My wife and I are starting to make moves toward buying a home. While, yes, there’s a lot of foundational things we need to do like getting pre-approved for a mortgage, researching neighborhoods and the market, one thing that I want to spend some more time on is the more shallow imagining of what our dream home would look like. I’d like to start a sort of series of posts where I can have some thoughts exercising this stuff, so if you have better ideas on the given topics, please share them! We would hate for our dream home space to be done and then made obsolete by an even better idea that we should’ve gone with.
Planning the Dream Home: Study
Well, more like the study/office/craft/hobby/classroom… whatever.
The Priority is Productivity
Every single design choice made for this room will be grounded in one foundational theme: productivity. Everything we include in this room must directly cater to productive means, or allow for the least amount of down-time and distraction for productivity. What this means is that this is not a “no fun zone”, but moreso a “get the most amount of work done in the least amount of time” room.
A Room with Many Hats
The study in our dream home will have to serve many purposes (because we’re not going to have a single room for every specific activity–there’s going to be overlap and multi-purpose rooms). The way I see it, this room will be used for the following:
- Studying for Lily and Teddy
- My workspace
- Reading room
- Craft/hobby room
- Learning/Teaching space (for me/Teddy)
- Home management space (printing, bill payment, mailing, file-keeping, etc…)
Everything should assist with these functions, and either make their processes quick and smooth. Each item should add to at least two of these functions (otherwise we better have a humongous study).
Filling the Space
A Craft Desk at Center
At the center of the room will be something like this: an artist’s table. Essentially, it’s a big flat surface that has storage (closed and open). With this at the center of the room, completely cleaned out–it’s just begging for a project to be placed on it. It’s a great welcome sign for whoever walks into the room that this place is just begging to be used.
Dry Erase Boards
It doesn’t have to be the whole wall, I just think there needs to be a dry erase board or even a dry erase-coated wall that can serve as an open space for markings. This means post-it notes can be stuck on, notes can be kept (on more than just a notebook). This will be especially helpful whenever Teddy needs some help with any lessons in school–we have our own pseudo classroom setup so he can be taught! This will also be helpful if I ever need to do SAT tutoring from our home.
Infrastructure for Tech
Major Disclaimer: This will all change based on whatever current tech sits at. Who knows, we might not even need printers in the near future — we sure as hell don’t need fax machines.
To live by one of the major tenets of our dream home is to reduce the amount of clutter. When it comes to an office, I always imagine loads of wires from the internet, from the wifi setup, and from the desktop computer and printer setup; while I’m confident in my wire management skills, I’m looking for a way to eliminate the need for wires ultimately.
When it comes to the printer, I want a machine that does the following:
- Cost-effective toner (this is the most important)
- Possible to print en masse (when we need to print several copies quickly)
- Wireless printing
- Photo printing
As I continue to debate with the idea of a desktop computer, one thing the study needs is a good peripheral setup. If the family is going to be roaming the house with their own personal laptops, then the study won’t need a dedicated desktop. Instead, an additional monitor, desk lamp, keyboard, and mouse hookup there for anyone who wants dock their laptop in. Also, it would be helpful if there were a flat-screen TV in the room that can be hooked up to either the laptops or the dedicated desktop for when Teddy (and his future friends/classmates) will need to watch any educational videos to do more research.
While the room’s purpose is to be diligent and productive, one thing that it should also be is conducive to recovery. If you’re overwhelmed or burnt out, the best way to resume productivity isn’t to keep working, but to recover as much as possible as quickly as possible. The study should be a comfortable space, allowing for comfort that will ensure that work is done in the best conditions. So here are a few things I imagine in that room:
- Mini-fridge for drinks
- Speaker (bluetooth or wifi-connected like a Google Home) for listening to music
- Plenty of plants for good airflow
- Comfortable bean-bag chair for the reading corner
- Maybe a little space for a decanter for whiskey for yours truly 😉
The way I see it: the study is going to be one of the most used spaces in my dream home, which is why I want to make sure that it is set up in a way that matches all the needs of my family.