Home isn’t just a reflection of your style or a form of self-expression. It’s a place that influences how you feel when you start and end your day. It can make your life easier, or more hectic, and lend towards the achievement or postponement of your goals. When designing a space at home, make it a space you love. Keep these five questions top of mind to influence and inform decisions from paint color to purchases.
What Feelings should the Space Evoke?
How do you want to feel when you’re at home? Does your answer vary depending on the room? Jot down any words or phrases that come to mind.
For me, home is a place to rest, to entertain, and to be inspired. When I walk into a cluttered, disorganized space, I’m less motivated to do something fun and productive with my time, like read a book or try a new recipe. But entering a space that’s clean, where everything has a home, calms my mind and allows me to focus on projects and activities that bring me joy.
What is the Aesthetic?
Maybe you’ve fallen in love with millennial pink, marble, and brass. Or perhaps you gravitate towards earth tones and wooden home furnishings. Your aesthetic could be a combination of all the above, plus pops of yellow and throw in some mixed metals. Whether its modern farmhouse, art-deco, Scandinavian inspired or any of the other hundreds of possibilities, mark the style of your space with some defining colors and features.
While it’s important to have a cohesive look, try venturing outside of the furniture set that matches the headboard you just purchased. Opt for a dynamic approach of mixing and matching different colors and materials to make a big difference in the overall aesthetic of a space.
Is it Comfortable?
That couch could be a piece of art. No, literally, you could look at it all day. But could you sit it on for a few hours at night? I walk a fine line between aesthetic and comfort, but try to stay practical and remind myself of how I want to feel in a space. Comfort is always key.
Is it Functional and Convenient?
Take my purchase of these West Elm C Tables that I use as nightstands. Visually, they make me super happy. Functionally, I’m out two spaces for books, chargers, chapstick, hair ties, extra coasters and hand lotion that would typically live in the drawers of a nightstand.
In the initial debate, aesthetic won over extra storage, but in the long term, I’ve had to compensate for storage by relocating those nightstand essentials to less convenient spots. I’ve learned the importance of function and convenience, and with future purchases I’ve made sure to account for both.
Does it Bring You Joy?
Marie Kondo’s method of asking oneself if an article of clothing sparks joy, to determine whether it lands in the keep, donate or trash pile, is a phrase that I try to live by in all senses… not just via my closet.
Posing this question before a purchase may seem redundant, and you may be thinking, why else would I buy it? But, if you find an answer is simply functionality, or just convenience, only comfort or purely for aesthetic, and if that object doesn’t contribute to how you want to feel in a space, how can it bring you joy?
Don’t buy something because it checks off one box. Aim for a multifaceted response that ultimately comes down to sparking joy. Asking these questions will guide you towards setting an intention for each space, to furnish and decorate with items that serve you, your lifestyle and your goals.