Our homes have become so much more relevant this year because of COVID-19, as we find ourselves spending more time inside than ever before. It certainly has made us learn and grow to understand what’s important to us. This may include how we functionally use our homes and the rooms that provide the most value for each homeowner whether that is inside the home, screened-in porch or a backyard deck.
New Home Search
If you’re remodeling your home or building a new one, you have to consider the personal wants and desires of both you and your partner or spouse. It can be a challenging journey for some, a compromise for others, and very easy collaboration for a select few who admire the same style and priority of projects. This is often an adventure in itself to learn about each other’s style preferences and functionality interests.
When an interior designer meets with a new client, one of their first questions is usually, “How do you want to use your home?” Carefully thinking through how the space will function, how it’ll flow, and how it will add value to your life is key to successfully updating existing spaces or creating new ones.
Heather and Christian
I know a wonderful couple, Heather and Christian, who greatly value friendships and the joy of conversation. Their connections to other people is a focus in their lives. Not surprisingly, the place they enjoy the most in their home is their patio, where they relax and unwind with friends and family.
When Heather and Christian started house-hunting, they knew they wanted an outdoor entertainment area with a screen covered patio to enjoy the fresh air with a blissfully bug-free experience.
Custom Split-Level Home
Heather and Christian landed on a custom split-level style home located in the Minneapolis suburbs. The house was perfect for their family and checked almost everything off their wishlist, including price. With the house search over the next step was to make their house into a home. After eleven years, they still love their home, especially the patios and location.
Heather and Christian’s screened-in porch serves many purposes. From enjoying a glass of wine with girlfriends to reading a book or working on a laptop, their quaint little space is a dream come true. However, when they were decorating it, a set of chairs that were Christian’s favorite were not the ideal style for Heather. They quickly learned that a little compromise can help develop a lovely space that makes everyone happy.
The story of the favorite chairs:
“Marriage means compromising, and it’s the same with design.” Heather said. “I was sick of these old chairs that we got for $50 off of Craigslist when we bought our house. They had been on our screened porch for eleven years. I had repainted them numerous times and was always having to spray them with oil to stop the squeaking. They were extremely comfortable, but, I was over them!…. It was time for new chairs”
Heather started scouring furniture stores and online searching for the right chairs. “Every time I would find a potential fit and send a photo to my husband, he would respond in a less-than- thrilled way.” Christian loved the old chairs and did not want to give them up. He kept trying to get Heather to change her mind by sending her messages and pictures of himself sitting in them stating that he was “currently having breakfast in his favorite chair.”
Heather was unmoved. The time had come to move on from the old. She finally found the perfect new chairs and ordered them. When they arrived, Christian reluctantly put them together. “Every time he sat in them I could tell he was not super excited. But he didn’t complain, he smiled,” Heather said.
Heather could tell that the easy comfort Christian felt when sitting in their screened porch had been diminished and she began to feel pangs of guilt. She researched their old chairs and discovered they were, in fact, much older than she had originally thought. They were high-quality barrel chairs made in the 50s and 60s by Homecrest. Highly sought-after and fairly pricey.
Heather researched how she could repair them and find cushions to go with them. Her dad is a repair expert and is good at refurbishing old things, so she asked him for help. He tightened the screws and fixed the squeaks, and then stripped the chairs and repainted them. Heather found a company that specialized in cushions for these types of old chairs and ordered two sets.
Heather explained, “It was quite a surprise for my hubby! He had his favorite chairs back and I had a beautifully updated space. All is well. Combining old with new, Marriage, just like design, is filled with compromises.“
Heather transformed their covered patio with a new ceiling fan, rug, greenery and the updated favorite chairs. We think they fit the space perfectly. Yay for style, comfort, and compromise!
In addition to their screened-in porch, the backyard deck provides another serene area for grilling, lounging, entertaining and dining outside. With developed pine trees, luxury patio furniture, and healthy potted plants, this is truly a space to grab a drink and enjoy the peaceful nature that surrounds you.
As Heather has lived in her home now for many years, she has learned how to care for plants and the space in which each grows and thrives. With this, she has learned to have a green thumb and shares that passion with others. Each season as the fall comes, Heather gifts a plant to a friend or family member as a gift. She loves to start over each year with new plants knowing she can raise them and then pass them along to others who have space in their homes during the winter to keep them growing.
Good Wine. Good Coffee.
Another reason to love these patio areas is to enjoy great music. In the song, Janice at the Hotel Bar by Hailey Whitters, Haley speaks of an older lady at the bar who is giving life advice. In the song, the advice from the wise woman and the lyric reads, “Drink good wine, make good coffee,” as one of the keys to life. While you’re enjoying your good wine or good coffee, you need to have a place to drink it! And in reflection of these spaces featured, having a cherished space like Christian and Heather’s patios. A beautiful screened-in porch or outdoor deck is the first place to start creating a good life with good wine and coffee.
Create a Space You Love
As we reflect on this year and what it’s meant to us living so much in our own home, we can grow to understand what’s important to us. Maybe keeping a set of chairs and fixing them up to still enjoy for many years to come?! Living in a home is all about making it your own. It’s important to create a space you love and adore that reflects your style, and remember the story with each little detail to bring meaning to your space. As you create things to build a room with meaning, interiors can begin to shape much more than just a space.