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The new normal of our family life and work life has presented us with a wonderful opportunity. We evaluate our space and how we fill and structure our home to adapt to our needs.

The problem is, now that a lot of us work from home, we lose ourselves in the following aspects:

  • There are no clear separation between work and family life. This result in stress from from in your home or unproductive days.
  • Loss of Self. No quality time as a couple or alone time.

This is not a new design challenge that we are being faced with. In C. Alexander, S. Ishikawa and M.Silverstein’s book A pattern Language, they refers to the “Intimacy gradient(127)”

In short the Intimacy gradient is a sequence of spaces that start in the most public areas (Common areas) to the inner most private area bedrooms. To keep a clear separation between each area.

1. Intentional with the areas that you create:

Photo by Soroush Karimi on Unsplash
  1. Common area: family interaction- fun, relaxing, enjoy each others company.
  2. Semi private area: pajama lounge, entertainment area, office space.
  3. Private area: Bedrooms.

Each function of these zones must be respected but it is important to know even though a seperation is suggested it does not mean an exclusion of anyone but rather seen as their territory.

For example: Kids can come and play in mommy and daddy’s office but they need to respect the grownups space. The same way don’t sit at the dining room table and expect everyone to walk on eggshells around you. That is the family’s space.

2. Stick to the function of the area.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Don’t mix your family life and work life. Christy Wright from the Business boutique has an incredible saying: “Be where your feet are” When you work, work with everything you have in you. When you spend time with your family and friends there are no such thing as work or stress. You are present with your people. Let you home reflect that sentiment even if you need to through a cloth over your computer – out of sight out of mid.

3. Prioritise privacy:

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Each and every person in the family needs a space they can call their own and we need to respect that.

For example:

The couple’s domain

  • They need a space where they can be private without the responsibilities as the parents. Exist as a couple. The kids and other members of the household are welcome but they need to respect the couples space as their domain.

Individual privacy

  • Each person need their own space. This can be Dad’s garage, mom’s coffee- time in front of the window, the little one’s alone time with a favourite toy in his/her room, bunk bed or even the linen closet.

The main thing is to allow each member their own break away space. You don’t need 30 rooms, it just means you need to be intentional about privacy.


C. Alexander, S. Ishikawa and M.Silverstein’s, A pattern Language, New York, Oxford University Press, 1977

@christywright, December 2, 2020, Be where your feet are, https://www.instagram.com/christybwright/



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