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Force of Habit

Alarm goes off, scroll down the device to see if the world is still out there, swing out of bed, wear a sweater, walk down the stairs, turn on coffee machine.

Habits are hard to kick off and are ingrained in us. The way we move about our most comfortable and known domains, our home, our office, is automatic. I don't think about which leg swings out of bed, I just swing it, I don't think which hands goes first into the sweater, I don't think about how I walk down the stairs without making the floor creek my brain already learned how to walk around the loose floor boards. Humans are creatures of habits, so much so that we don't even notice how we move about and use the space around us.

When I was in school one of my professors declared, "Designers can't and should not design their own spaces". I was baffled, I mean who would know better than I how to create my home or office? After years of working with people and companies, I can safely say - there is much truth to that statement.

When people first approach me to work with them there is always a slight tension at the start of the process (almost like first date jitters, except I'm the serial dater). The design process is an intimate back and forth of sorts. I'll need to observe, ask questions like what side of the bed you sleep on, how many times a day do you use that hallway bathroom, are you a lefty. These questions are about learning your habits your small movements so I can provide you with the most functional space you can get. In return I get clients that doubt and second guess some of my choices, like kitchenhandles I pick out - you don't use your hands the same way when you are 30 or when you are 60.

It's hard to make a leap of faith when you know how YOU move about a space. What people don't realize is that some of the habits they acquired along the years, are usually the result of bad design choices. Having the toilet placed in a such a spot that you can only brush your teeth with your left hand, because the door doesn't open all the way on the right, or placing the sofa in front of the TV, only to later realize this actually completely blocks the space and decreases the flow in the room. In more challenging (and costly) instances locations of entire rooms in a home or office have not been completely thought about, some office kitchens are located where everyone can smell what you are having for lunch.

It's a designers job to challenge your habits, take you off kilter, unbalance you. With some choices you'll agree, with some you won't, some will need some getting used to, but I can promise you this it's worth while going on this journey and explore for yourself how you move about the space.

And for those who are wondering, my designer is my husband who constantly challenges my habits.


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