“There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” — Jane Austen
Interior designer Karin Ross, owner of Karin Ross Designs, knows she isn’t the only one dealing with the challenges and anxiety of these uncertain times.
“One thing that this pandemic has taught us all is that things are going to change,” she says.
A second lesson? Homes are more important than ever. They’re places of comfort, of security, of refuge. For many people, homes do double-duty as both living and workspaces; for others, their homes have also morphed into schools.
Now, there’s a more urgent need for homes to be both beautiful and functional.
“Since you’re going to be at home more, you want that space to help you feel like you’re going to be OK,” Ross says.
As you become more acquainted with your home than ever before, you might soon realize you want to make changes. That’s why this unprecedented time may actually be the opportunity you needed to improve your home and what it can do for you and your family.
“Homes are going to become much closer to an old European saying, ‘Your home is your castle,’” Ross says.
In the days ahead, consider the following advice to help you better prepare for the possibility of home improvements and upgrades. This is an opportune time to shift your mindset away from uncertainty and to something that brings you comfort and stability: your home and the people in it. It’s easy to feel helpless right now, but you have control over your home—how it looks, how it performs. Why not make it the home of your dreams? Settle back, get comfortable and start here:
Assess Your Space
If you find yourself spending more time in your home than you have in recent memory, you’re not alone!
Make the most of the current circumstances by carefully paying attention to how you live (and work, learn, etc.) in your home. Consider the following questions:
- Are your most frequently used spaces designed and equipped as well as they could be?
- Are there any areas of your home that you tend to avoid altogether? Why?
- Are you missing spaces that you now need, such as a home office, a learning area, an exercise room, etc.?
- What changes to your home—from layout to interior design—would make you happier and more peaceful?
Make notes, gather an inspiration file of ideas you love and create a list of questions you have about the remodeling process. Then, you’ll be ready for the next step!
Start the Process
As conditions improve, Ross predicts a busy client pipeline. That’s why now is the time to get ahead of the curve and start your project.
Ross says she’ll be happy to hold a consultation in whatever format a client prefers, including a phone or video chat. She can also recommend some apps to start trading and showing ideas. Ross dedicates an abundance of time to planning for each project, and says that clients can benefit from that expertise, especially now.
“I’m really proud of the amount of planning and work that I put into each project, now more than ever,” she says. “You need to work with a designer who understands what you want, and also takes appropriate precautions, so that you get the beautiful and functional space you want. It’s more important than ever to make sure your home is a happy place that helps you feel better.”
Life Is Changing; So Should Your Home
The saying, “What’s old is new again” is just as applicable to home design as it is to fashion trends. Ross remembers earlier decades when home offices were mostly makeshift spaces, likely to be found at a corner of the dining room table. In some homes, offices disappeared altogether, replaced by more alluring options like coworking spaces.
Ross predicts that some of the changes happening now—more time working from home, for example—might very well become the new way of life, even as the current challenging conditions ease. In fact, she credits her upbringing in Belgium as preparing her for this new reality.
“Who better than a European to understand working in your home,” she says. “That’s what we were taught—business is downstairs, we’re upstairs.”
There are a number of benefits to this new configuration—less time commuting, for example, and more time with the people and things that you love. Embracing the silver lining in these outcomes is just one reason why now is an ideal time to make the changes to your home that you’ve dreamed, planned, envisioned.
“I can’t fix the pandemic, but I can help you focus your mindset on the positive,” Ross says. “I want to help others forget about things for a period of time, help them get through these challenges. We can do this together.”
To schedule a consultation with Karin Ross, visit her website.