Allianz Home Insurance


Comfort of your home

by Chris Lang on April 20, 2007

By Anthony Braun.

When we say “home”, we mean the dearest to our heart place, the one that we value more than anything. It is a home where we grew up or our kids are growing up, or a place we’re growing old in.

It is as hard to find two identical houses, as it is two identical people – they just don’t exist. Every house is a mirror of habits and lifestyle of the family that lives in it. It has unique energy and atmosphere.

Older houses have their own charm – built for ages by our ancestors, they last much more than one lifetime. Given proper maintenance, they look just as good as the new houses; have a dignified and inviting appearance, making their owners proud.

But this article is about a new home for a new family. When anyone decides to build his own home, the first specialist to see would be an architect.

A word of advice – what you need to know at this stage is that all architects are very different in terms of their talent, views and opinions, experience and, finally, fees they charge.

Some architects have no respect to you opinion, because “they know best” what you need. Those guys will offer you pre-made plan without considering your individual needs. But after all, you are the person who will live in that house – so beware!

Sometimes architects are fascinated by certain type of building material – glass, for instance. In that case you could end up living in a fish tank. To avoid such situation, you should first see as much of your architect’s work as you possibly can. It will help you to answer the question – not will his taste and vision suit your needs? Only when you are confident – book the person.

Before you are signing anything, take some time to think about the future plan of your house and let your architect know your requirements. Asking him to present several variations of the plan draft is not a bad idea at all. Work together on the draft you liked the best and make corrections to it, if needed.

After the planning stage is over, building stage begins. But even when that’s over – you are far from the finish line, because all you have is bare walls and roof – now you need to fill them with warmth and comfort.

Your next step is to see an interior designer – this is another test for you. Before you even start, you need to have a clear idea of all the building materials involved – floors, staircases, built-in wardrobes, tiles, etc. Don’t be shy, talk to specialists, get samples, look at finished surfaces, get in touch with manufacturers and get some catalogs of what they offer – so you could know exactly what you need to use and what it will look like.

Once you’re done – the second stage is over. To keep things simple, many of the details such as dealing with communications, sewage, electricity, etc were left out – all of them should be done by professionals and before you start decorating your house. All of the appliances – air conditioner, lighting, water taps – need to be approved by your designer and you probably might want to have a look at them yourself. Pay some special attention to warranty periods, safety standards and energy efficiency.

Finally we can start thinking of how to make this amazing structure you’ve paid heaps of money for comfortable and tastefully designed. I envy you at this stage, as you are about to have the nicest time before you move in – filling your home with the beautiful things you love, that are dear to your heart, that remind you of family and friends. Keep and cherish those things, as they are the basis of the warm feeling that will fill your home.

I must tell you straight away that comfort takes talent to create. Most women have it, as it matches their spiritual nature and the need of love, tenderness and peace.

To keep your house cozy and homely, it must be clean – and you need to think of that before bringing any furniture in. The floors must be easy to clean everywhere – under the beds, cabinets, shelves etc.

Next attribute of comfort is the ease of use – think of it when you are buying furniture and arranging it, so it will be easily accessible. Most importantly, don’t overdo it – house, crowded by oddly placed strange looking things, is the opposite of comfortable. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule – especially if those are antique pieces that have sentimental value.

Fill your house with sounds – bells on your verandah, soft music out of hidden speakers. Add some paintings to your walls, beautiful kitchenware, and crystal glasses – all of those can create the feeling of beauty and elegancy. Fireplace is usually the center of you home, the place where family comes together in the evenings, so it deserves some extra attention. Curtains and drapes are also very important – avoid flashy colors, go for the softer ones. Don’t forget the plants – they brighten up your home, adding life to it.

The times are changing and that affects the interior design of your house. The TV is not on the stand any more – it’s hanging on the wall, twice the size it used to be, bookcases are replaced by computer with internet access. All of that means that the definition of comfort is not still – it’s alive and changing. As the old saying goes, “Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis” – “Times are changing and so are we”.

Update: this article has made it to The Carnival of home improvement.

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