Change Is in the Air

With the change of seasons, we here in the Chicago area realize the lazy days at the beach are over. With the kids back at school and work demanding more attention, its time to look at the changing needs of our home.

As Chris Wiedrich of All the Comforts of Home notes, A well-designed home will work well for its owners year round. It accommodates a family’s changing needs each season. Every aspect of a home big or small has the potential to increase our enjoyment of the seasons or create discomfort and challenges. This is particularly true in older homes that lack many of today’s must-have amenities. However, its possible to create spaces that meet our various needs throughout the year with just a few simple adjustments.

ChangeArticle_Photo4For example, she points out that in most households, the kitchen table is the heart of the home. In addition to hosting family dinners, its a place for kids to do homework during the school year, families to play games in the winter, and vacations to be planned in the summer. If space is tight, built-in seating can provide room for more people, and, with the addition of hinged lids, offer storage for games, barbeque tools, craft supplies and the holiday cookie press. If there’s a bit of wall space, hanging pockets or baskets can hold paperwork, bills, permission slips, recipes, and all of the other papers that threaten to overtake the eating area. In homes with southern exposure, window blinds or shutters can eliminate the glare that occurs when the sun is lower in the sky in winter, as well as keep the heat in during the winter months.

ChangeArticle_Photo3If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then a mud room entry is its brains. When a mud room is properly configured, spaces that corral wet flip flops and sandy beach bags can also hold snowy or muddy boots in fall or winter. Beaded board walls coated in enamel paint with a row of hooks can stand up to wet towels in the summer and wet coats and snow pants in fall and winter. The same baskets that hold ball caps, sunglasses, sunscreen and water bottles can hold hats, gloves, small Kleenex packages and hand cream in the winter. The key to making these seasonal transitions easy is to have plastic bins of similar size and a place to store them in the basement, garage or storage closet. Then one can simply rotate items between the two places as needed.

ChangeArticle_Photo2For those who don’t have a mud room, a similar set-up can work in the garage on either side of the door going into the house. With a row of hooks on the wall, coats, boots, umbrellas and other wet things can be disposed of before entering, and a shelf high enough to walk under but still reachable can hold storage baskets or bins. Well-designed storage is easy to reach, easy to use and easy to clean. That means having enough shelving so that items are not stacked on top of each other, and keeping things up and off of the floor.

Money invested in creating a flexible, comfortable home is money well spent. The world in which we live is increasingly busy and stress-filled. A home that accommodates our daily activities as well as special occasions that occur throughout the year can bring peace to otherwise harried days.

For those looking for a quick and dramatic change, Donna Plotzker of Urban Environments Interiors, Inc. suggests that color is a great change agent. Many of my clients are starting with a quick color analysis and getting maximum change with a minimum of time and expense.

ChangeArticle_PhotoJudy Ruddy of Glenview is ecstatic with the changes she made at her home. I was putting my home up for sale and I had some specific design needs. The master bedroom bath was definitely in need of updating and the downstairs powder room had a tile color that was overwhelming a cohesive design effort. Get Dwell brought in a designer and one of the their Project Managers and I felt like I was on one of those HGTV shows. In no time at all, we had a design and a plan. It was quick and efficient and now I have lovely master bath and a powder room color scheme that totally works with the decor.

If youre ready to make a change to your home, talk to Get Dwell. Our experts can help prepare your home for the coming season, and all the other seasons ahead.