One of my favorite considerations I share with a client is the “FOLDING CHAIR”. We work hard to design a workable solution for the dining room or the family’s living area. The everyday seating needs are a priority. I always ask about maximum seating as well! And, here’s why!


    What is the single most important time when you want the home to show at its best? When the family is in for a holiday visit or the friends have gathered for one of the many celebrations available this time of year! Then due to the lack of planning for more than the immediate needs, we realize we do NOT have enough seating and out comes the folding chair. Design and presentation are now flawed.

    A well thought plan is critical for everyday function and must also speak to these exceptions as well!

    Another consideration which is always part of my initial conversation with my client. The “kid & pet factor”! Nothing worse than worrying about spills, tears, and injuries when there is a lot of activity as the time of year dictates, we often make poor choices which are doomed.

    Thinking about immediate needs and long term as well we can often avoid these mistakes. A growing family should consider the performance offered in the fabric selections for upholstery. Better performance in paint selections can help make life easier when the children learn about coloring! And better choices in table edges and display pieces can be made when we think about how the space will be used by young children and the wagging tails of our family pets.


    Third consideration in planning a more successful space is simple! Our sense of urgency often takes over as immediate gratification trumps long term goals. The idea that we must have this project completed “ASAP” is one that can be resolved when using a designer who learns what the goals truly are for the project completion.

    There’s a saying I was once given, “is it more important for this immediate (purpose) or for all the events to come?” This has proven to be a valuable conversation. The importance of making hasty mistakes can often be averted by once again taking advantage of the designer’s help!

    Next is the consideration of traffic flow. It seems to be agreed that we all end up in the kitchen when friends and family are in our homes! Right? So, making sure that this space “moves well” on an everyday basis is important but additionally is the ability to handle heavier traffic flow. OPEN SPACE concepts have served well this need!


    Think about the welcoming experience you hopefully wish to offer as guests first make entry into your space. Is there room to enter and take in the home? Is there a comfortable amount of space so one does not immediately feel trapped? How about enough room to take off coats, gloves, scarves, and even those winter boots? Again, have a plan! For example, often the coat closet is limited or already full of needs for the family. Make sure to offer a location to guests where they will find their outerwear in a “less trafficked” part of the home. Of course, you will always offer to take the items to that location when they arrive. Major traffic areas require more space than secondary and are important considerations to create a comfortable welcoming home environment.

Finally, with the daily life considerations we many times forget to think about what happens when we release the abundant decorations tied into the season. This will sometimes create a challenge when our goal is to host more than the usual crowd! I love it when a client offers… “but that’s where I always put the tree!”

    This let’s me know they are thinking! It’s better to know that in our planning stage rather than later in the game!

    Bottom line! Be prepared and work from a plan! When the investment to re-work a room or add updates is on the TO DO list, make sure the success you ultimately desire comes from great decisions and guidance!


By Dave Cooper