A client recently asked us to re-design their large sized family room. Seating in the current layout consisted of only a sectional and a recliner. In our questionnaire we uncovered the fact that the wife usually found herself reading or relaxing in the adjoining room…while her husband and three kids would congregate in the family room in front of the TV. Although their family room is fairly large, there really wasn’t a place for her. We decided to change that by creating a “territory” that would become her own personal space where she could still connect with her family.
Research proves that “all humans are territorial as well as social and having a territory at home is important for our mental well-being”(Smith, 1994).
The past several weeks have been interesting (and sad) to say the least. I’ve found myself fortunate to be able to conduct almost all business from my home office. I’m in awe of how those around us have adapted quickly and have committed to keeping in touch. We’ve all found strength in collaboration. This month I’ve collaborated with two profession women whom I truly admire.
I’ve always believed that the way our spaces are designed can help us to feel more confident. Since the weekend is approaching, why not focus on one thing that can help us to feel more in control?
Tip #1 is from professional organizer Lisa Harris, owner of Organize with Lisa.
“For many of us, no room gets greater traffic than the kitchen. The “command center,” is a great place for focus. Designate a “zone” in your kitchen that’s used to drop off and disinfect packages, mail, and groceries before distributing them throughout your shelves and your home.”
I love this tip because I could instantly visualize where my own “command center” would be located. Here are a few examples (images from others) that I found on Pinterest:
But what if you don’t have the space in your kitchen? Is there a hallway leading into your kitchen?
Or why not create an area where you enter your home?
Or maybe it’s an area in your garage?
Tip #2 is from Certified Professional Organizer®, Jean Marie Herron, owner of POSSE Partners.
“Since most people’s personal and professional calendars are probably “not the norm” at the moment, one of the best ways to put some “normal” back into our days is to put structure into our daily schedule. Decide in advance what you’d like to accomplish today. Then write or type a short To Do List. Keep it handy and make it happen. Additionally, when you create this daily list that will give you structure, ensure you have at least one thing if not more on this list that will give you pleasure.”
Again, I was able to immediately visualize this tip. How many lists have you started then forgotten where they were? (By “you” I mean “me”…please don’t ask my kids how many times I’ve hidden their phones and forgotten where)
If you have a project you’d like to work on and share, please send me a before (and after?) picture! I’d love to see them and, if you like, offer a few additional tips to help you feel more in control.
We started with measuring and drafting up a basic scaled floor plan. Our client already had the majority of what she needed for the space, so our job was to interject color, personality and to create a space that flowed with the rest of the house.
We decided to use this embroidered floral fabric on the window treatments. Simple panels on a rod with black out lining were chosen. This fabric’s vibrant colors make such a statement and need no additional embellishments. The once dark green walls were replaced with the office white ground found in the fabric. We used a no VOC paint.
We discovered (and fell in love with) this artwork at High Point Market on our most recent trip. A trio above the headboard injects color and joy to this space.
An overscaled wool navy striped rug was chosen to ground the space and balance the scale of the floral embroidered panels. The bedside lamps we chose were a perfect indigo blue.
We were fortunate to be able to use the client’s chair and ottoman. The vibrant Hermes boxes were pulled from storage and used as an accent and accessory in this space. The last piece to this space was the artwork above the chair that blended perfectly with the two!
Our goal for any space we are designing is that it becomes a place where you will gravitate.
Here are our top five (simple yet effective) wellness tips for creating a space that is bound to make your guests want to stay longer.
1. Inject color – How do you want to feel in this space? Our client wanted this room to energize her as it’s also her home office. So we used saturated oranges and electric blues to do just that. Fun fact: orange is associated with joy and radiates warmth. In the body, it’s associated with circulation and the nervous system.
2. Material selections – Use materials that can alter your guest’s experience of warmth – when people are physically warmer, their levels of interpersonal warmth increase. Because who needs a cranky guest? Simple additions include adding a warm throw and a few colorful pillows on the bed. Soft fabrics on upholstered pieces such as the chair in this space add to the comfort of this room. (teaser for our next post!)
3. Lighting control – Lift your guest’s mood with natural sunlight but also give them the ability to control the amount of sunlight the room. Window treatments should not only be operable but also have black out lining to ensure a good night’s rest. (Did you know that direct access to daylight and views reduces blood pressure, lowers the incidence of headaches, and in healthcare setting results in the need for less pain medication and shorter stays in the hospital?)
4. If you have bare wood floors, adding a throw rug serves two purposes: added warmth to the space (who wants to wake up and put their feet on a bare floor?) and also addresses any acoustical challenges. The bold, large scaled striped throw rug that we used for this project injects personality and warmth to this space.
5. Artwork – We chose artwork that energizes…that “sparks joy” in our client. Artwork personalizes the room and becomes the perfect finishing touch.
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Multi-Function Rooms: Making the most of every inch of your home
We all have rooms in our homes that simply aren’t used as frequently as we would like. Perhaps these rooms have a more traditional function, and are not used as often as they were in the past. As an example, when was the last time you used your formal dining room to entertain guests?
For most families, a formal dining room and formal living room are large spaces that aren’t being used to their full potential. While they can certainly be useful for special occasions and large gatherings, they often aren’t designed to be functional for our day-to-day lives.
Designing these rooms to be multi-functional is key to bringing them into the present. With a few simple adjustments, you can transform these seldom used rooms into spaces your family loves and uses on a daily basis.
I talked about multi-functional rooms and showed some real-life examples on an episode of House Smarts, a home improvement and lifestyle TV series hosted by Lou Manfredini. You can watch my segment in the video below.
At Fiori Interior Design, we prioritize functionality to ensure the spaces you live in feel authentic and nurturing, so you and your family can live well. If you would like to know how you can make your home work better for your family and lifestyle, I would love to help – simply schedule a consultation here.
Fiori Interior Design (FID) is a boutique design firm that creates beautiful wellness environments. Our mission is to transform our clients’ homes into uplifting places – where everyone, regardless of their age— functions at their highest level.