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MORE THAN JUST A ROOM

The aim of our most recent giving project is to give those experiencing homelessness a space to dream, to reignite their passion, and most importantly create a space they can call their own. Every purchase goes towards rebuilding and renovating the community living space at Centenary House in Belfast. We believe that this is more than just a room, this will be a personalised space that will impact hundreds of people that walk through the Centenary House doors!

You might ask what does that look like? 

We’ve partnered with an interior designer who has joined us in the planning process on doing up the space. Our goal is intentionality, creating a space that we as a team would be excited to spend time in. We've chosen items that will not only benefit the space but also the guests at Centenary House. This includes certain colours, room dividers, sofas/coverings, instruments/music systems, plants, artwork, and more! Our team is excited to highlight some of the items we’ve chosen so far and give you guys an inside look on the WHY we chose them…... 

COLOUR - Our finalised colour choices consist of white,  blue and orange. The goal is to keep the colours minimal and brighten up the room with the white. The choice of blues & orange will be used to paint bold statement lines that will come down two of the walls. We finally chose to use the wooden tones in our furnishing to make the space more homely. We know the Centenary House serves as a drop in centre and we want to partner with them to ensure their guests feel welcomed, a space to call their own but most importantly somewhere they enjoy spending time in.



ROOM DIVIDERS - The Centenary communal room is a large open space with the dimensions of 8.25m x 11.33m. We thought a room of this size with so many components should be divided into sections allowing guests to fully enjoy whatever space they find themselves in. The room will include a kitchen area, seating, reading zones, entertainment areas, and more. To ensure safety and staff access we chose to use shelves to section off the spaces opposed to normal panelled dividers. Our chosen white shelves will also serve as a storage space where we can put books, games, plants, appliances, and more!   

SOFA & SOFA COVERINGS - Everyone appreciates a good sofa. It’s a necessity in any living space, especially in one where you are with others gathering and relaxing. We honestly see them more than just a seating space, we hope the sofas and one seaters serve as a means of connection. Our hope is these individuals sit and watch television together, interact with each other & staff members, and above all else feel a sense of home. After speaking with Centenary House staff we wanted to be mindful of the demographic & guest services. Upon request we will also be providing sofa covers which will ensure easy clean & intact furniture to be used long term in their centre. 

INSTRUMENTS & MUSIC SYSTEM - After getting feedback from guests at Centenary House we learned that music played a big part in setting the atmosphere and helping them feel at ease. Music is about expressing emotion through sound. While investigating the effects of music, physiologists Daniel J. Levitin and Mona Lisa Chanda found that listening to music and playing an instrument increased the immune system. Music and playing an instrument also uses almost every part of the brain, produces patience and perseverance, cultivates creativity, breeds confidence and increases personal discipline. These are things we want to see progress for these guests so we will be providing what’s necessary to see that happen. In the future we would love to take it a step further and provide someone who can come in to give lessons!

PLANTS - At the Oi HQ we love plants!Fun fact, plants improve indoor air quality! Studies also have shown that they boost mood, productivity, and creativity. We wanted to add some more life to this space and adding indoor plants (both real & fake) will serve both practical and aesthetic purposes. We also recognise the benefit of looking after plants that builds responsibility & consistency. 

ART & ENCOURAGING MESSAGING - As a team we really wanted to spark passion and creativity within the space. What better way to do that than fill the room with art & inspiration! We are working with a local artist to create a personalised piece for the guest at Centenary House. The aim of the art piece is to inspire hope back into the lives of people who need it most. We also asked their service users a series of questions about their dreams & what they want from the space. (CHECK OUT BLOG HERE) One of the questions included  “the words you like to live by are…” and received such inspirational responses which we would like to incorporate these words & statements into the space.  

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Giving back is the heart of OutsideIn! The same way those experiencing homelessness deserve new clothing, & a hot meal they also deserve a space to dream. Our team is working towards creating a place where those experiencing homelessness can reignite their passion, and have somewhere they can call their own. During this time we might not be able physically give out products but we still want to ensure tangibility & transparency with this Dream Project. 

This is the FIRST of many behind the scenes at us moving forward with this project. 

THANK YOU for following our journey, and we are EXCITED to continue sharing updates for you guys!

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