Create a home that fits you
As we begin to anticipate the end of our winter hibernation, many of us feel an urge to redesign and renovate our homes. It’s as though the lengthening days invite us to adopt the same spring rituals as the natural world around us. And with a bit of planning, it’s possible to design a home that uniquely fits you and your lifestyle. If you’re full of enthusiasm but not quite sure where to start, follow my four step guide to create a home that fits you like a glove.
Start with a mindful declutter
Relinquishing anything that doesn’t seem necessary or important enables us to look at the bare bones of our homes with new eyes. Like the wintery silhouette of a tree without its leaves, when our homes are emptier, tidier and sparser, we’re enabling ourselves to see its structure and potential, as well as where it is weak or damaged. I think this is important because it’s possible to become a little calcified and fixed in how we use a space. Over time, we become accustomed to viewing it (and ourselves) as fixed entities, when of course we are anything but. If you haven’t had a clear-out since Christmas, now might be a good time to begin:
- Open up all your hidden storage areas – cupboards, drawers, wardrobes – and shine some light into spaces where things are stored out of sight.
- Hold old and familiar items in your hands and consider their value to you now; notice all of the objects you are giving up space to.
- Remove items that don’t seem useful, beautiful or necessary any more.
Evaluate what’s working and what isn’t
Clearing out is the first step in understanding how our living space could flex and stretch to meet our changing needs. Once you have let go of some of the clutter, you are ready to evaluate, take stock, and begin reshaping your home. Here are a couple of questions that might help you to start:
- Reflect on your intention – how you had originally planned to use a particular room or corner?
- Notice how you are actually using your space – where is the furniture or storage inadequate? Where are there items or furniture that aren’t being used at all for their original purpose?
- Think about which activities and behaviours you value but which your home isn’t supporting in its current state. What might need to change to make them happen?
Brainstorm some interior design solutions
Now you’re ready to be wild and creative. We get so used to the conventions of living in our particular culture that it is hard to think a bit differently. But if you can break the mould a bit, you’ll not only create a home that is unique to you, but you’ll make a space that really supports how you want to live. As with any creative endeavour, it’s important to generate some wild and random ideas first without judgement. So have fun brainstorming some truly innovative ways to use your space. Here are some ideas I have been playing with for my own home:
- A co-working office space for everyone in the house so that no one has to work in their bedroom or work alone;
- Kids sharing a bedroom to give them comfort and company at night, and using the extra room as a game/play/music room;
- Buying a mobile projector so that any room (and the garden) can be turned into a viewing space without the need for lots of screens.
These ideas won’t necessarily be desirable, possible or appropriate for you, but in a way, that’s the point. We all have different personalities, lifestyles and resources, and no one solution is right for everyone. Tap into what matters and works for you, and your home will start to fit you like a glove.
Put your new design into action
When we’ve been dreaming about reworking a room it’s really tempting to rush out and buy new things. But from a sustainability and an affordability perspective, it’s often better to start putting your plan into action using items you’ve already got. Here’s how I do it.
- Move furniture around so that it’s in its new location – try that arrangement on for size and see if it works.
- Shop your home by moving things from one room into another – it’s a great way to create a new mood or feeling without having to buy more stuff.
- Only then make a list of any additional items that you need, including size, colour etc. Keep it on your phone so that if you spot things when you’re out and about you have all the details you need to make an informed decision.
- Scour Facebook Marketplace, eBay and GumTree for second hand furniture, fittings and materials and sell any pieces of your own that won’t fit within your new space.
If you need a bit more help with redesigning your home, please get in touch. Whether it’s through a one-off consultation, some tailored advice or a full redesign, I can help you to create a home that feels good as well as looks good.