We all need our homes. Our homes are a reflection of our lifestyle and a conduit for much of our social connection with friends and family. The interesting thing is that we all have a wide variety of definitions of what home can mean. It is no secret that in our country we seem to have more home than we truly need and I think if we spent some time visiting other countries we would have our eyes opened to how others live and what they require for day to day life.
Everyone has their own standards for what they require to exist. For example, I could not live in a place that had no immediate access to outside. Apartments are fine if they have open balconies but I would prefer living on the ground floor where I could walk outside while others would feel safer on a higher floor. My parents have a lovely condo on the fourth floor which takes an elevator and a long hallways trek to get to and they have also closed in their balcony for an additional three season room. The extra room makes sense as it gives my dad a place to study and keep his books but for me the requirement of going back down that long hall and down the elevator to access the outside does not appeal to me. I even try to get hotel rooms with balconies if I can!
Most of us are used to having a basement space whether it works as a family room or just for storage. It seems strange to see homes in Central Alberta that are built on slab yet in many regions houses do not come with basements at all and are built on slab because of flooding or humidity. Have you ever noticed that in movies even the most elegant homes have creepy, unfinished basements? I wonder if that is really how houses are as we usually develop our basements, to find a house in our region without a finished basement is rare – especially if the house is older.
For some people a well-equipped kitchen is the necessity of life. It is my dream to someday have a kitchen like the ones I have designed for clients but alas that has not yet been a reality. In my years of renovating and selling older homes it seems that the kitchen is always the last to be renovated as it is the biggest project and I never seem to get to it before selling and moving on to the next property. I have painted cabinets and replaced countertops and tile but have never executed a custom kitchen for myself with the dream appliances and perfectly laid out cabinet space – maybe someday.
I hope that wherever you live you have the elements that are your necessity. I hope that you live in a home that charms and enchants you and that you love the space you inhabit. If you are working or considering changing the space I want for you to have a delightful and transformative experience as you make your home the best that it can be. Nothing feeds our souls like a well-appointed home and every one of us has unique needs and expectations of what that means. Make it your very own!
Kim Wyse is a local freelance designer. See her facebook page ‘Ask a Designer’.