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Kara+Ian's Layout Dilemma

One of the invisible parts of decorating is the most important: how to use the spaces in a home. We find that people often struggle with how to utilize their homes well, getting caught in a trap of how they think the spaces are supposed to be used, without accounting for how they actually live. Our homes should work for us, not the other way around!

This is why we always start our projects by interviewing our clients: How do you live with your home day to day? Where do you spend your time? What are your hobbies? How often do you entertain, and also how do you entertain? Do you host more formal dinner parties or casual movie nights? Do you tend toward tidiness or clutter? What is working well already? What isn’t working for you? These are just a few of the many questions we ask when we get started. The answers help us look at the big picture of our client’s space, so we can help them reevaluate whether they’re using their rooms effectively, before we even get into how to furnish them well.

Kara and Ian’s home is beautiful, with lovely molding choices and tall ceilings, but they struggled with the same problems throughout their main floor: how to furnish rooms that flow together, how to decide which spaces are intended for family versus for guest and entertaining, and how to make the rooms both functional and beautiful. We were happy to help walk them through these decisions, considering all possibilities and making sure the finished space reflected their priorities, reflected them.

Kara and Ian have an open plan space at the front of their house, incorporating their entryway and two “rooms” sectioned off by molding, but otherwise completely open.

In the back of the house, there are two more rooms, one with cathedral ceilings and a fireplace. These two rooms are sectioned off by walls, but with large doorways that again make the space feel very open.

They knew they wanted a family room, a more formal living room, a dining room, and a play room, but weren’t sure how to assign the spaces. We decided it made sense to group the rooms in pairs: family and play, dining and living. From there, we presented them with two layout options, and talked through the pros and cons of each. Option 1 had the benefit of keeping the entryway and guest spaces together at the front of the house, meaning that the family spaces at the back wouldn’t necessarily need to stay as tidy day to day. The home was also designed with this layout in mind, with the more formal molding throughout this open space, and a chandelier already set up in the intended dining area. On the other hand, this layout didn’t work as well for entertaining, as the kitchen isn’t quite as convenient to the dining area, and they wouldn’t be taking advantage of the fireplace as often when entertaining.

The second layout had the down side of the play area being both larger and without walls to segment it off, potentially allowing it to spill outward; on the other hand, having the guest spaces toward the back allows for ideal indoor/outdoor entertaining, ensures the cook isn’t segregated from the party while preparing a meal, and allows them to take full advantage of the fireplace.

In the end, they chose layout 2, and we can’t wait to show you how these spaces turned out!


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