Hayley Perrault

by Hayley Perrault

Interior Designer

Changed Lives to Change Design

  • FEBRUARY 14, 2019
  • READ
You’ve seen it, or you’ve heard it, and if neither, then you definitely need to read about it. Marie Kondo’s best selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, turned Netflix series, has impacted many lives through the implementation of her Konmari method. The method, outlined in Kondo’s book, instructs participants to physically hold every item in your home (yes, EVERY ITEM) and determine if it sparks joy for you. Shes asks that you imagine your ideal life and what items you bring into it saying, “The question of what you want to own is actually a question of how you want to live your life.”

Personally, I completed the Konmari method with my husband as college graduates and newlyweds, merging our belongings and receiving the first of our joint possessions. Difficult as it might have been, the end result was a home where we were surrounded only by things that made us happy and the freedom from our belongings having power over us. The completion of this process not only changes your current space but your perception of your future space and as a result what you bring into it, leading to a more deliberate and joyful life.

Professionally, at M+A, we have always practiced this principle of creating environments that spark joy and inspire our clients, with each project rooted in evidence based design. People spend a third of their time at work and as design professionals it is our responsibility to create purposeful and individualized spaces to spark joy for each of our clients so that they can continue to inspire and innovate. We have become industry experts in incorporating psychological research into our spaces, creating sensory experiences that are sure to spark joy.

A 2014 study commissioned by Adobe had Forrester Consulting findings that stated that 58% of companies who foster creativity had 2013 revenues exceed their 2012 revenues by 10%. As well as :
Among workers, a positive work environment was viewed as the primary condition for inspiring creativity
47% of respondents’ companies received awards and recognition for being a “best place to work”
69% of those companies also reported having a strong culture that supports creativity
Overall, the more creative companies enjoy greater market share and competitive leadership

The Happy Planet Index, a global index of human well-being, states that employees who are happier and more engaged are more productive and creative. The workplace can help achieve this.
How to Spark Joy in Your Office Environment

1. Everyone’s in on the joke
Our people create the cultures of our work environments, so let’s allow their influence to shine through the space. Our environmental graphics team worked with client WBNS to create a series of phone booth designs each relating to an inside joke from their team. “On Air” signs illuminate when the room is in use and team members enter a room literally wrapped in their collective personality. When employees feel more ownership over the culture and space, they are more engaged overall. We design for moments that make you say “I’m so glad we’re us,” a phrase principle Lori Bongiorno coined here in our office.
2. Literally bring in the fun 
A recent corporate headquarters project presented us with one of the most literal joy sparking design elements we have ever installed: a spiral slide. I am not sure it’s possible to not feel joy whizzing down a two story slide after talking with accounting about your expense report. We recognize a spiral slide isn’t for everyone, but the same idea can be applied by installing a boutique seltzer water machine or unique furniture grouping. These special elements give the opportunity to step away to recharge and refresh your mind before tackling the next task. Implementing unique designs inspire the team and help everyone feel valued which increases employee satisfaction and productivity. 
3. One size does not fit all
We know that everyone works differently and different tasks require different conditions. Similarly, joy does not come to everyone in the same way or from the same place. When we plan a space we ensure to create varieties of work zones that support several work styles and situations. Heads down focus rooms for one, open and messy collaborative zones for six, and traditional conference rooms for fifteen all have a role and value to bring. The goal is for everyone to have access to the kind of place that sparks joy for them to be productive and content.
Marie Kondo’s Konmari method helps people to create an intentional place for their ideal life, but also describes what is at the core of good design. Create a beautiful space that is purposeful and supportive to its inhabitants, hinder nothing and spark joy.
Hayley Perrault

by Hayley Perrault

Interior Designer