Designing A Home To Spark Joy

April 24th, 2019

It may sound like a cliché, but the mantra of “living intentionally” is a habit worth adopting.  There are almost unlimited resources to help us learn about practicing mindfulness, being present, changing unproductive habits or re-organizing our homes to name a few. The topic is being explored in every medium: Netflix, the internet, books, Ted Talks and YouTube videos.

So what is all the hype about?

The answer is simple: we want to gain control over our crazy lives, our “stuff” and reap the ultimate reward of living more peaceful, joyful and meaningful experiences. And that’s not easy! 

But we can get there by creating a well-organized and calm home environment.

In decades past, that was a way of life.

Most of us didn’t grow up in super-sized houses with all that space calling out for more belongings. From my perspective, simple pleasures were far more abundant before I had a cell phone 24/7, an iPad to occupy my time, and so much “stuff” that required care.  Then again, I am a baby boomer and not one of the subsequent generations that were “born digital.”

Today packages are arriving from Amazon daily and recycling stations are filled with plastic, junk mail and take away food containers.

Large numbers of people are now working from a home office, or commuting long distances.

Kids are participating in many extracurricular activities that require our attention and time.

Our daily lives – and spaces — are filled to the brim!

We have so many “tools” to connect us to others and information, BUT these tools cannot automatically choose for us or “do the work.”

Last year as I was preparing to “downsize” my life, I read the popular book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. The title alone was compelling: Life-Changing. I was ready.

Kondo’s “Konmari” way sounded so simple and promised big rewards. Her model for success is built on analysis of the “stuff” we have, setting priorities, taking action and requiring anything worth keeping to “spark joy.”

To be honest, I needed help letting go of all our under-used accumulated things and boxes of memorabilia. I wanted to know Marie Kondo’s secret weapon. What I discovered was less about how to organize, and more about how to transform my relationship with my home with far fewer boxes of everything and more space for being creative and free.

I was also surprised to learn that in going through the process, what I valued changed dramatically and so did the values of my family.  As a result of the “de-cluttering,” we began to focus on additional ways to buy less, waste less, and give more time to each other.

This new knowledge influenced my design work at Rotelle Studio(e) as I began to re-think creative organization strategies and designs for our customers. And what better time to “de-clutter” the past than when you are building a custom home that should intentionally incorporate all your dreams about the way you want to live now, and in the future.

Having been through the process myself, I can now better help homebuyers to create the spaces that will spark the most joy and give them the freedom to actually live that joy every day.

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