How you create and curate your immediate environment plays a big part in your growth as a person, whether it’s where you work or where you relax.

The space around you has to be conducive to achieving growth. This is the inspiration behind this article, which looks at some historically and culturally significant spaces.

Depicted in this series of illustrations from Aspire Doors,  these creative spaces belonged to some serious world movers.

Before we go any further, this is by no means meant to be instructional. You shouldn’t look at this and think that you need to set your lounge or study up in the same way to reach the same level of success.

Rather, you should think about the underlying principles of why this space works for them.

Are you faced with too many distractions? Do you struggle to work remotely? Are you shut off from your inspiration?

Let’s see what can be learned by looking at these creative spaces…

Steve Jobs’ Living Room

This illustration depicts the living room of Steve Jobs at his Los Gatos home in California. It’s from the year 1982.

For those that aren’t familiar with the Steve Jobs story, he was a multi-millionaire at this point. This wasn’t what his lounge looked like when he was selling computers out of a garage. This is what his lounge looked like when he was a multi-millionaire tech executive.  

Steve Jobs abided by the minimalist philosophy. He certainly took it an extreme as you can see, but it’s definitely food for thought.

Is the one thing stopping you from growing your attachment to material things? De-cluttering your life can result in de-cluttering of the mind.

With less distractions, Jobs’ mental capacity was freed up to focus on other things, like taking Apple from a multi-million dollar company to a multi-billion dollar company.

Frida Kahlo’s Home Studio

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist that explored different themes of gender, class, race and identity in the 20th Century through her art.

She had a very storied life and she created many of her works in a residence called the Blue House in Coyoacan, Mexico. She was born here. She eventually died here.

But what can we learn from this? Her studio doesn’t seem to be laid out any differently than you would expect.

Maybe it was the strong sentimental connection she had to this place. The emotional and physical bond between Kahlo and this space is unbreakable.

It’s impractical and mostly hugely difficult to work and create in the place you were born. But consider the emotional and sentimental value instead.

Do you have a strong emotional connection to where you work? To where you live? If not, could this be holding you back?

John Lennon & Yoko Ono’s Hotel Room

This depicts the hotel room where John Lennon & Yoko Ono conducted their second ‘Bed-In for Peace’.

The room is located in Toronto and saw many counterculture figures pass through the room, where Lennon & Ono stayed for a week, to discuss the issues they were protesting.

They even recorded a song in this room called ‘Give Peace a Chance’ and attracted a lot of international media attention to their protest.

Now, how does this relate to your growth? You don’t have the worldwide fame of a John Lennon to make headlines by simply staying in bed for world peace.

This is a lesson that you can do a lot with what you have, even if you have no control over it. As well and good as it is for us to say that you should create these amazing spaces to further your growth, sometimes that isn’t possible.

Sometimes you have to play with the cards you’ve been dealt. If you have no control over your surroundings, let go of wanting to change them.

Great things can be done in the most unassuming of places.

Roald Dahl’s Writing Hut

Roald Dahl captured the imaginations of millions of children with his amazing works of literature. He had a writing hut built for him in his garden where he could completely focus on his work.

Again, you may not have the budget to create a purpose-built hut for your work in your garden, but there’s still something to be learned from Dahl’s writing hut.

Entering the writing hut was a deeply sensory experience.

The smell, the sights, the sounds, they became part of this creative space. The brain creates powerful associations to senses.

Dahl could come into this hut, which he referred to as his ‘womb’ and write for hours.

Could you apply the same sensory thinking to the space where you work or relax to improve your growth?

Read also: The Morning Habits of Famous Writers

Ernest Hemingway’s Home Study

This illustration shows the home study of one of America’s greatest authors, Ernest Hemingway.

This example is a similar one to that of Roald Dahl’s writing hut. You can see how both of these men set up these spaces that were personal to them which got their creative juices flowing.

If you work from home, is your workspace set up to inspire you? If you dedicate an area of the home to work from, you begin to associate that space with work.

Dahl needed to completely shut off the outside world, Hemingway liked being surrounded by natural light, pastel colours and his personal antiques. Further proof that our response to our environment is deeply personal.

Dylan Thomas’ Shed

This shed was the inspiration behind Roald Dahl’s writing hut. It belonged to Dylan Thomas, a Welsh poet who would bask in the natural light that came flooding in.

He would look out over the Taf estuary below and this was all he needed to inspire him to create. From his shed, he could see so much.

If you’re inspired by the natural world, is there a way for you to incorporate it into your creative space?

Dylan Thomas found a way to set himself up to work in plain view of his inspiration. Can you do the same?