft towels from home - the list is not very long actually.


You don't bring many things to the hospital. But they are there, put on display defiantly, so that they soften the unfamiliar surroundings, so that you feel embraced by the objects that remind you of your daily life.

The only thing I liked about that room was the window.

Except for the battered shutter - which I never closed to avoid it cutting off my view outside - I had been very lucky. The city stretched out before my eyes: the cathedral, the historic villas and the center on the right. On the left were apartment blocks and houses, old and new office buildings. Everything was brightened by the warm and changing light of day, and at night it was dotted with street lamps and car lights. Small and large gardens grew greener as spring approached, trees swayed, clouds and far to the north the line of mountains.

I think part of the healing was due to the fact that as I looked out of that window I felt like I was breathing again.

Golden hour

I hadn't brought the window from home but it made me feel at home.

The thought that popped into my head gives the title to this post. The space we live in affects us and it is mutual: we personalize the place we are in as soon as we set foot in it. Maybe we do it to feel comfortable, to feel in an atmosphere that reflects and motivates us. We do it unconsciously or consciously: the result of what we create influences our mood and the way we connect with others.


How many of us, for example, rediscovered the place in which we lived when we were confined there for three months in spring 2020? And how many decided to modify or change it after that spring?

To me, a hospital room is one of the icons of that spring and of how little control we have over external events.

We can work through the “little” things. 

Come sul contesto in cui viviamo, sul cercare di sentirci a nostro agio ovunque siamo. 

Like about the situation we live in, trying to feel at ease wherever we are. I'm thinking of pediatric wards, which often are as colorful and joyful as possible, compatible with the norms and practical needs of healthcare facilities.

Even adults deserve the chance to stay in places that are worthy of the human being.

I refer to the average hospital whose features we listed earlier. It would be nice to be able to soften those places and turn them into familiar ones in the future.

There's a reason why certain colour and stylistic choices have been made, but it's the little things that make the difference. The type of light, the materials used, the possibility of having plants or flowers or books available. And also simple systems for contacting those outside, accessible even to guests who are not familiar with the latest technology, some comfortable seating, snacks or drinks in the patients' room. Then a radio, natural light filtering through clean glass, a table lamp for the evening, dividers between beds in case of multiple rooms or other needs.

For sure, we do not want to stay in hospital any longer than necessary and it is also sure that in a comfortable environment we feel better and we don't lose our identity as a person.

Each of these little things just mentioned is a sign that we haven't been forgotten. The room in which we come in afraid can have the power to welcome, protect and strengthen. Patient A shouldn't feel as just as bed X in room Y any longer.

It's the 'little' things that make us human. 

That's what design for me is about: creating compatible solutions in challenging cases to improve people's experience in the place they live in.

Make a list of little things that bring you joy and make you feel at home, and share it by tagging Leaf&Timber on Instagram! Let's give voice to the details!


Come As You Are”, Nirvana

Arsène”, Mathieu Lamboley, music from “Lupin” the Netflix Original Serie

“I’m Vengeance”, Brian Delgado, Epic Music World

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 comments on “How does the space we live in affect us?”

  1. ...se posso suggerire sull'argomento..."Le case che siamo" e "Le case che saremo" di Luca Molinari...

I am Lisa, architect, fantasy addicted and short story writer. Together we'll create a place to live at your own speed, where you can gather with your loved ones and write your own story.

Read my manifesto
Browse by category
Search the blog

Altre letture per te

A special place

Have you ever stood somewhere and felt good? Have you looked around? Did everything about the room make you feel comfortable? I would like to take this opportunity to share an experience with you. It has happened to me a few times, even hundreds of miles away from home, to think: "Wow, this place is […]

Long nights before Christmas

How can we spend these days in a more purposeful way? Where does our beloved tradition come from? Which ornaments can we use in our home while keeping a minimalistic and slow style?

I am Lisa, architect, fantasy addicted and short story writer. Together we'll create a place to live at your own speed, where you can gather with your loved ones and write your own story.

© 2024 LEAF & TIMBER ®, LISA MAGGIOLO | Privacy Policy & Cookie Policy | Cookie preferences
Photo NICOLE BOZZAO | Brand & Web design Miel Café Design