Safety First!: The Foundation to Excellent Interior Design
You’ve probably had this happen… I live on a fairly busy street, and a few months ago, I woke up at around 2am to someone banging on the front door. Heart racing, head groggy, I walked to the door trying to get my brain to fire synapses and decide what to do.
I waited, nothing happened. I stood there long enough to decide the person at the door had left. I waited some more. And the panic passed.
I went back to bed, but tossed and turned the rest of the night—anxious that someone was going to bang on my door again.
My alarm went off, and I started my day, but the whole day I was left that with that lingering feeling of concern—what was that even all about!?!
Most of us have little things around our home that may not be panic inducing like someone banging on your door to wake you from the dead of sleep—but when we first noticed them, we thought “I should take care of that!” And maybe we thought about it again the next time we walked passed that area, and maybe another time, but little by little our concern goes from conscious to unconscious. However, our poor little system still have that worry every time we walked past--making us feel unsafe, even if only at a subconscious level.
While this might be the most ho-hum part of design, it is the foundation of any beautiful room—
Safety and Security
No matter how many delicious fabrics you have, or how drool-worthy your new console is, if you are constantly worried that that you’ll trip over that extension cord or that someone could break into your window—even on a subconscious level—it diminishes your pleasure of that room.
A fantastic room assumes a sense of comfort and security and appropriate barriers to the outside world.
So let’s take care of safety first, so you can enjoy your room!
First, I need to make a major disclaimer. As someone that spent almost 15 years working with the social justice organizations with survivors of domestic and sexual assault, I would be remiss if I skipped talking about the vital importance of feeling safe with the people you live with. No amount of beauty in your room will counter you feeling unsafe with your partner, roommate, parent, or child.
Working with these amazing, resilient survivors was hugely impactful to me. It also took something I knew in theory to reality—womxn from all backgrounds (race/ethnicity, economic background, education, sexual orientation, etc.) can be in a relationship where one person yields power and control over the other. And this power can be yielded in the form of physical abuse, the threat of physical abuse, making demeaning and belittling comments, creating isolation from one’s support network, controlling the money in the relationship, sexual abuse, humiliation in front of others, and various other ways.
Everyone deserves to feel safe in their own home.
And only you know how to make that happen—reaching out to community resources, staying at your sisters, making a plan. I want to you be secure and comforted and loved, so do what feels right for you right now.
If you are in need of community resources, whether you are leaving your situation or not, there are people trained and ready to help you make a plan—if you are staying or leaving.
You deserve to be safe and to be treated with respect and compassion…especially in your own home.
Okay, that might have been heavy, but I feel it is essential to address.
Now, assuming you do feel safe with and loved by the other folx in your home, let’s get to those little details that may be having a big impact!
Whether it’s the smoke detector you yanked out of the ceiling because it kept going off (been there!) or the fancy door bell you’ve had on your to-buy list for the last 7months, let’s get this done!
When you are walking through your home, think about the things that do threaten your sense of security, but also those things that would make you more comfortable in your home. Think non-working outlets and the fact that you are missing a fire extinguisher in your kitchen…or anywhere! And also think about how great it’d be to have a white noise machine outside the door to your home office to help muffle other folx in your home, or that solar outdoor light you could add to your path to your front door.
In 3 easy steps, we’ll get you feeling all cozy and secure in your home!
1. Get my free worksheet here:
2. Set aside 10-20 minutes (depending on the size of your place) to walk through and identify all the issues on the worksheet.
3. Pull out your calendar and mark out time to tackle this stuff—maybe 1-3 hours.
Make sure you give your self plenty of time to make phone calls to plumber or electricians or landlords/property managers (this stuff always takes longer than we want).
If you are tackling some of the to-do list on your own, make a list of what you’ll need, and be sure to include time to run to the hardware store in your block of time.
Then just do it!
Once you tackle your list, give yourself a big high five!
Tackling these little issues are going to have a big impact on how you feel in your home.
And now that we have taken care of creating more sense of security, fun stuff, here we come!