I have the pleasure to work with wonderful clients that want to improve the look, feel, and function of their homes. At the heart of most of the design projects is my desire to create a home to enrich the lives of my clients.
Road blocks do arise in projects and it is usually because people lack the ability to visualize the possibilities, or because they don’t believe that the suggested changes will really improve their lives. On a recent project a client told me that they did not believe that the new kitchen I proposed would provide more storage than the old kitchen. But she decided to trust in me and pressed on with my design. The end result made my client a believer. She didn’t realize how underutilized and inefficient her old kitchen was until she had a new efficient one.
The redesign did not add any space, or take away space from another area, it was just completely reworked in the current location. Cabinetry included mainly drawers in the base cabinets which makes for easy access and better organization. Shapes and layouts were simplified to maximize the square footage.
Changing a poorly functioning home into a great home takes commitment. The level of time you spend on it depends on if you do it yourself or if you hire professionals to help you. Either way, it is possible. The old adage, either time or money applies here. And if you lack the time, you may lack the motivation and then put off making any changes.
But I can tell you from first-hand experience, and from experience of working with many clients, that a simple meaningful home is possible. It all starts with mindset. First you have to determine what you want and then be open to making the change. Unfortunately, it’s like a diet that you may not want to start. You know it the right thing, and you want the end result, but it is easier to not do anything.
Here are questions to help you get started to see what your challenges and needs are. This is not about aesthetics of the space, just the function. Because if a space functions poorly, it doesn’t matter how pretty it is, it won't make you happy. It may seem like an overwhelming list of questions, but they are the essence of what will help you figure out where your stumbling blocks, challenges, or assets are.
1. What is your biggest challenge or energy drain?
2. What is your everyday routine?
3. Do you have adequate storage for food, clothes, paperwork and stuff in general? If not, is it because you don't have enough space, or too much stuff?
4. What space that gets on your nerves that you would like to improve?
5. What is a constant “problem” with a space or use of a room that needs to be addressed, corrected or improved?
6. What do you like about your home?
7. What don’t you like about your home? How can you remove the problem of what you don't like?
8. Do you have special lighting needs for the home that are not being met?
9. What are some special needs or uses?
10. How often do you need to accommodate overnight guests?
11. What holidays or events do you like to host?
12. How do you like to entertain friends: Watching a movie? Preparing and serving a sit-down dinner? Having a cocktail party? Outdoor BBQ? Just a relaxed, casual gathering?
13. Do you have a defined everyday entry?
14. Do you have a place to hang coats for guests?
15. Is your everyday entry a place that is organized and offer a place for easy coat removal and storage?
16. Do your family members have a place to put their things?
17. Where are your storage shortfalls?
18. What can you eliminate from your home that will give you more space for the things you love or need?
19. What are your challenges to make changes in your home? Money, time, motivation, family, spouse?
20. What are you willing to commit to make changes to improve your home? Time? Money?
21. How do you want to feel when you come home?
22. How will you get your family on board if they are resistant to change
23. What is the level of importance to create a home that makes you feel good.
24. What are the cosmetic changes you want to make?
25. Are you a DIY’er or are you willing to give up some control and let a professional help you?
The most important step in the process to acknowledge that you want to make a change to your home to improve your enjoyment of it. Then from there start to focus on function first, not just thousands of pretty pictures on Houzz or Pinterest.
To help you on that focus ask yourself the questions for every room in your home. It will help you define what your needs are and what you want. However, it doesn’t offer you the solutions. Contact a professional to help you if you hit roadblocks or can't see how to achieve simplicity. I'd be happy to help you too. I have many levels of service that you can utilize to help you with your design challenges.