Creating a Nurturing Home Environment for Children

Client: Furniture Bank of Central Ohio

Team: Kira Henderson, Bre Jacobs, Erika Rittenhouse, Alex Stulock

Date:  Fall 2018



Key Findings

  • "Children [living in poverty] have fewer memories or experiences that excite them"

  • "Children [living in poverty] do not feel a sense of comfort at home and often do not even want to be there"

  • "Children cannot grow if that development is not constantly reinforced"

  • "Home" is not a space, but a feeling of belonging

  • Parents living in poverty cannot focus on thriving when they are simply trying to survive

  • The implications of living in poverty are much deeper than simply being "poor"

During our research, we recognized the opportunity for the FBCO to play a larger role in the lives of those they serve by creating added value to the furniture beyond filling the home. 

We shifted focus from the home as a space to the children living in the space, finding that for many, home does not provide the sense of security necessary to thrive. We interviewed a variety of teachers and caregivers to better understand the disconnect between the home life and school, which are the two places children spend the most time. 

Solution and Value 


We developed journey maps and user personas to help build a narrative that focused on what it takes to nurture children and then developed low-fidelity proof of concept prototypes to test and iterate. 


With our findings guiding us, we found an opportunity for the FBCO to maximize one of its primary revenue streams from their Downsize with a Heart service, removing furniture from universities that have upgraded, and utilizing the donations in a way that can provide educational support to children they currently serve. This concept also touched on strategic implications including a stronger brand presence, building partnerships, and capacity building. Our final deliverable was a short video explaining our concept, "Desks for Success." 

The Furniture Bank could utilize donations from universities to provide educational support to the children they serve.