The idea of having a house we like and at the same time works for the whole family sounds logical but can be very hard at times. Without noticing it, we are overwhelmed by objects, strollers, toys, ride-ons and baby seats that are added to the adult’s furniture and objects. Don’t forget about stains, sticky messes and TIREDNESS. Without noticing it, we end up having forbidden rooms for the children and spending a lot of time with them in unattractive places. Either the bedroom or the living-room slowly turn into a big toy storage area where we find it difficult to enjoy the moment, objects and being with people. We are defeated by TV and every kind of screen which turn out to be the house’s core.
One of the loveliest presents we can give our family is a carefully designed house. It affects bonds, humour and the activities that take place. The objects we choose and that surround us, tell stories… They encourage certain types of conversations and moods. They influence on tastes and have the power to create or prevent frustrations. Our house is a place where we can express ourselves, rest and foster relationships.
Design shouldn’t vanish after children are born. We must rethink the spaces where we live in order to contemplate everyone’s needs. We must generate spaces consciously and eliminate the autopilot. We must think places so that every family member feels at ease with them.
First: Recognise that living a happily designed life is a permanent task. The system that works out now won’t necessarily work tomorrow when holidays begin, when you have to remodel to make more room or have more privacy. Even though this may seem exhausting, we should understand there isn’t a deadline nor a to-do-list for “the house to be finished”. During this work-in-progress, we drop our heavy burdens and recognize that our house beats, lives and changes as each of its members do. We can put an idea into practice today, solve a problem tomorrow and in time, create the house of our dreams that will be present in the most loving memories of our families.
Second: You’ll need to clean and empty the house of those objects that don’t make you happy. This is not an easy task because it’s an emotional move for all the family. Marie Kondo’s book, “The life-changing magic of tidying up” will be very useful. She has a revolutionary view of only keeping those spaces and objects that give us joy. This makes you rethink these elements and makes organizing and emptying a simple and enjoyable task.
The concepts she presents are timeless. You will find pleasure and an unthinkable satisfaction in looking for the perfect spot for each object or letting things that don’t give you joy go without feeling guilty about it. You will eliminate those dark places full of to-dos and pending tasks (cupboards, drawers, shelves, attics) which you are scared of and which make you feel sad just by thinking of them. Through the method, you’ll free yourself and accomplish simple spaces which are easy to keep in order.
Once you find both mental and physical clarity, you’ll have the chance to think spaces from a new perspective that fills your soul and gives you pleasure every step of the way. It won’t be essential to throw your precious possessions and you won’t need to keep your life obstructed by unnecessary mess. You’ll guide yourself through values, principles, activities and conversations you would like to foster with your family. That’s the way we design, not the other way round.
From this point of view I would like to share my inspirations, findings, things that work for me, things that work for others and things that don’t work at all. Different homes, with different sizes, users, locations and styles that share the fact of living a conscious life and turn this into their houses. I wish to inspire you to have an easier, a more joyful, conscious and, of course, happier home and life.
Photographs by Biru Capurro. Translated by MA.