Design for You

I don’t often dole out advice on here—an expert, I surely am not—but I (accidentally) learned a valuable lesson recently, and I think it’s important to pass it along.

I’d been going back and forth for a few weeks about where to hang two photographs—beautiful images I bought while traveling in Cambodia. They were originally part of the gallery wall but, as you know, I dismantled that after painting the dining room.

So my idea was to move them to my little foyer. Option 1 was to hang them on the wall you see as you as you open the front door, a great first impression for guests. Or Option 2 was to hang them on the wall to the right, next to the bathroom door and perpendicular to the front door.


Option 1 on the left, Option 2 on the right

While Option 1 seems like the obviously choice, there didn’t seem to be enough visual space for both images on that wall. It’s a little narrower than Option 2, and they’d have to contend with a light switch.

Finally, I stopped humming and hawing and just went for it—Option 2. I wasn’t crazy about the fact that guests would be getting a side view of the frames when they walked in instead of the images themselves, but I could always change it later, right?

AfterThen the next morning when I woke up and opened my bedroom door to hit the shower, there they were. I realized that every day I get to start my morning with these serene images and memories of a great trip long past. It’s been about two weeks, and still every single morning, I take a second to look at them.

after2So here’s my advice: Don’t forget to design for you. Think about how many days a year you live in your home without guests, and then think about the number of days you entertain. Unless you’re a socialite or run a business out of your home or something, the time you’re there alone probably greatly outweighs those days when you’re playing host.

So don’t just think about what would make others happy. What would make you happy?