Homes come in all shapes and sizes, all over the world. From the smallest studio spaces to the grandest mansions, the stylistic variety on display from door to door, coast to coast and continent to continent is both limitless and endlessly fascinating. Even our simplest spaces can be captivating, primarily because there’s so much more going on than aesthetics alone.
Each space is a bit of a purpose statement unto itself, and a remarkable character study of its inhabitants. Whether by intentional design or accidental accumulation, our homes become cultural and anthropological marvels the moment we step inside, and the reflection they provide to our guests can be wonderfully revelatory.
(Your) Life is Beautiful
Take a good, long look around your home. Let your eyes dance over the walls and windows, open a few of the storage spaces that typically stay closed, and kick on the lights so nearly everything is in view. Linger over some of the more nostalgic or sentimental details. Spend a few extra seconds on anything that feels out of place.
When we pay close attention to what our spaces say about our lifestyles, loved ones, pets, hobbies, and so on, it can truly open our eyes to the things we’ve unintentionally missed. Or casually misplaced. Or thoughtlessly allowed to linger beyond their expiration dates.
If it’s time to transition from the idea of home as an accumulation of possessions to home as the embodiment of your uniquely curated memories, here are three ways to get started:
Write It Down
The first step toward intentional design, which too many of us skip entirely, is also the most foundational: it’s time to write it down. Give yourself a cheat sheet, not necessarily in long, flowing sentences or complicated flow charts and style boards. Just some artifact that communicates to you and your loved ones the potential you see within your four walls.
Are you a family of explorers who loves to travel? Or a group of happy bookworms? Or maybe you live on your own and love nothing more than showcasing your collection of modern art, rare artifacts or movie memorabilia.
Whatever seems to be the most authentic reflection of your personality, priorities and private moments of joy is probably a great place to begin.
Once you settle on a vision for your mindfully curated and composed space, a complete overhaul might not be necessary. If you take a look around and think it’s mostly “there” in terms of really showing who you are, who and what you care about, and which dreams you’ve seen come true, perhaps you should focus more on the composition and arrangement of features than on a serious reimagining of the entire room.
When it seems like you have a lot of work ahead in order to transform your home into its “best self,” consider for a moment which changes might provide you with the most bang for your buck, such as adding a gallery wall with some of your favorite candid photographs or decluttering a built-in bookshelf.
Even when you want to knock down a few walls and rethink the flow of natural light through your favorite rooms, you may be able to accomplish the same effect through clever use of greenery, bright stone or brick accent walls and other textural touches.
Get Intentional About Everything
The most important thing to consider as you embrace the idea of intentional curation is to be thorough in your evaluation and ruthless in the transformation process. If “over the top” is your style, then let every space execute that vision a little differently, with pattern plays in some areas and intricately layered textures and textiles in another.
If you’re more of a minimalist, find ways to marry your passion for clean lines and your desire to showcase some of your favorite pieces in ways that show how much they mean to you. If you have a penchant for pinot, it might be time to look to that unfinished basement and give it a new life as your at-home wine cellar.
Leave no stone unturned as you work from room to room, helping each one evolve from its unintentionally thoughtless existence to becoming a reflection of your lifestyle, values and loved ones through intentionally thoughtful design.
Every space tells a story, and your home is no different. It always has something to say about you, whether you know it or not. Why not take an active role in the way it does so, not only for your guests but also for yourself?