Susie Novak Interiors
Interior designer serving Oakland, San Francisco, East Bay and Marin California.

Design Blog

Designing a Space that Makes You Happy Every Day (plus 2 Before & Afters!)

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Has anyone else kicked life into overdrive this past week? In a good way?

I don’t know what happened after the holidays this year, but I am movin’ through to-dos, decluttering, reorganizing, and this novel thing called productivity at home.

And it feels pretty darn good! I think productivity is contagious… my current organization fever is undoubtedly inspired by Marie Kondo.

Heard of her?

She’s the organizing marvel behind The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and even has a new Netflix show. (I would binge it, but I’m still decluttering... 😂)

Her message is so powerful, and one that interior designers can fully get behind, so let’s talk about it!

How Does Your Space Make You Feel, Really?

Marie Kondo says that if you hold or touch an object in your home, it should give you a physical reaction that feels good. (I’ll add looking at an object to that list, too.)

It’s hard to describe that feeling in words, but when you have it, you know:

  • Do you feel a thrill of joy when you see, touch, hold it?

  • Does the materials feel inviting?

  • When you sit down are you comfortable?

  • For furniture, has it held up over the years and kept it’s form?

  • Do the colors harmonize with the room in a way that makes your eyes (or heart, or wherever) say ooooh?

All questions you should consider when looking at your space. Now, you have to decide how you’ll act on those answers.

I am a huge fan of the ladies at    Th    e Home Edit   . What they did to Gwyneth Paltrow's playroom is amazing!!! (   source   )

I am a huge fan of the ladies at The Home Edit. What they did to Gwyneth Paltrow's playroom is amazing!!! (source)

Taking Control of the Emotional Impact of Your Space

Architectural Digest published a great article on organization, writing:

“Just because an item serves a function (say, corralling your bills) doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be decorative.”

I couldn’t agree more! I’m all for creating a space that is perfect for you and your unique family (we talk about it a lot here on the blog)… but your home also needs to be functional. And you don’t have to compromise one for the other.

Our clients’ vinyl records needed a place to go. Instead of sticking them in just any old box, we found one that brings them joy! (   SF Project   )

Our clients’ vinyl records needed a place to go. Instead of sticking them in just any old box, we found one that brings them joy! (SF Project)

You do have a say in each and every thing that goes into your house. A house full of “it’s fine” is very different from a house full of “I love this.” Think about it. :)

Before & After Organization Projects in the Novak Home

Let’s talk about that rambunctious place called the Novak home. I’m looking at you Reese and Penny!

We completed two decluttering/organizing projects this past year: the pantry (you’ll see why) and Penny’s closet, because wow is she growing fast.


Pantry Transformation

So, here is the kitchen.

Kitchen leads to…

Kitchen leads to…

See that white door? That’s the pantry… let’s look inside…

Before: All-Purpose Pantry

Before: All-Purpose Pantry

A bit of a different vibe, am I right?

Our pantry is a tight space we demand a lot of: food storage, washer/dryer, microwave, cleaning products and paper towels. We also wanted to make sure we preserved the daylight coming in through the window. (Who likes doing laundry in the dark? Not this girl.)

Process: All-Purpose Pantry

Process: All-Purpose Pantry

After: All-Purpose Pantry

After: All-Purpose Pantry

Ahhhh. Much better! We had to create custom shelving to work around the windows, but we also have the ability to move the shelves up and down as needed.

This space functions much better for us, but more importantly, it FEELS so much better and we can breathe now!

Penny’s Closet

When designing Penny’s new room I added a custom closet with the IKEA PAX system. I wanted the built-in look, so we framed around it to achieve that feel. The drawers and shelves are GREAT - I even managed to add in a hide out for a little person :)

Penny’s Closet Before

Penny’s Closet Before

Penny’s New Closet

Penny’s New Closet

Penny’s New Closet

Penny’s New Closet

Penny’s New Closet

Penny’s New Closet

For the full makeover of Penny’s little girl room, read here!

Remember, design is important — we spend 87% of our time inside buildings! If that 87% is making us happy (versus miserable, irritated, etc.), imagine how that happiness impacts ourselves, our families, and the other people we interact with throughout our days. It’s game-changing. ;)

Xoxo,
Susie

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