I remember around 12 years ago going out to see a new client who was interested in updating her lounge room. She had a more formal traditional style large lounge room with a beautiful leather chesterfield and 2 matching leather wingback chairs, a beautifully carved ornate coffee table, and a chandelier that in any other space would have been ridiculously ostentatious but in this home with its lovely high ceilings and large scale really complimented it. During the consultation, I asked her to tell me about her lifestyle and how they used the space. She told me they used the room each night. I then asked her where she and her family sat, she told me that she sat on the floor crossed-legged with her back leaning against the chesterfield as she didn’t find any of the chairs comfortable to sit in at all.
This is a perfect example of a room not serving all its owners.
As a contrast, I have had multiple clients with my assistance transition their formal lounge/dining rooms (which no one uses anymore) into spaces that actually serve them and their families. One client’s husband was into having his mates over for drinks and playing pool. They decided to paint out their formal lounge/dining into a moodier darker paint colour and create the ultimate man cave. Currently, I have a client where we are transforming her formal lounge/dining into 2 sitting areas, one small nook down one end of the room by a fireplace and then a separate larger sitting area down the other end that seats up to 5 people. The beauty of the space is that it can sit up to 7 in total as the chairs by the fireplace can swivel and become part of the larger sitting area. My client can enjoy Friday night drinks with a girlfriend by the fire or they can retire to this space after they have friends or extended family over for dinner. My client could also curl up with a book and enjoy the space that way too, taking time away from the rest of the family that may be sitting in the family room.
We work so hard to pay our mortgage that it makes sense that we would want to be using every last corner of our homes right? I guess there can also be different thinking around how someone uses a space. To me a space is used when it serves its owner’s lifestyle well.
Do you like to cook but have a poorly functioning kitchen? Do you love watching movies but only have a small tv? Do you love to have people over and entertain but end up not having anyone over due to not having space or do you entertain out in your garage? Do you have a crafting hobby that is overtaking your dining room table or the whole house? Are you a cyclist but have nowhere to store your bikes?
There is no right or wrong way to live. There are no rules that say you have to have a formal lounge and formal dining room. There are no rules that say you need a dining table. Coffee table. Tv. Bookshelf. but…… what I do think is important is that your home serves whatever it is that you and your family’s lifestyle is. What are your hobbies, what do you like to spend time doing in your home, is your home serving this lifestyle?
Imagine coming home from a busy and hard day at work and retiring to a space away from the busy household common area to spend even a short amount of time to relax, read, do some gentle exercise before starting evening activities.
As an Interior Designer, I want nothing more than for the rooms I design to not only look good but also function well. I want the spaces to add value to the lives of their owners. I want the spaces to help serve and support. Sometimes rooms are haphazardly jumbled together and if anything hinder their owner’s lifestyle. Simple tasks that could be done in a few seconds take minutes. Owners are putting up with damaged or old furniture, dimly lit rooms, cold feeling rooms, cluttered rooms, bare empty spaces. Imagine a home that truly served your vision, for each part of your lifestyle. You may entertain, craft, be into sport, cooking, gardening, travel, a movie buff, music lover there are so many activities that well set up rooms or homes could very easily assist the experience to be an even more enjoyable one.
What are some changes that you could make to your home today that your future self will thank you for?
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