Your Space Matters: 3 Secrets To Design Your Life At Home

Your Space Matters: 3 Secrets To Design Your Life At Home


Your Space Matters.  It really does!  As we go about our day, following our crazy schedules, it’s so easy to get caught up in life and ignore this place we call home.

And then one day we wake up and notice that things around us are looking a bit worn and tired. There are rooms we avoid because we just don’t feel comfortable there.  Sometimes we’re unorganized and often late for work or carpool because we can’t find the car keys.  Does this sound a little bit familiar?

And worst of all, because we feel this way, it starts to impact the way we act around other people and how we respond to them…even if we don’t realize it.  You know what I mean.  The kitchen counter is piled with a PTA project that needs to be finished, so you’re stressed.  Then the kids start clamoring for your attention…and you snap at them.  Or you’re embarrassed to have friends over because your kitchen “doesn’t look as good as their kitchen.”

We’ve all been there at one time or another, and it’s not a fun place to be.  Now’s the time to sit back, take a deep breath, and make a plan to design your life at home.  Here are my 3 secrets to making it happen:

Secret #1:  Define your values

Start by making a list of everything that HOME means to you. Do you want it to be a retreat to come home to at the end of a long hectic day?  Do you love to welcome family and friends?  Next make a list of your priorities in order of importance.  But be sure that they fit what you value most about home.  A good example of this would be loving to cook but dreading it because your kitchen is always a mess.

Secret #2:  Discover what works for you and your lifestyle

How do you want to live in your home?  If you love to be relaxed and casual, then choose furniture styles that reflect that.  When low maintenance is something you value, a clean and simple style with few accessories might be the way to go.

How do you want to feel when you’re at home?  Do you want to feel relaxed, unhurried, and stress free?  What about energetic, organized, and carefree?  Think about the lifestyle you have now, or even the one that you’d like to have, and create your home makeover to compliment that.

What do you want more of?  For me it’s more creative time.  If I don’t create a space for that to happen, I don’t plan it into my day.

What do you want less of?  Maybe you want to spend less time cleaning or staying on top of the clutter.  Less accessories and better storage solutions would be the answer.

Secret #3:  Just do it!

Too often we make excuses….
I don’t have the time.
We can’t afford it.
I can’t live through construction.
I don’t know where to start.

So many times these excuses are just us getting in our own way because we’re afraid to take that first step.  Start with something simple and begin the process with what you already have.  Get rid of the outdated floral arrangements, move lamps and pillows to another room, or re-purpose a table for another use.  One client realized that she was spending less and less time in her home office, and instead working later and later at meetings and other busy work.  As soon as she admitted to herself that she really hated the way her office made her feel, she was ready to make a change.  And guess what?  A new paint color was enough to soothe her feelings of uneasiness, and she’s now using her office again!


Appliance Selection 101: Think Before You Buy

my range

Lately I seem to be getting a lot of questions from clients and friends who are confused about appliance selection. Their questions range from “Is this too big?” to “Where should I put it?” And before I give my answer, I always ask a few questions of my own that will make them think before they buy.

The first thing I tell them is the appliance needs to fit the space, and leave enough room for counter top prep areas. When you’re in the appliance showroom, not only is it overwhelming, but extra-large appliances begin to look normal. Clients get so excited about owning a 48” range and are all set to make the purchase. But…Think Before You Buy!

The next questions I always ask have to do with your lifestyle and your needs. Think about your lifestyle (or the lifestyle you want to have in your new kitchen).

1. How do you work in your kitchen? Do you like to have all of your    appliances clustered together near the sink?
2. How much cooking do you actually do? Will you really use all the burners on a 48” range or will a 36” range be more practical for you and your budget?

range and hood

3. Technology and design are important. Are you living the lifestyle of a crazy busy person? In that case, maybe an induction cook top would be best for you. Another benefit of induction cooking is the safety feature of burners never being hot….perfect for aging parents or small children.
4. Think about the placement of each appliance in the room. Are they convenient to the way you work in your kitchen? Is the height comfortable for you? Does bending bother your knees and back? Then raising the height a bit will work best for your needs.

micro oven

A crazy course that I had to take in college was Home Management. One of the requirements of the class was to count all the steps we took as we prepared a meal. Then we figured out ways we could be more efficient. At the time I thought it was a waste of time and a joke. But now that I help clients create the best kitchen possible for their lifestyle, I can see the value in that Home Management course.