Home Plans 101 – Assessing Your Family’s Needs
Before any professional interior designer can create the ideal environment for a client, he or she must first compile a brief tailored to the client’s individual needs. Compiling a brief is an important first step for the home decorator, too. So, how do you go about drawing up such a brief? The answer is simple: you should list the requirements that each member of your family has for your home.
Compiling a brief
Write on paper the names of your family members and the activities that each undertakes. For children, consider their age group and their favourite pastimes. If they are old enough, ask them to compile their own wish list. This may result in a number of impractical – though frequently amusing ¡ª suggestions, lint the children will be delighted to be involved and may come up with some very good ideas. In addition, children can find the upheaval generated by the reorganisation of a home very unsettling, so this is a good way to keep them as informed and as involved in the process as possible. You may find that, instead of dreading the prospect of moving into a strange room, your children will look forward to it, especially if it gives them some of the things they asked for on their wish list.
For adults, you need to take into account both social and work requirements. Do you or your partner work from homey Are either of you considering any kind of home study in the future? If so, adequate provision must be made for a home office, somewhere that can provide a peaceful work space away from the main areas of activity in your home.
Safe playing areas
If you have young children, you need to include sale playing areas in the layout of your home. This is particularly important if you are juggling childcare with the management of household chores. The kitchen is a dangerous place for a young child, so you need to locate a safe playing area nearby, so that you can supervise your child as you work.
However, you may find that you carry out the majority of household chores when your children are in bed, or perhaps you are lucky enough to benefit from the assistance of an additional adult, who can share the supervision of the children and household tasks. In this case, the children can play-safely in a room well away from the kitchen and its dangers.
Teenagers prefer a private space in which to study and socialise with friends. Remember, providing a space within the home where teenagers can entertain friends has as many advantages for the parents as the children. The ideal solution where space allows, is to have two separate living areas, one for family activities and the other for entertaining or relaxing.
While the family room is subjected to the rigours of daily life, the more formal area can be kept free from clutter to provide a sanctuary in which you can relax, unwind or entertain friends. It also provides the ideal solution when entertaining large family groups, as the children can play happily in one room, watching videos or playing games, while the adults enjoy a well-earned break in the other.
In many homes, unfortunately, limited space does not allow for two living rooms. In this ease, you can, for example, arrange your teenage child’s bedroom in such a way that it is also suitable for entertaining and studying – a single bed positioned against a wall with scatter cushions will create a comfortable seating area. You need to decorate such a multi-purpose room with care, so that your teenage child feels comfortable and relaxed with this solution, rather than merely accepting it as the only option available.
You should also make adequate provision for adult social activities, such as entertaining friends or business associates. Decorating rooms for entertainment requires a different approach to that for rooms intended purely for family use. However, it is perfectly possible to create a room that will withstand the daily wear and tear associated with family life, while still retaining a formality and ordered appearance -conducive to entertaining friends and colleagues. To achieve this, give careful consideration to storage, so that the room will always appear free from clutter and is easy to keep tidy. Homes that are difficult to keep tidy are often those that do not have adequate storage facilities.