Designing With Impact – Memory Points

Think of your childhood. Think of a place that you loved. Maybe it was the attic at Grandma’s house with sunbeams straining through the shuttered dormers, or the tiny Victorian train depot converted to an ice cream shop with its wondrous wood gingerbread carvings, or maybe a “secret” room behind the drapery in a window seat overlooking an intimate garden. These are places that not only embed themselves into our visual memory forever but carry with them a powerful, emotional message. The message could be that of mystery, awe, delight, comfort or safety—but whatever, it is a strongly emotional message coupled with this visual memory. A memory point is subtle, perhaps subconscious, but makes your home immediately appealing not only to you but your family, as well as potential buyers when it comes time to move on.

It’s a fun sport for me to visit the model homes of a typical track development. Every development seems to be the same: the street-side elevation greets you with a three-car garage, and an “imposing” front entry in your choice of Mediterranean fake stone, Cape Cod fiber-cement siding, or Craftsman Bungalow complete with all the traditional styling idioms. Look next door or across the street. The roof-lines and facades might be different, but the basic floor plans and window placements are the same.

Enter this typical model home, and you’ll find that the interior designer has tried very hard to capture your imagination and your heart. The warm palette of wall color and beautifully contrasting crown and base molding; uncluttered bookcases, table and counters tops; the tasteful arrangement of smart looking soft seating; and the oversized wall graphics- images of children at play and happy couples yachting, skiing, or visiting some exotic land. This is sort of like a cosmetic ad. It’s appealing but fake. You want it to be yours. But in reality, your lifestyle is different from this. Likely, it’s not as tranquil, well mannered, nor as static. It’s an unattainable dream for most time-crunched, active, dynamic families.

But within the maelstrom of your real everyday home, you can create memory points. You can create that secret, mysterious space; you can become refreshed in that brief glance down the laundry room passageway, which terminates in an arched atrium door that so perfectly frames an outdoor birdbath; you can love, even more, the place you call home. A design consultant can help you discover overlooked opportunities and develop authentic memory points unique to your home.