One of the most exciting parts of my work is walking into someone’s home (usually someone I don’t know) and improving the way they live. This can happen simply by listening to what they need from their personal spaces. It is even possible to add a room without construction by evaluating how the room is being used and what might be missing. We often discover that there is duplication of purpose. Here are two such examples.
A dynamic young businesswoman asked me to consult on her new home. Since she preferred to work at home as much as possible, she chose the front room as her office. Energetically, and from a feng shui point of view, it is the best location because it is beyond the front door and attracts business. There was one challenge: there were French doors, so you could see into the office upon entering the front door.
For efficiency, she needed a great deal of equipment – including two printers, fax machine, copier and computer with a large screen, which was not attractive. She also needed a large TV, which created a problem because the furniture could not be pushed against the wall. Plus, there would be wires everywhere.
Considering the rest of her home, I noticed the bedroom next to her office that she indicated would one day be a guest room, but was last on the list to decorate. I asked her if she would consider putting her office equipment in the guest room, which would give her a less cluttered, more attractive office. I added that she could also put a small desk in there and use it when someone worked with her at home. The bonus was that she could write it off too. She was thrilled and I left her with thoughts she would never have imagined herself. The obvious is hard to see when we are so close to it.
Example 2: A family had moved here from the east where they had a two-story house. They weren’t used to all being on the same floor and felt they were living on top of one another. We began by rethinking their living space which had duplication of function.
Since the kitchen had a large eating area, the dining room was seldom used. They enjoyed their living room but didn’t use it often. The family room didn’t feel right because it was wide open and this created noise from the TV.
To make the long living room cozier, they had pushed the furniture to one end. I suggested they place their dining table, which they used only four times a year, into the other end of the room, combining the living and dining rooms. The existing dining room could then become a library type room, where they could add computers for the children. This would allow them to monitor their children’s computer use as well as having comfortable chairs for reading.
To reduce the noise pollution from the TV, I suggested they turn the family room into a theater room by repositioning the TV and adding draperies at both ends which where open to muffle the sound.
The family was excited by the changes and most importantly felt that their home would now better support their individual and collective needs.
Think about what YOU need from your home because the rooms don’t care how you use them. Rooms have no feelings, YOU do!