INTENTIONALIZE IT SERIES #2: INGREDIENTS
The Intentionalize It Formula! The 333 of Houses! The Way to Not Live In Piles of Junk! The Process of Creating a HOME! How to Honor Yourself With Your Stuff!
This Is The Way.
If you missed our convo about what the heck this all means, why I’m using fitty hundy exclamations, why it’s high time we clarify what our needs are around the house for happy and connected living finished with a chic-casual top-knot of beautiful, check out the first part of the Intentionalize It Series HERE.
If you’re ready to jump in head first to learn the first steps of getting intentional at home, plug that nose, girlfriend, and let’s get wet!
In the Intentionalize It Formula, the first things to understand are the ingredients we’ll be using. While it’s true that my 5 year old thinks birthday cakes are made of donuts and Spiderman, I want you to really understand clearly the correct ingredients that go into creating a home of intention. We all know donuts and Spiderman will get you most of the way to a birthday cake, but without an egg or two and some sprinkles your objective will remain elusive.
Of course you already know loads about what you want to create at home! That’s the sole purpose of Pinterest, after all. Add some crushing love for your little people, and you’re well on your way to success. BUT WAIT! Pretty pics and good vibes do not a complete home make. I want to add some structure to your thought process here, and help you make sure you’ve got all the building materials at the ready-quick to create something that’s both physically stunning AND relationally compelling. Like you will feel compelled to connect with people just by looking around. Connecting to YOUR people. In a beautiful place. Automatically. That’s what we’re going for. And if you want, you can even bring donuts.
Here’s what we’re looking at. The ingredients that compose an Intentional House are thus:
These ingredients are like your flour, butter, eggs, and sugar of the pastry world. The beans, corn, and salsa of my love language: Mexican Food. The Intentionalize It Ingredients work the same way. You can mix and match the ingredients and label them things like “pain au chocolat” or “enchiladas” or “Master Bedroom” but you’re using largely the same staples.
Nail these four components, my friend, and be prepared for magic.
Let’s dive a little deeper into each of these four ingredients.
FORM AND FUNCTION
Ahhh, the design world’s chicken-or-the-egg conundrum, the nature/nurture debate of architects throughout history. Which comes first: form or function? Do we build according to the tasks we wish to engage in? Do we engage in specific tasks because of the layout of a building? Yes and yes. As always, it’s a cyclical relationship, one of giving and taking, upward inspiration. Winston Churchill said it best, “We shape our buildings, and thereafter they shape us.” He was designing Parliament to be an active, energetic forum, with crowds of people jostling and engaging instead of cautiously spectating from carefully laid out individual desks. Isn’t that beautiful?
When I talk about form I mean the pretty stuff, the things you can touch. The way you decorate. The layout of your furniture. The finishes on the cabinets. The way homes are put together often reflect a pattern of form, called a design style sometimes. This is what you hear being talked about in magazines and on TV: industrial, farmhouse, shabby chic.
When I talk about function, I’m talking about how you use it. To bake, to cook, to tell stories, to have tickle fights. Function is reflective of our habits and our preferences (you hate to entertain? You want to have a chicken coop?).
They go together like a noun and a verb. One needing the other to be of any use.
In an Intentional House, there are seven aspects of form to choose from as an overall design style:
- Modern Minimal
- Mid Century
To determine which is “you”, start with the style you first identify with, and usually (but not always) you’ll have a close second. Combine the two, with your primary preference first. For instance, perhaps you’re a Bohemian Industrial gal. Or maybe a Formal Mid Century lover. All are good. And you’re allowed to switch it up! Type any of these into your Google or Pinterest search bar to be bombarded by the theme if you need a little visualization to hone it in.
This is helpful to know because this determines which… which plant, which couch, which color, which art. To determine what, we look to function.
To determine the function of a space, simply ask, “What am I needing to do here?” Then make a list! Here’s the extra credit bonus confetti: also ask how! To really pinpoint your functional preferences and make a space really speak to YOU, make some notes about how you like to do things. For example “I need to do the dishes. While listening to a podcast, or having a kid help me.” So we know we need a place for your phone and some speakers in the kitchen, with an extra wide sink with an easily accessible stool nearby. Another example: “I use the bathroom to put on makeup. I like to be really close to the mirror and sit on the counter.” This will have us designing for you a wide counter with enough space between two sinks for you to properly sit on the regular, without trays of cottonbally fluff or candlesticks. Nope, those will go somewhere else, because you like to use the space for sitting, not for decorating. Ya with me?!
How you doin? Ready for the last two?
Surprise surprise, we can use our stuff to connect with the people we love.
HAPPY DANCE AND A THOUSAND PINATAS!!!!
This is the true purpose of home, the ultimate design peak.
The question to ask to get this ingredient right is WHO!
“For every task that must be done, there is an element of fun,” said the world’s greatest babysitter. Recognize that each room, each vignette, holds countless opportunities to connect.
What do I even mean by connection? I mean those eye-to-eye, heart-to-heart occasions where you feel seen, heard, loved, and when you send those same great vibes back to another. Connection highlights are those moments when our babies giggle for the first time, and the swoony parts that make a good chick flick worth watching. Connection moments can seem elusive or maybe just a lot of work, but if we’re aware, we can make any regular old moment work for us in connecting with the people we love.
Important connections to consider are:
- Connections with yourself (podcast, meditation, exercise, remembering who you are and who you want to become)
- Connections with others (children, spouse, friends, family)
- Connections with God (prayer, recommitment to your highest purpose)
While connection is the pinnacle, meaning is the ingredient that drives you to get to the top. Our houses are full of visual, tangible, sensory stimuli that can be used to trigger our minds and hearts into love. As love and gratitude are the most vibrationally elevated emotions we can operate from, we can design with an eye toward helping us feel this way as much as possible.
Meaning comes in a variety of ways, but often it’s nothing more than deciding that something is important to you, and assigning that mindset (such as gratitude) a purposeful symbol. For example, you might put a plant in the windowsill to represent gratitude. And to everyone else it might be a plant in a windowsill, but to you it represents soaking up the sun, relying on rooted nourishment, and appreciating each day as an opportunity for growth. See what I mean?
Anything, ANYTHING, can be a meaningful symbol. In this way, our homes become reminders of our goal to speak kindly, eat healthfully, watch less TV, reach out to a friend.
Similarly, we all need stuff to furnish a home. We’re all going to get a chair for our table and probably a lamp somewhere in the house. We might as well choose meaningful pieces to populate the “house needs” itemized list we have running in our brains. Choose the chair that reminds you of Grandpa! Choose the lamp that looks like a tree from the hotel in Cancun. Whatever it is, choose your furniture, your decor, your home, for a reason, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by happy reminders of where you come from and the things you love.
OH MY HECK you made it.
These ingredients are SO IMPORTANT!! Rah rah sisboombah!
If you are ready to MAKE THIS HAPPEN in your own house, drop me a line! I’d love to help you! As you may have guessed by my googley-eyed explanations of housey love, it’s my dream to help as many people as possible thrive at home!! Your house can have these ingredients, tailored to YOU! Your house can be beautiful, functional, meaningful, and connection oriented. YOUR family can reap the benefits of the most important intentional changes around the house, all to help you grow closer and maximize the good times you enjoy together.
Fill out the application HERE, and let’s get to work!