The Journal | Creating a Home With Room For Life
Creating a home with room for life is a topic that we're very passionate about here at NABO. We like to say it's in our DNA; as Danes we spend a good chunk of time each year indoors, at home, so it's important to us that it's functional yet pleasant to be in. But how do we create a home with room for life? It seems like the simplest thing to do, but the way to get there is a little more complicated than it seems - it requires reflection and thoughtful choices.
The process, however, is rewarding, because when we have created a space that meets our needs, embody how we see ourselves and that functions well, it makes us happier altogether. After all, your home is where you recharge and relax, create memories with family and friends, gather people for celebrations and spend time alone on ordinary days; that's why it's important to create a home where we can enjoy both the simplest and grandest moments in our life.
In this blog post we'll cover what you need to think about if your aim is to create a home with room for life. We don’t shy away from being deeply rooted in the Scandinavian design tradition; where design has a function, where things are meant to be used, where a home has room for having guests over and for kids to be kids; and we know it is achievable if you take the right choices.
Photo credit: Frama Studio
Function vs. aesthetics
The humanist way to design a house is to put the person at the heart of the space. Thinking about what you value in life will make it easier to imaging how you want to live life at home. We believe that good design is not a mere object for display but a combination of quality, function and aesthetic. To create a home with room for life we need to surround ourselves with things that are meant to be used and have a function in our daily life. Yes, you can have those little pieces you treasure purely for decoration, but overall you need to think about function and how you engage with different things every time you buy something new.
To make it more specific, here's an example. When buying a new sofa think about what function it will serve; is it going to be a sofa you and your family sit on every evening or is it going to be in a dining room and used only when you have guests over. Thinking about how you will use the sofa and how you want the overall room to feel, will make the process and finding the right sofa easier, and furthermore will decisions like choosing the right fabric ( we think of durability here) go more smoothly.
Function and use is key to create that room for life-feeling when someone steps into your home.
Photo credit: Christina Thaisen
Choose better quality
Buying furniture (and things in general) of better quality are often more expensive upfront but well worth it in the long run. When we keep in mind that the things we have in our homes should have a function the quality is even more important. Poorly made furniture won't last long in your daily life and will need replacement quicker than well made pieces of furniture.
Older generations were (generally speaking) much better at buying things of better quality. They invested in furniture made of hard wood that they kept their whole life and which could be handed down to younger generations. Nowadays people are more likely to buy and change their furniture more frequently - when they find a new partner or move to a new flat - because the things they bought wasn't thought through or maybe because their furniture didn't survive the trip in the moving van. We're all in for buying furniture of better quality that can be used for what they are intended for without the risk of breaking or simply not looking good anymore.
Focus on craftsmanship
In line with what we mentioned above we celebrate craftsmanship and detail; buying from brands that value craftsmanship and put thought into eery little detail will result in better products that have a longer life and are more suited for everyday life. People often sacrifice good craftsmanship for cheaper and easier options that really aren't worth it in the end.
Photo credit: Christina Thaisen
Choose natural materials
Just as people add more and more organically-farmed whole foods into their life, the same approach is slowly making its way into interior design (hurray for that). Choosing natural materials create a better indoor environment for everyone and it's an earth friendly thing to do. In the world of interiors, “natural materials” means any renewable resource that is harvested from the earth for use.
Whether it's a coffee table made of cork or a tea towel made from eco-friendly fibers, we believe in thinking sustainability into our homes. Chances are that you've heard about the advantages of choosing natural materials like wood, cork, metals and clay when you decorate your home.
Investing in natural materials will give you pieces that last longer if you care for them properly as well as pieces of furniture that will grow old with charm. Now think about the family heirlooms you or your parents might have, they are probably in relatively good condition when you compare them to the pieces of furniture you bought at IKEA last time you moved home. The reason for the longer lifespan is because it's made of natural materials that stands the test of time.
Photo credit: Notem Studio
Choose calming colours
When you decorate you home you should think about what makes a space feel comfortable for you. We believe in choosing natural and calm colours to create a space that's pleasant to be in. Looking through magazines can be very tempting indeed, but buying into trends is not a sustainable solution when you want room for life. Instead you should choose colours with your heart and find some that you can truly live with for a long time, so you won't have to redecorate 6 months down the line. Choose calm colours to underline the liveable space you want to create.
Buy less but better
This paragraph would also have been very suitable at the very top, because the key to creating a home you fully enjoy is to start thinking about what you surround yourself with. A home filled with lots of meaningless things doesn't only cause mess and clutter, it can also affect our mental health and our relationships. We're firm believers that having less things to worry about will make us happier - stuff simply weighs you down and that's what we want to avoid.
Photo credit: Christina Thaisen
Some homes instantly feel welcoming. Not just because you admire the three story house, the decor or the company, but there's something about the space that makes you want to stay a little bit longer. A space that's authentic, lived-in and a reflection of the individuals who live there. We know it is achievable to create that home if you take the right choices.