a note from bill
definING your own sense of home
“Always remember that you are absolutely unique—just like everyone else.” This quote from anthropologist Margaret Mead seems like a truth we can all agree on. Design especially fosters the expression of that uniqueness; for many, it acts as an outlet for individualism. Certain architects—if they know what to look for—can harness originality to use as a helpful tool, like how I seek to understand the unique traits of each of my clients to create a design that accurately reflects how they live, in the best possible way.
I believe the majority of us do have a vision for our dream home, but those visions tend to remain ambiguous until the time comes to begin making it a reality. When the design process starts, I notice many of my clients woefully underestimating just how many design choices are required in a project and subsequently suffering from “analysis paralysis”. To those of us that have found ourselves in the throes of analysis paralysis, and to those that fear falling into it in the future, I say: don’t worry—this is where Define Your Own Sense of Home™ comes in. Wherever you are in the process—from nine percent to ninety-nine percent realized—I promise that the following steps will create clarity because they not only help you in discovering what you want but also why it matters to you.
Now, I shouldn’t present the entirety of the Studio21 Architects’ Lifestyle Questionnaire, but I can still point you in the right direction! On the right, I have noted some of the broader, yet crucial, considerations one should think about when envisioning their dream home. Embrace your individuality by understanding it, and then you will be on your way to Exceptional Design Where You Wouldn't Change A Thing.
4 ways to define your own sense of home
1. reflect on your routines
We use our homes virtually every day, and your dream home should fit seamlessly into your normal routines. Go through the steps of your average day to learn what design choices will improve your days. Do you prefer having dinner at the dining table or the kitchen island? How often do you entertain? How does entertaining look for the family?
2. list out your loves
By “loves”, I mean the things you love to do and bring you enjoyment. Take account of hobbies that you have; are there any design features that you don’t necessarily need but would be well-loved? I personally love cars and racing, so my definition of home includes a large garage that can accommodate all of my hobbies.
3. Rate what you hate
We all have them! Think about your home and your routine—what parts bother you? We want to change those bothersome aspects and knowing what you don’t want is just as important as knowing what you do, whether it’s styles you find loathsome or features you don’t like.
4. specify your style
Aesthetics play a huge role in the work to Define Your Own Sense of Home™. It's always helpful to create an idea book to organize your ideas. Sites like Houzz and Pinterest are a treasure trove of photos for exactly this purpose. As they say, "A picture is worth a thousand words"!
Designing your custom home should be fun and exciting; my only caution is to allow enough time to do it right.
written by: bill styczynski
Bill Styczynski is the president of Studio21 Architects, as well as an architect in his own right. Every month, Bill writes an article for the Studio Pages newsletter about design topics that he believes will be informative, helpful reads for all of our clients, established and potential.