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  • dwellingwelldesign

The golden question answered: how to get your house to feel like home.

Let's just start by saying...most of our clients reside in Southern California. In the scheme of things, we are an extremely lucky bunch to call this place home (minus the traffic). But we see something day after day - that people work extremely hard to live here, they finally find the house that has all of this great "potential", and 5 years later they are still talking about the potential - unsure of what their first move should be. While we understand making calculated and thought-through decisions, consider this: just like you choose a particular vacation because there are experiences you are looking forward to having in that specific location, you should be able to imagine how you want your everyday life to look like in your home. Most people know what they want it to feel like, they just don't know how to get there. Here are some tips on what we do (and don't) recommend when it comes to your home:

1. Predict the future. We're kidding. But, as much as you can...have an idea of how long you'd like to stay in your current home. If this is your forever home, we're going to want to take our time with each area to make sure it fulfills the purpose you need it to fulfill. If you're going to be there for less than 5 years, we're going to design with resale value in mind - and not break your wallet if you're not going to get your money back out of it.

2. Speaking of your wallet, let's talk about budget. No one wants to talk about budget, it's uncomfortable. But please understand this, once you have a true sense for budget, you can allocate your dollars in a much more efficient way than just starting with the least expensive line items. When you're looking at your project from a birds-eye view and you have a budget set, you have the power to prioritize.

3. Let yourself dream. If you are a woman between the age of 25 and 55, there's a 98% chance you have a Pinterest or Houzz page full of your dream spaces. This gives your designer and your contractor so much more insight into your style than what you tell us. An "eclectic" style is about the most broad term out there - and it will mean different things to every single person. If you can identify a common theme between what you like in a collection of pictures, that is gold.

4. If you don't know what to buy, don't buy anything. We know patience is a virtue, but it's also just a smart investment tool. How much money have you wasted over the years choosing finishes or furniture in your home in haste and having to regret it for the next 10 years? We can't tell you how many of our clients have had to learn the hard way. Don't buy the flooring that you can "live with" because it's in your budget. Wait for a year until you can purchase the flooring that you love that costs 20% more. A designer's job is to narrow down your choices and help you choose the products and finishes that align with your lifestyle and every day lives.

5. Make a list. Take a mental inventory of what's in your home. Did you inherit your parents' furniture and you're just keeping it out of guilt? Is there a cozy chair you splurged on years ago and every time you see it, it makes you smile? We want to center your home around the things that have meaning to you. Every element and item that is in your home either has a positive or negative mental impact on how you feel in your own home. Our approach to designing a space that feels like home to YOU, is getting to the root of what feels familiar and happy to you. Of what makes a home feel "lived in".

We hope this gives you some direction in where to start. If you'd like to come up with a personalized game plan, email us today to schedule a consultation. If you're not on our email list, subscribe here to get bonus design content and tips to simplify your life.

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