Philosophy behind Decor

I've been thinking a lot lately about the new house. Obviously. Specifically, a week from today, I'm going to need to know where (approximately) the pieces of furniture will go in the house. This has gotten me thinking about the function of rooms in the house, and the philosophy behind decorating.

Does that sound too deep for a topic that is highlighted in women's magazines and entire television networks? What I'm talking about is, what do I want this room to do? How can I make the room communicate that? How can I add features or arrange the room in such a way that it accomplishes its purpose?

Here's an example: What is my philosophy of entertaining? I want the room I entertain in to be focused on the guests, and for the guests to be comfortable in the space. Practically, this means I won't have a TV in the living room- so the focus is on people, not a screen. I will want an uncluttered area, so guests don't have to step over things or push clutter aside to sit down. I don't want formal, uncomfortable furniture, so guests cannot relax, and children cannot play.

The "game room" I plan will hold our TV, movies, and games. I'll put a coffee table in there that is big enough to accommodate even our largest game boards (which, are pretty large.) The room needs to be very casual, because this is where we'll "play" and relax. The office will have a desk & small filing cabinet, but beyond that, I don't know what to do. It is where we "work"- pay bills, read news, read & send emails. The kitchen will be as functional and practical as possible, and I want to have a plan to set it up so it can be made to host dinners of 10+ people, but under "normal" circumstances, only two of us eat there, so the leaves of the table & the extra chairs need to store elsewhere.

What do you do to arrange your house in such a way as to help each room best achieve its purpose, and your philosophy behind that room? (or, am I thinking about this way too much?!)


Becca said...

I don't think you're thinking about it too much. For us, we like guests to feel free to enter any room of our home. That being said, we make passages easy and well lit. Our sitting room is a small area where folks can be close (it makes people more comfy to be slightly confined). The living room/dining room/kitchen all kind of flow into one another, creating more movement. We even carry this idea out into the gardens with multiple sitting areas and paths.

ashley @ twentysixcats said...

I think this is a great post. For example, I know a couple that wants to build up community by having their neighbors over a lot. But, if you go to their apartment, it's set up so the couch faces the TV and there's nowhere else comfortable to sit. We have also thought about this in regards to the computer. It's important to me that the computer is in a main room. I don't want to encourage any "hidden" thoughts about the computer and the internet, if you know what I mean. Also, we spend so much time on the computer, that I don't want either of us to retreat. So, we opted to not use our second bedroom as an office. (Another reason for that is that I don't want my guests to feel they are "sleeping in my office".)

In our bedroom, we've been careful to only put a few things there. We have our bed, and the dresser. I'd like to leave it at that, but unfortunately we've had to put the bookcases in there. Due to lack of wallspace, there wasn't any other good place for the bookcases. But I want to foster a sense of "peace" and "relaxation" in my bedroom - that's what they recommend to people who struggle with insomnia.

I don't buy into the whole feng shui thing, but I think they have some good ideas about energy flow in a room. It made a world of difference when I turned my coffee table to make a visual barrier at the end of a long hallway.

Meredith said...

I think about this all the time.

We have a sitting room off our kitchen, and I specifically have no TV there because I want to be able to talk to the kids as I cook and use that room for art projects and such.

I did not put a table in that room because I want our only table to be in the dining room...that way we're forced to use it on a daily basis.

The living room has our only TV. I knew we would watch TV at night, so I put the TV there so that room gets used each night. But, because it's kind of off the dining room, we don't use it much during the day...self limiting our TV consumption.

Joanna said...

You all have great ideas and examples of how you're incorporated your philosophy into the placement of things in your home! A few pieces of furniture arrived at the house last night, and I'm really happy with where the kitchen table ended up. We don't have a defined spot for a "dining room" (or even "breakfast nook")- the kitchen is open to the living room, and the table has to go somewhere in-between. As it is now, the table is not in the middle of the kitchen (so two of us could get around and cook, which is something we like to do) but it's not encroaching upon the living room either, so there will be a sitting-area devoted to visiting.

Thanks for your ideas!


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