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When you work with Blake and his company, you are working with the best of the best of the best!  — Charles Hackney

Old Habits are Hard to Break

Old habits…so why bother? A fun, but sometimes uncomfortable, exercise that I do with my clients when planning a renovation project is for them to allow me to come over before they have cleaned. I ask them to please – leave the mess. I want to see where they leave their keys, and phones, briefcases, and dirty clothes. What are the items that don’t have a home? Whose bad habits are creating unwanted clutter and extra work; and most importantly, how could the home make the homeowners’ lives easier?

An architect once told me that our lives are affected by the spaces around us, but every once in awhile we get the opportunity to affect those spaces. A renovation is the rare opportunity that a homeowner has to create “habit” friendly spaces; spaces to make homes for the misplaced and homeless items.

Recently, I have been planning a master bathroom renovation with a family. They were considering eliminating the garden tub that is currently located next to the master closet. This would allow for a larger shower stall, but they were unsure about the void that would be left in the room. I suggested that this space be used for a nice chair for changing clothes or a new location for the clothes hamper. My client immediately showed me a chair in the bedroom with a stack of her husband’s dirty shirts. She also complained that the only place to change was next to the entry of the bedroom and that this was not very private. Needless to say, she loved my idea, agreeing that the new design will create a more private changing area and will present a great solution that will accommodate for an old habit that her husband may never break.

Maybe it’s time to take inventory of your home and your “old habits.” What items are constantly being left out? What is the extra cleaning that seems to take up your Saturdays? Instead of fighting your spouse trying to break their old habits, how can you better design your home to fit your family’s lifestyle? As you plan your next renovation, don’t be afraid to show your everyday mess to your architect or builder. By seeing what you wished they wouldn’t see, they may be able to design your home to reduce the mess in general.

Who knows, you may save the relationships most important to you in the process.



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801 Gillbert Street, Suit 101Durham, NC 27701(919) 943-6214