In our line of work you get to spend a lot of your day –
listening to what people are looking for in a home. Discussing
where they want to live, their budget, how much space they want, and
a lot about what they need in a home.
If you are really lucky and have taken
the time you get into the meat of it… What they love to do in their space, what
they want their space to feel and look like, and how they want to feel when they are in
You quickly realize how seldom in the home buying journey do
customers get to truly design a home for the way they want to live in
a home. It seems that we are conditioned to approach home buying like any
major purchase; like a grown up, we consider mundane things like
resale value and what others would find acceptable in our home.
Getting to design a home yourself, or with a designer is
something we often don’t consider within our reach or
ability. It is both exciting and powerful to offer families that
experience. People often know bedrooms, bathrooms, location, budget, the
basics… when pushed further they know items like if they want a garage, size of
kitchen, orientation of spaces maybe, but it’s still a rare person who
approaches home building saying I want a home designed for the way I want to
live, what I enjoy doing, how I enjoy doing it and made just for me.
I got thinking about this a lot when my five year old, at
that stage of interest in knowing what Mommy works at daily, asked me to help
her design her home. I told her no problem, I’d schedule an appointment for her when we both had some time
because designing a home is not something you
want to rush.
A few evenings later we curled up in a cozy spot with tea,
pencils, graph paper, lined paper, white paper and an IPAD. We started by talking a little about why she wanted a home, “To have a space to myself where I
can still be close to mommy and daddy”, when asked
if she felt this might be too soon at five years old, she
replied “No, because my sister (18) is designing her house” and sparing
an argument, (It’s important to never crush the dreaming process too early in the
design phase) we moved into me asking her what would be the best way for her to
share her ideas about a home.
Would she like to show me pictures (IPAD), talk out her
ideas (LIST), show me her feelings about it (DRAWING), or get down to the nuts
and bolts with drawing a space (GRAPH PAPER). She told me she had a lot of
ideas, so we decided that maybe listing them would be a good place to start so
she didn’t lose the flow of her ideas.
When it comes to listing ideas the straight list certainly
gets them all in one place – but when it comes to listing for a home design
there are some really fun exercise you can do to start understanding your needs
and desires and then physically arranging the lists to see how you want them to
interact with each other. We’ll discuss that further in a separate post, but
with my daughter we choose this method to help group thoughts as they arrived.
She wanted space for seven
people in her home. Why seven? Herself, her three kids, and all of her kids
would have friends visit so they all needed bunk beds….but only her room “the
grown up room” needed to be a separate bedroom, the kids could have a bunk room
(good choice given she may be paying for his room for a long time before all
three of her children arrive!)
She wanted two bathrooms in her house – one for her, one for
the kids, but both of them needed to be able to do tubs and showers – just like
my bathroom, not just showers because she liked having choices.
Luna told me she would be
doing her Kitchen, Eating and Living all together, because it would save space
and she would like to spend time with her kids.
She needed an office, just private for herself, and a space
to do her crafts with her family, which can take up a lot of space so we left
that in an uncertain category if she truly needed a separate room or if she
could accomplish this with smart storage in her dining room to stretch that
space into an occasional craft room.
When we got to her “grown up” room she had really clear
It went something like this “I like to bounce on my bed A
LOT, I am not like you grown-ups who do no bouncing – so I need my bed to be
low to the ground, but then very high overtop so I don’t hit my head, I can’t
bounce in your room cause I hit the fan.”
Luna went on…” Then I
need there to be a cover that comes over the bed when I am not bouncing, cause
I like to sleep in a cave.”
“Then I want you to
make sure there are NO corners in my room, at all, I want you to cut all the
corners off so there are no hard places to hurt myself when I bounce”
“… and room for a dog, so I can snuggle him if I feel
And here is where I got blown away – this is exactly you are looking for when someone talks to you
about design – you want to understand truly what they love – what they want to
do and how they dream about using their space – because
only then can you design it perfectly –and if they love the idea that much,
they’ve probably already got ½ the design work done.
When you are five – you know that, you can dream easily and expect that the world just be made to fit your
needs. As we
age – we tend to lose sight of it… and we start
to “colour inside the lines” and work within the world
of what is considered “normal” or what is available. We often lose imagination or the confidence to build on it.
Listening to my little girl inspires me to encourage home
owners. Tell us
all about that room you dream of – that space you love and what you want to do
with your home – so that we can design it exactly for you. Your dream builder
will help you get as many of the spaces imagine in your home while working
within budget. Come in for your
design session, come with the enthusiasm of a
five year old – who knows exactly what she’s dreaming of and forge bravely into
that great customer chat!