Everywhere we turn there are visual cues for us. Driving along the interstate there are billboards after billboards – especially if you are nearing “South of the Border” in Dillon, South Carolina. Anyone traveling to the beaches in this area knows what I mean- billboards advertising the retail establishments of “South of the Border” are one after the other, literally. I’ve heard there are about 175 billboards advertising for it. Then there’s the visual cues on the screen at the movie theatres showing people eating yummy treats from the concession stands to wet your appetites and thirsts and compel you to purchase these things before the movie starts. Drive-in movies were the big thing when I was growing up and somewhere I heard that within the movies there were even visual cues that were so quick they were seen only on the subliminal level, meant to get us to the concession stand for popcorn and treats without even knowing it. My family – we brought our own. My mom would pop up a huge grocery bag of popcorn and load the cooler for all of us to enjoy while we sat in the station wagon watching two back-to-back flicks.
Anyway, back to visual cues. Visual cues are a type of sensory cue that work on both the conscious mind as well as the sub-conscious mind to affect us in some way. Some visual cues (such as the ones at the movies) are meant to entice on a short-term basis. Others such as the arrows on elevators are meant to instruct. (They still don’t properly instruct me!) Regardless of what the visual cue is for, it’s clear that they affect us.
I’m sure most of you over the years have created visual cues in your homes. If you have children you have at some point most likely posted “Potty Charts” or “Good Behavior Charts”. I had a doorframe in my house where we kept a penciled measuring chart of each of the kid’s growth progress as they grew. Each line marked the new height and date. It was wonderful to look at over the years and reminisce and then really, really hard to leave when we moved on to another space!
But, what I’m talking about is a much subtler form of visual cues and is actually part of your decor. Meant to be part of the décor, these types of visual cues affect the subconscious level of the mind and make you feel good in ways you don’t realize. Here are some great ways to decorate with visual cues to bring good vibes into your space:
- Have an area such as a decorative chalkboard to write daily inspirational messages to yourself, your family and guests. My daughter-in-law, Kathleen painted the entire wall of her mudroom in chalkboard paint. She writes her grocery list there, her “to do, ” list, Ben’s “honey-do list” and friends can write fun comments on it when they visit. This wall is like a living history wall of the goings on in the Aliff abode and continuously creates happiness.
- Display a collection that gives you instantaneous feel good vibes such as a wall of crosses. Several of my nieces do this in their homes, a tradition passed down from their mother, Patty. This “wall of crosses” has even spilled over into other family members homes such as my niece, Marli’s home. What a lovely way to constantly observe one’s faith, reflect on it and feel the calmness wash over you!
- Find a decorative plaque of a positive quote that speaks personally to you and hang it somewhere in your space that you regularly see. Or hang a piece of decorative art such as a clock I saw at a lake home recently. The clock was stuck on 5:00. Talk about instant smiles and instant relaxation. (And thirst maybe?!?)
- Accessorize with decorative pillows that have special meaning to you. Pillows with whimsical quotes are examples that bring on the smiles.
One of the most heartwarming visual cues I have seen in a long time is in the home of a family friend, Jennifer. Jennifer lost her sister a few years ago and has memorialized her love for her with a frame that includes a quote about sisters. It reads,
from childhood memories to grown up dreams”
This visual cue speaks volumes of love and every time I see it I smile and feel gentle chill bumps erupt all over my body – a sure sign from the heavens above if you ask me!
The sky’s the limit on ways to infuse affirming visual cues in your home décor. After all, each and every one of us can use more positive in our lives. Our homes are our sanctuaries, meant to vitalize and revitalize us for living in the outside world. Take every opportunity to create feel good vibes in your space, subtle decorative visual cues being one of them. Your heart, mind, body and soul will thank you and your entire being will blossom from the wonderful surroundings. I guarantee it!
To loving life…