Harmony at home

Checklists for your own Harmonious home.

Checklists for your own Harmonious home.

Excerpted from Harmonious Home – © Loupe Images/Ryland Peters, Author Judith Wilson, Photographer Jan Baldwin

Lifestyle checklist

  • Define your home personality. Does your lifestyle demand a tidy, busy, tranquil or cozy space?
  • How many live there? Do numbers swell at weekends/holidays?
  • How sociable are you? Is there room for parties?
  • Where does everyone naturally congregate?
  • Do you need quiet rooms, as well as activity spaces?
  • Is this a daytime home, or an evening retreat?
  • Are you usually at home on weekends, or away? Are you and indoors or outdoors fan?

Services checklist

  • Get a professional to check wiring and plumbing. If it needs overhauling, is the budget available?
  • Are there any rooms consistently chilly or too hot? Do any radiators break up the run of a wall/spoil a window?
  • Do the style of radiators jar? Is underfloor or grille heating an option?
  • Do you want ambience of an open or faux gas fire?
  • Does the lighting work well for you? Are there enough work area lights? In the right places? Which rooms need extra lighting, to improve ambience or drama?
  • Does the plumbing work well? Is the tank big enough to cope with several bathrooms?
  • Is feeble water pressure a problem, or should you add a water pump and improve water flow?
  • Will TV/hi-fi/computer go on show or be concealed?

Architectural details checklist

  • Locate your favorite architectural details. Sketch or imagine how they may be reinterpreted in new ways around the house.
  • Look for interesting patterns, such as the criss-cross of a parquet floor, which may be echoed in upholstery or rugs.
  • Be a perfectionist: are all the details in similar styles/materials?

Storage checklist

  • How well does the existing storage work? What currently doesn't have a home?
  • What's your storage "personality?" Closed doors or open shelves? Built-in or free-standing?
  • Is there sports equipment/collections for display/ lots of shoes that need specialized storage?
  • What areas can be exploited to create new storage?
  • How much day-to-day storage is needed, and what can be stored in less accessible areas?
  • Can any rooms/parts of a room be devoted to storage, such as a walk-in closet?
  • Think of your favorite styles (plain or molded shelves, flush or paneled doors) and potential materials (wood, glass, composite board, stainless steel).

Color checklist

  • Which colors do you like best? Do you prefer neutrals, pastels, shades of white, deep colors or bright colors?
  • Are you a one-color person, or would you rather have a mix of shades?
  • Is the space open-plan? Can color be used to unify spaces or alternatively to delineate active or peaceful zones?
  • Look at your planned hard surfaces: do they tone well or fight with potential colors?
  • How important is pattern? One strong design can be the core to a working palette throughout a home.

Open-plan checklist

  • Why do you want an open-plan space? Improved communication, to make a design statement?
  • Is finance available for turning a ground floor into an open-plan zone? Or should you buy a shell?
  • Will you employ an architect? Or a builder and structural engineer to work your own design?
  • What key zones do you require? Plan for places to cook, relax, eat, socialize and work.
  • Will your existing furniture suit a new, but space?


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