Perhaps this year’s home project was just to be at home

Perhaps this year’s home project was just to be at home

Perhaps this year’s home project was just to be at home
A new kitchen might be one of the most luxurious design projects on your to-do list.

Jennifer Leischer Design and Decor columnistThe year 2020 will be known for many things, but simply put, it was a year of firsts.

We’ve completely exhausted the movie and TV series catalog for Netflix and Amazon Prime. We’ve created home gyms, home offices and home classrooms out of mere square inches we never knew we had. We have effectively mastered the art of online grocery shopping and have come to rely on services like Door Dash for more meals than we care to admit. Some of us have even purchased homes online, sight unseen, in neighboring or far away states.

This will be known as the year that we decided to become home-bodies and convince ourselves that sweat pants and pumps completely make sense whether we are doing laundry, taking a short jaunt to our mailbox or jumping on a work Zoom call.

Staying put in our cozy homes has become a widespread trend. But if you were to put all of this cozy home time into design terms, it translates to “use this time wisely to evaluate your home design projects.”

Size doesn’t matter

No matter what size home you have, there’s always a line item on the design to-do list that consists of an addition: a home office, a home gym, that extra bedroom for Grammy, moving that wall just a bit into your backyard so your kitchen has space to accommodate an island. Function over form should be the basis for every design project.

For example, a new kitchen is probably one of the most luxurious design projects on the to-do list. Each step needs to be a thoughtful one, from location of the appliances, task lighting vs. ambient lighting, the layout of cabinet doors and drawers to how you will use storage space vs. working space.

Whether you love to cook or love to place your order via Door Dash, your kitchen needs to look spectacular and fresh with materials that appeal to your design aesthetic. And the layout and organization needs to be crystal clear: great storage, well-researched appliances, and a good working triangle ratio between sink, refrigerator and range.

New ideas

I’m sure many of us have created long design lists over these last few months. It’s impossible for me to look at a living space day after day and resist the urge to incorporate some sort of design change. The list is never-ending: new furniture or accessories, adding a window to a windowless wall, a new dining room chandelier, a remodeled bathroom or kitchen.

Some items on our design lists involve the tedious but much-needed care we must show our aging homes. But I like to think it’s also about how we love our homes and how our design style and lives continually evolve, and with these changes, our homes must evolve, too.

The never-ending design list is how we continue to nest. And this year, I think we can all agree, we’ve done some serious nesting.

Jennifer Leischer is the owner of J. Designs Interior Design based in Clayton. Contact her with questions, comments and suggestions at