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The Functional Home: How to Use All the Rooms in Your Home

Even if your home is attractive, if it’s dysfunctional, disorganized or ill planned it can have a pretty negative effect on your health and psyche.

 

So before you do any designing or decorating, let’s address how to best utilize the key spaces or ‘zones’ in your home. I hope you’re ready to make some lasting changes in your home. Let’s dooo this!

 

 

 

Clear the Clutter

A cluttered home causes anxiety and contributes to arguments; missed workouts; poor eating habits; lost items; missed deadlines and more. A cluttered home even contributes to… more clutter! Think about how smoothly your life runs and how balanced you feel when your home is in order. You don’t need Martha or Marie to tell you when you need to get organized! You know.

Baskets, bins and crates in different sizes

Drawer dividers (bamboo is nice!)

Labeling gun for binders and labels

Manila labels for labeling baskets

Tote bags/kitchen pot rack hangers for hanging totes

Ties for organizing electrical cords and wires

Binders, pocket divider pages and a triple hole punch for organizing papers that can’t be stored digitally

Lifts and pull-out drawers for inside cabinets

Lazy Susan’s

Professional or DIY closets and cabinets

 

 

 

Use All the Spaces in Your Home

Opening up the unused rooms of your home gives you choices and freedom. If your home could talk it would tell you that a closed off bedroom is like a leg that’s fallen asleep! Seriously though, why are you waiting on this? If you fail to plan a use for your spare room, someone will make plans for you. Don’t let that happen.

Here are some ideas for transforming your spare room.

Play room

Workout space

Craft’s/sewing room

Media room

Sun room

Home office

 

 

 

Working at Home

To be their most effective, work zones must be well designed and light filled. They are at their best cleanly designed and minimally decorated with custom built in cabinetry.

Place your desk near or in front of a window with a lovely view. For me, office design all starts with the desk. Provide three types of light: natural, ambient and task. In office design it’s all about the lighting and the storage. 

If you’re adept at space planning and product sourcing, you can design a lot of functions into your office space. My favorite hack to designing small work spaces is going vertical with tall storage type pieces and built-in cabinetry. Office spaces in the home are a great place to invest in built-in storage units. Sometimes the value of the home warrants this size of an improvement and sometimes not.

Reconnecting at Home

The living room is usually considered to be a zone for connecting with yourself and loved ones. They are generally the most popular spaces within your home. But let’s think about this for a second. Let’s step outside the box.

If the room’s purpose is to reconnect with yourself, your partner or family, then watching television is actually counterintuitive. I get that sometimes you want to refrain from conversation. And that certainly has its place in life too. But a better way to reconnect than watching movies or television is through meal preparations (kitchen), during workouts or walks (exercise room or outside), eating (kitchen or better yet, the dining room), or savoring a cup of tea, or glass of wine together (kitchen, living room or patio).

 

 

Exercise at Home

The biggest obstacle to healthy habits is follow through. By having a space you love that’s designated for exercise, you create impetus which makes it easier to follow through consistently. The ideal is to have a standalone space for this purpose but if that’s not possible, don’t panic. Let’s explore your other options. Can you carve out a wonderful corner of your formal living room that’s seldom in use? Can you repurpose the guest room and maybe expand the window space? What about transforming a sewing room into a workout space? Would it be of better use as an exercise space or yoga room?

Whether it’s a room of your own or the corner of an unused formal living room, find a place that inspires you, where you want to spend time. Have any items you need such as hand weights, a rebounder, a Yoga mat, etc. stored nearby in a basket, closet or armoire for easy access.

If the space is attractive and everything is close by and in attractive containers, you’ll be more likely to follow through!

Treadmill

Peloton or Stationary bike

Rebounder

Two-, five- and ten-pound hand weights, two of each.

Yoga mat

Stability ball

Kettle ball

Hand towels

Full length mirror

Bands/Ropes

Flat screen television Stereo

Inversion board

 

 

 

Sleep and Downtime

How are you sleeping? Do you get an optimal 8 hours a night? If you don’t now, the good news is you will once you start eating right and exercising. Sleep is the body’s time to heal. In order to do this efficiently you require your full 8 hours. 

For bedding, I recommend two weights of comforters (one light weight for warm weather and one heavier weight for winter); one decorative duvet cover (it’s like a giant pillow case that protects your comforter); two foam pillows for bolstering; two decorative pillow shams; two down or synthetic-down sleeping pillows; two decorative rectangular throw pillows (also called kidney pillows because they support your kidneys when you sit against them); one throw blanket for over the foot of the bed; an optional bed skirt; and an electric blanket for warming the bed before you crawl in. Consider getting an upholstered headboard. They’re luxurious additions especially if you enjoy reading in bed. Most designers can have these made-to-order for you. They are available in a wide range of prices and styles and are comparatively priced to wood or wicker.

For the best night sleep, keep the room temperature cool. 

In the main bedroom, plan on room darkening window treatments such as lined Roman shades, lined woven shades. Wooden blinds or shutters or not effective for room darkening and darkness, is imperative for a good night sleep. If you choose shades have them measured and installed to be big enough for exterior mounting. If you mount them inside the window frame, the gaps will allow light to seep through. Add an additional inch or two in width for better light control. 

 

 

 

That’s it for today! 

I hope you find all my ideas super helpful! I love sharing with you. And if you’d like to dig deeper into this topic then check out my free download “The Functional Home Blue Print” where I go further into each of the zones, plus I cover the biggest, most important zone of them all: the kitchen!

Here’s that link again.

Bye for now!

Shiree’