By Deryl Patterson of Housing Design Matters
As a residential architect and working mom, my mission is creating solutions that make our homes more user-friendly. One activity I’m most passionate about is coming home. This should be a very special occasion, one that sets the tone from the get-go. Far too often, however, that tone becomes one of stress and chaos. How can our home be a sanctuary when we are greeted by a dark and narrow hallway? I want us to focus on entering our homes and make it special each and every day. Let’s make the foyer special for the entire family.
Most of us enter our homes from the garage. In many homes, this point of entry is considered secondary – with all the focus and drama centered on the front door and how guests enter our homes. That’s all fine and dandy, but what about family and their daily entry experience? Shouldn’t this be special too?! Don’t walk us through a dark laundry room, cluttered and full of clothes to clean or fold – we’re well aware and don’t need the constant reminder upon coming home! We wouldn’t dream of putting the washer and dryer in our formal foyers so why should they be in our owner entries?
It’s time to rethink the owner entry; a place where the transition from the outside world to our home is handled with grace and ease. This starts with a wide berth as we carry in groceries, kids’ back packs, lunch bags and briefcases. I love a functional foyer with a place for everything – shoes, book bags, cell phones and a place to sort the mail.
We’ve all experienced the magical trail of shoes left by our kids that never fail to go missing in the morning when they’re late for school. Or how about the trail of clay, dirt, grass, leaves or rocks from the treads of their shoes? And ladies, what better way to celebrate coming home than kicking off your high heels and sliding into your favorite slippers? Ah – take a moment of relief before crazy sets in. Okay – guys, there’s room to shed your ties here as well (doesn’t anyone still wear those?).
As my kids grew older and received cell phones; that was the next gadget to conveniently disappear as we were rushing out the door. A charging station at the owner entry is a good solution. It can also be “time out” for phones until their home work is done. I’m convinced that checking Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (I’m sure there’s so much more these days) updates on their phones created homework amnesia for my kids.
As our families grow, the needs of our households change. The owner entry needs to be flexible and adapt accordingly. Even after the kids have all flown the nest, anyone can appreciate a room that facilitates an organized and clean environment. Who doesn’t want a place where that extra bit of tension is released so we can start singing Kenny Loggins – “Celebrate Me Home!”