Compromise, or Adapt?

Congratulations, you’ve moved into a new home! This home is likely the biggest investment of your life. You bought this home knowing that you would probably need to update its design. As an interior designer, I’m thrilled that you need my assistance! If this home is not newly constructed, you probably viewed this home with someone else’s furnishings and layout. Don’t assume that the way their furnishings worked in the room is appropriate for you.  An existing use or function of space, may not be be appropriate for your lifestyle.  I advise you to live in your new home for a little while before jumping into a remodel.

Why?  This is a new home for you.  You need to take time to understand how you will live in this home.  Which rooms have high traffic?  What is the traffic flow in, out and around the house? Do you like to cook? If so, this means the kitchen may get top priority for any updates. How does the sun light each room? Do some rooms feel dark and dingy? It may be possible to address this with window treatments or an upgrade of existing lighting. How are the bedrooms organized? Do they meet the needs of each of the inhabitants? What ages are your children (if you have them). How will they need to grow in their bedrooms and in the rest of the house? Do you entertain?  If so, for who? Business clients, friends, family?

As you can see, there are a zillion questions to consider. You probably thought through a lot of these kinds of questions when you bought the house. But they need to be thought about again – in a different way – now that you are living in the home. The design of your home must fit your lifestyle. The flow, color, lighting, flooring and furniture should be appropriate for the way you live.  If the house is over 15 years old, the layout of the house may not fit our newer, more casual lifestyles. Think outside the box! I highly recommend bringing in a designer to any prospective home you are seriously considering buying (this also goes for when you are ready to sell!). We can be invaluable during your decision process. Don’t dismiss a prospect because you cannot see beyond the chandelier or color.  This is not HGTV!  A designer can help you create a home that works for you.  The house can be adapted to fit your life, not you adapting to live within its perceived limitations.

Sometimes a designated function for one room may not be the right use of this room! For example, I’ve turned a dining room into a family room because the family didn’t use a formal dining room and that room was adjacent to the kitchen. In the another case, the function of the room changed because the dining room was near the back of the house and had access to the back  yard. I’ve also turned a living room into a dining room due to the living room location causing a complete family traffic disaster!

Families with young children may prefer stain resistant fabrics.  Sporty families need a place to store gear and drop dirty sneakers.  Technophiles crave easily accessible 3-pronged electrical outlets, while art collectors seek rooms with proper lighting.  Regardless of your lifestyle and interests, your home can fit your life.  Pay attention to to the details of how you live, then, make decisions about how you may want to update your home’s design!

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