The underpinnings of good home design is a clear understanding of who you actually are — coming to grips with how you use your rooms, who’s in them with you, and what you need and when. In a world of design blogs and Pinterest, it’s sometimes hard to not pine over beautiful homes, without taking the time to assess whether or not they’d work for us. The key is getting to the root of your lifestyle, and then setting your home up accordingly. Here's how to get started:
This is just the tip of the question iceberg, but the following are the *type* of things you should think about when you're looking to buy or rent — then setting up — your home.
Do You Have Children and/or Pets? If you have an idea that white sofas are the epitome of comfort and cool, remember that you actually have a drooling dog, or a peanut butter-smeared child. Or, it might be time to put away that sharp glass coffee table and bring out the soft ottomans instead. Your home might not always have to be that way, but right now, it is what it is.
Are You Good at On-going Maintenance? Cut yourself a break and reduce the amount of stuff you have to dust, and buy decor that's easy to clean. Don’t acquire a bunch of plants that won’t get watered anyway, or create a large lawn that then needs to be mowed each week. Go for a rock garden instead.
Do You Have Special Physical Needs? If you are particularly short, rearrange your cabinets to put those things you use most within easy reach. Or buy a fridge with the freezer on bottom versus top. If you need help moving around the house, look for a bedroom on the first floor.
Are You Informal or Formal? There’s no hard and fast rule that says you need a separate dining room or fancy living room that only gets used once a year on holidays, or when people come over to visit. Make it a family room instead that’s comfortable and flexible, depending on what you’re up to that day.
Are You a Morning Person or a Night Owl? If you are better in the wee hours of the morning, pick a bedroom that is at its brightest early in the day. Choose a light paint color. Those who like to sleep in should consider deeper tones and invest in some substantial window coverings to block out the annoying light.
How Much Space Do You Really Need? Is it worth it to search for an apartment that has a spare bedroom when you never have out of town guests? Or, do you really need a gift wrapping room? Does it make more sense to buy a smaller home and put that money to good use elsewhere?
Do You Crave Privacy, or Entertain Often? Reconsider an open floor plan if you really need a separate home office in which to work. Or, if you never have overnight guests, let go of the idea of an extra bedroom. Convert it into a home office, painting studio, or extra play space for the kids instead.
What does your home currently say about you, and is it right or wrong?
- Re-edited from a post originally published 9.29.2015 - CM