So it's been ages between posts - frankly, there was just so much noise out there I decided to bow out. But, recently I was thinking about what I do beyond the label of interior designer. My 'aha' moment was realizing what I really do is help you be happier in your home...and since I'm older than stone, I might have some insights to share.

I'm always saying to clients I can make the room look however they want, but first we need to make it work for the life they lead. Evolving life stages all have different requirements that need thoughtful fulfillment. Having what you need, where you need it, reduces small stressors that adds to general contentment.

Here's your assignment: review your typical day and make a list of 'pains' - and I mean from getting out of bed to turning in at night. As in, if you can't dust your nightstand for the clutter, you need drawers. If you have to visit three spaces to grab what you need to get out the door, you need a staging area; you get the idea.

Davids Furniture & Interiors | Bassett Ventura StorageMy personal small victory was a charging station. I get twitchy with visible cords and wires, but my daughter is always charging some device while she uses it, sprawled on the sofa. A power strip on the rug is not a great accessory, so I bought a small cabinet and a keyhole saw bit. Now the strip is hidden, all devices can be charged behind doors and the cabinet anchors a painting; win-win. 
If you're a young family, starting out in a small home or apartment, consider giving over the larger bedroom to the kid(s) - more space to store the stuff. Get in front of the toys that will end up in the public space with ample storage. 

If you have a busy household, anything that helps keep chaos at bay is worth it! Organization tops the list- again, what you need, where you need it. Hidden shelving is typically more useful than shallow drawers; maybe time to retire or re-purpose a piece here. If you review what you have to do to get ready for company, you'll know what will make your life easier on a daily basis. 

Davids Furniture & Interiors | Bernhardt Family Seating Collection

When downsizing, or for 1-2 person households, consider re-imagining your kitchen dining. So often I see a table for six and the homeowners eating at the counter - and who could blame them? There's nothing cozy about all those empty chairs. I like to incorporate a banquette and at least one dining wing chair around a 42" square table (with stored leaves) for everyday use. The other chairs can be at a desk and in bedrooms, sometimes I'll put an upholstered bench in the hall that will do double duty for dinner parties.

Davids Furniture & Interiors | Laurie Foster, Interior DesignerDavids Furniture & Interiors | Laurie Foster, Interior Designer

All the fabrics work in the public space and seating can expand and contract as needed for a proper dinner party or a holiday crowd in the public space.
When downsizing, think long and hard about aging-in-place. If you never want to move again, you'll have to tweak a typical blueprint to accommodate any possible eventuality. You'll want your front door on-grade and 42" wide and all doors should have levers instead of knobs. The wall outlets need to be higher and the switches and windows lower. Kitchens should have dish drawers and a drawer dishwasher. Bathrooms should have a walk-in tub or shower stall with ample space for turning. All flooring should be non-slip without any transition strips. Luckily, it's never been easier to have a gracious home with beautiful finishes that can handle whatever the next chapter brings- the very definition of 'functional design'.
Laurie Foster
Interior Designer, Harrisburg Location
September 02, 2020