By David Wulff, AIA 

By the time of this writing you have been in your house for the past 6 weeks or so.  I will bet you learned a lot of things about your family.  But more to the point, I will bet you learned a lot about your house that you never thought of before.  Let’s face it, when was the last time you spent so much time at home?  Probably close to never.

Let’s start with some of the more obvious.  Entertaining.  This was probably next to none.  So, what became of all that space that you originally thought you needed for entertaining?  Maybe it’s time to re-think whether you need all that space.  Maybe it could be something else.  

Along with that entertainment space, I will bet you found some spaces in your home that you did not use much.  Maybe it was a living room or den.  Maybe that space could also be used more efficiently for something else.

I will venture that a lot of us found that we had an enormous “honey do” list during this time.  I know I did.  Often in the past few years my wife, or perhaps someone else would “suggest” that I do something and I would always reply “its on the list”.  Well, that list was put to good use during this staycation time.  I found that my workshop had tools that had not been dusted off in years and they were put to good use.  Perhaps during this time, you found that you had time to do projects or hobbies that you had put off.    Maybe that unused space in your home could become a hobby or craft area.  

As you looked around your home during this time, did you see “stuff” that you had not noticed before.  You know, things like junk that piled up in those out of the way places?  Well, if that “stuff” is still there and is not necessary, then let’s clean it out now.  Spending time cleaning, sorting, etc. is great and you can have a refreshed feeling and enjoy your home.  

I will bet that you also spent a lot more time in the kitchen.  This brings up another good point.  Did the kitchen function as you would like it to?  After you cleaned out the cupboards (if you didn’t you should do it now) did you find things that you wonder why you bought them in the first place?  So, now that the kitchen is clean, take a good look at it and ask yourself if it still suits your needs.  If not, then it’s time to think about some modifications.   After having spent all this time cooking, now is the best time to make an analysis of what you would like and you probably know what doesn’t work for you.

Now let’s take a look at your outdoor living space.  As we were restricted on travel to other places, you probably spent a considerable amount of time just outside your door.   Did your outdoor space work for you?  If not, then now is the best time to realistically put down what you would like to have in your outdoor space.  Maybe it’s an outdoor kitchen.  Maybe just an outdoor patio or other siting space.  Perhaps an outdoor fireplace.  How about an area for a garden?  

It would be nice to spend more time at home in the future.  Let’s make the home somewhere you can enjoy.  

David H. Wulff, Architect Emeritus, lives in Lake Lure.