making your space work for you

making your space work for you

My ultimate design maxim is: to let go of expectations - your own and others. These expectations can run the gamut from how spaces “should be utilized to what furnishings or design choices have merit. 

Do not cave to these pressures! Good and meaningful design does not exist in a silo of conformity. As such, your space should represent your character, lifestyle, goals, and journey. It should be in alignment with you, rather than in alignment with any external expectations.

So, how do YOU want to create your space?

Here are three questions to guide you in making any living space work for you. 


What is the functional purpose of the space?


Decide on what the purpose of the space is. This seemingly simple question is an important one; as you may have more flexibility than you may initially have imagined. A space’s original purpose shouldn’t be a barrier to how you utilize it. Consider possibilities. 

For instance, a designated “dining room” does not need to be utilized as one if it tends to be dormant outside of the occasional functions/events/holidays. Moreover, you don’t necessarily need to lose the room’s original function; there is always the potential for an innovative and creative solution!

Don’t forget to assess any adjacent spaces. Consider their existent cross-purpose usage and any potential modifications or adjustments for better ease and flow.


How do/will you use the space?


This question is different from the space’s function. It refers to your lifestyle, habits, and routine and how they will play out in the space. This question can assist in identifying what types of furnishings and accessories you will want to select.

For example, a living room can serve as a gathering space or a place for quiet repose. Some living rooms are food-free, while others are the primary eating area. Each of these spaces will require different considerations, solutions, and, orientations. Consider how you can integrate your daily activities, routines, and pastimes into the function of the space. What below-the-radar furniture or accessories could aid in curating the space around your particular needs?

Everyone lives differently, and again, that's why it’s so important to let go of expectations like what is “supposed” to be in a living room and to consider what will be of benefit to you. Your space should accommodate your style of living.


How do you want the space to feel?

The most fun, but perhaps the most daunting question. It can be hard at the beginning to articulate your desired aesthetic; from both a verbal and visual perspective. That is why a simple exercise to begin with is to define the feeling you would like the space to emote. How do you want yourself and others to feel when they use the space?

Create a Pinterest board or a physical mood board; this can help you define your color palette and the style of your furnishings and other decor items for the space. Initially, fill your board with anything that inspires you - don’t hold back!

Once you’ve collected enough inspiration it's time to analyze your findings. Note any repeat colors, color combinations, tones, and color usage. Identify styles of furniture and layouts that keep drawing your eye, and what materials and patterns you keep coming back to. 

Mostly, don’t be afraid to try something unexpected and even daring! This is fertile ground for your imagination to play. 



In answering these three questions; you’ll be well on your way to creating a living environment that is tailored to you; just as it should be. Only when we let go of what is “expected” of what the space should be or look like, can we fully harness our creativity for more expressive and innovative design. 


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