Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 29th 2014 Contents By Ann Moore-Spencer
THE DESIGN GURUS and HGTV have strongly advised that
our decorating, renovations and constructions be close as
possible to mainstream to appeal to prospective buyers and
just about anyone we are trying to impress. Very often that
just means a vanilla world with some very predictable design
choices. We then have to live in spaces that do not reflect
our personal design or architectural aesthetic. We literally
find ourselves living in someone else's home. How ridiculous
is that? If you are planning to stay in your home for a few
years, why not make your home your own?
Colour your world. Colour is one of the most critical ele-
ments of design. Be not afraid to express yourself. Do not
feel you need to be loyal to the beiges, creams and vanillas if
those are not your favourite colours. If you love cobalt blue,
emerald green, fuchsia, coral, orange, if you love bold patterns,
go for it. Paint is easy to change if you change your mind.
Textiles are mobile and can be moved around, changed or
eliminated. We tell you be conservative with your large and
expensive pieces. But if you love it enough, you will be able
to live with it. Forget all the stuff about making it pleasing
for new buyers or for others. It is your space; your place.
Your dream home. What's your dream home like? Are you
living in it? If you cannot afford it right now I will understand.
But are you denying yourself your dream because what you
most desire is not mainstream? Shame on you. If you cannot
afford the whole hog, find one element that is most impor-
tant to you and incorporate it into your existing home.
I dream of a home that has a perfect relationship with the
outdoors: large doors and windows opening to the outside,
an uninterrupted flow from inside out. In our current security
scenario I am satisficing with large windows and a small liv-
ing wall. The real value your home has is how best it suits
you and your lifestyle.
Making memories. Whether you plan to stay in your home
for five years or forever, you should be making beautiful
memories in your home. Years from now you should be speak-
ing of teaching your daughter to cook in your kitchen, watching
your favourite shows in the TV room, entertaining guests for
the holidays, accommodating the friends of your children, lazy
days by the pool, homework around the dining room table,
teaching your daughter to sew, working on school projects, for
instance. So your home needs to be comfortable and suitable
for how you want to live your life.
Your forever paradise. Think about it: if you do not plan to
sell or if your home will be passed to a relative after you die,
why are you pre-occupying yourself in creating a space that
someone else will love? Why do you feel obligated to include
features because it is what others think is suitable? Granite
countertops are okay, but I am more partial to quartz and
marble. While the trend is for dark cabinets, I have a client
dead set on white cabinets. I say she is brave and I encour-
aged her to go for it. Some may say it is not trendy, but she
will love her kitchen. If you buy it, you refinish it. Simple.
Don't forget the pets. Our dog is part of the family. I call him
my grandchild and his full name is Mr Snuggles Spencer.
When his big sister, Smooches, died, she was given a funeral
with readings, singing and all. She was laid to rest in our back
yard. Snuggie will be buried next to her when his time comes.
So whoever buys our property will also purchase a pet ceme-
tery. If your pets are part of the family, you may want to
make special provision for them: dog bath in the laundry, a
pet door on the outer doors, cat scratching posts in the fam-
ily room, for instance. Hardwood floors may be what every-
one wants on HGTV, but will that stand up to your pets? A
tile floor would be more pet friendly.
A space for everyone. Make your house your home. En-
sure that all who matter know that the home is theirs.
Shared spaces should be comfortable for all who inhabit
the home. When your children are growing up the home
should cater to their lifestyle, I remember one client whose
early teen daughter just loved colour. She dressed like a
rainbow exploded. Her bedroom was painted in about 8 dif-
There were 5 colours on the ceiling alone. It was colourful
and fun. She loved it. If her parents sell the house, the next
owner can repaint it. If you have guests regularly, make them
feel special. Put a comfortable and thoughtful guest space
together. A house should be a home; it should reflect who
YOU are, not a future owner. Create a home that you value.
MAGAZINE | 21
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