I took a day trip to New York City last weekend. It’s important to go and see creative exhibits to keep inspiration flowing, and what better place than the Museum of Modern Art? I was so excited to find a newly-installed exhibition called “How We Live” that focuses in on the needs of a family home, exploring how its needs have changed over time.
For example, in the 1940s and 50s it was extremely common to entertain at home; the living room would have been used often for social cocktail parties, or for quiet evenings of board games with the kids. Many people still live in homes built during this era, of course, but our habits and lifestyles have changed drastically since then. This has often rendered these spaces stale, like visiting a museum based around an idea that has now become obsolete.
Remember that dining room in your parent’s house that was stocked with crystal dining sets, and not much else? Maybe you ate in there on Thanksgiving, or on other special occasions, but besides that you probably only set foot in there when your dog’s ball accidentally rolled that direction.
Not only was that room a waste of space, but it brought dead energy into the home, creating a lack of balance (which is all we’re ever looking for anyways, right?).
Let’s dive in and see where we can shake things up to may the layout of your home work for you….
The first thing you should do is look at how many rooms you have in your home. It doesn’t matter if it’s one or fifteen. From there you want to focus in on how much activity each living area gets.
Assign each space a number: 1-10 depending on how often it gets used.
Think about the rooms in your home that are overused- the kitchen or the family room often comes up here.
Think about what need your home isn’t fulfilling for you. Maybe your husband needs a space where he can be alone, or your daughter needs a place to practice the trombone without driving everyone else nuts.
Get clear on the ideal use of each space: the kitchen should just be for eating and preparing food, the living room should just be for leisure, etc.
Get creative with the space you have to work with!
Tired of your children sitting at the kitchen counter making a mess with their school papers every afternoon? Drag that fancy dining set out of that dining room and replace it with a large farm table. Voila! A kid friendly homework room.
Have a living room that sits empty? Add four chairs and a coffee table- think of it as a conversation pit.
Have a guest bedroom that no one ever touches? Put a trundle somewhere that’s easy to pull out and turn that room into a creative space. An art studio, a gift wrapping room, a music room, an upstairs library.... an upstairs den even!
It is so much easier than you think to put every square inch of your home to use in a way that works beautifully for your family. When you transform these spaces the whole home feels better, the flow of energy goes from choppy and dark to strong, connected, and light. Don’t be afraid to jump out of your comfort zone to make your home work for you, and most of all..... have fun!
Post pictures of your sanctuary and tag us on Instagram @sanctuarydesigns - We would love to see your creations!