A well-appointed guest room.  A dining room ready to seat a dozen people for a holiday dinner.  A cozy space for watching movies with the family. A clean, organized kitchen for preparing nutritious meals.  Your home might have all the “right” components, yet still feels like it meets everyone’s needs but your own. What’s going on?

Often, our homes reflect an idea of what kind of spaces we should want, but don’t take into consideration what we actually want to be able to do.  For example, you may have a lovely couch in your living room with a good view of a screen. Perfect for watching television and movies! But if your idea of relaxing and unwinding is actually curling up with a good book, you might find you have no quiet, well-lit place to do that.  Or perhaps you have a beautiful dining room that gets used a couple of times a year, but there’s no place in your house for crafting or other hobbies.

If this describes you, it may be time for some re-thinking. Make spaces that support your passions.  If you’re a “project person” it might make sense to create a dedicated space where you can leave your ongoing projects out, rather than feeling obliged to put everything away (huge disincentive to ever actually working on your tasks) or worse, feeling upset with yourself for leaving a mess.  Maybe instead of a dining room that you occasionally use for projects, you could think of that space as a craft area that occasionally is used as a dining room. If this seems too drastic, consider some of these other ideas:

  • Invest in furniture with a hide-away component  Some cabinets combine storage with a drop-down table, providing a workspace as well as a place for materials and supplies.
  • Consider claiming the guest room as your creative space that sometimes switches to be a guest room. Murphy beds can be great for this purpose. They’ve gotten a lot more attractive in the past few years. Check out this one from Italy that revolves and has shelving you don’t have to empty before putting a guest on it! Thank you Anna and Liz from Strianese + Pew for showing me this fantastic piece.
  • Create a reading area with good lighting and comfy seating — hello chaise you’ve always wanted!  

Think about how you wish to spend your time, and how you actually relax and unwind.  If there’s a space in your home that’s used 10% of the time, set it up to serve you well 90% of the time instead, and transform it back when needed.  Make your home work for you!