Purpose//

Why You Should Give Your House a Mission Statement

Identify your home's purpose and style to make everything from picking paint colors to buying a new home easier.

Jill Litner Kaplan Interiors, original photo on Houzz

You’ve undoubtedly heard of the benefits of creating mission statements for businesses, or even for yourself — but what about writing a mission statement for your home? Part style, part personal values, this short and sweet statement could help you make stronger decisions about decorating and more. We will walk through eight self-exploratory steps, building up to writing a home mission statement that is uniquely yours. So the next time you are waffling about a purchase, looking for a new home or even changing a paint color, you can let your mission statement remind you of your priorities and vision for your home and life. Let’s get started.

1. Explore your style. A home mission statement is about more than style, but often what you are drawn to visually will lead you to deeper realizations about what you crave at home. Start by creating an ideabook or cracking open a fresh file folder to hold your tear sheets and ideas, and start collecting.

To do: Write down what drew you to each image you save — it could be anything from “love the farmhouse table” to “sunny, open floor plan” or even something as abstract as “romantic/artsy.” Look for themes that could become part of your mission statement.

Skyring Architects, original photo on Houzz

2. Tap into your values. What is important to you? What takes top priority in your life? Anything you hold dear should find a welcome place in your home. For instance, if you value your extended family, it might be especially meaningful for you to make room for big family gatherings.

To do: Take a few minutes to list your top priorities and how you can welcome them into your home. For example, if caring for the planet is important for you, think about ways to be more ecofriendly at home.

3. Define how you want your home to feel. This is a bit different from the style question, and potentially more important. When you walk through the front door, what three words do you want to spring to mind? “Uncluttered,” “clean” and “serene”? “Welcoming,” “cozy” and “fresh”? 

To do: Think about how you want your home to feel, freely jotting down any descriptive words that spring to mind. Once you have a good list, narrow it down to your top three words.

Terracotta Design Build, original photo on Houzz

4. Clarify the purpose of your home. What role does your home play in your life? Is it where you decompress after working long hours? The place where you are raising your children? Of course our homes serve many purposes, but try to zero in on what your home’s primary purpose is (aside from shelter).

To do: Write down the main purpose of your home, beyond providing you with basic shelter. If you like, add one or two additional roles that support the main purpose.

5. Refine your answers. Look over everything you have gathered so far, from style folders to brainstorms, and begin searching for themes and key points that you might like to use in your mission statement.

To do: Make a list of key words and phrases from your brainstorming and style folders. For example: “kid friendly,” “fun,” “modern,” “laid back yet polished.”

Related: Cool and Creative Kids’ Desks for a Kid-Friendly Home

Sarah Greenman, original photo on Houzz

6. Imagine your ideal day at home. This exercise is a great way to synthesize all you have been learning about yourself. When you have a moment alone at home, close your eyes and visualize your ideal day in your house, from waking in the morning to climbing into bed at night. 

To do: While imagining your perfect day at home, be sure to explore with all of your senses — what do you see, hear, smell, touch and taste throughout the day? Who else is there? What do you do?

7. Write your mission statement. Pulling from the key points and themes you identified in your notes, begin writing your home mission statement. If you need a little nudge to get started, begin with “My home is a place where … ” and complete the statement. If you feel you have more to add, just add another “My home is a place where … ” and keep going!

Kate Maloney Interior Design, original photo on Houzz

8. Put your mission statement to work. Once you have your mission statement written, how you choose to use it is up to you: memorize it, write it in your calendar, have it made into an art print, stencil it onto your stair risers or share it with your family. The most important thing is to keep it close enough to guide your decisions about your home from here on out.

Original article written by Laura Gaskill on Houzz.

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