My good friends Craig and Brittany live in a one-bedroom apartment in Washington, D.C. They refer to their place as a “dinner party concept.” The entire main living space is set up for a grand dinner party, and nothing else.
When you walk in their front door, all you see is a giant dining table that seats 16 people. There is a buffet that runs the length of the table, which houses elaborate serving trays, dishes, glasses, and ephemera to spark conversations. On the other wall, in a recessed cove, is a traditional stereo system. At the far wall of the main space is a DJ setup with a couple turn tables and record storage.
You won’t find a couch, coffee table, television, or other living room furniture in their main living space. As Brittany explained, “We love cooking. We love having friends over for dinner or to play board games. We have no need for a traditional living room, but a significant need for a magnificent dining hall.”
A “dinner party concept” is not for everyone. It’s particularly not for my toddler, who would destroy the items housed in my friends’ buffet in mere minutes. However, I appreciate the fact that my friends know how they use their space and have designed around it.
Most houses have three standard purposes: 1. A place to retreat from the world, 2. a place to recuperate, rest, and nourish our bodies so we can have enough energy to face the world, and 3. the place where we store our personal possessions. Beyond these three purposes, we get to decide what purposes our homes serve.
Is your home a place where your extended family gathers for holidays? Is it a place where children can explore their creativity? Is your home also a workplace or school? Is your home a cocktail party location?
When you know your home’s purposes, it’s much easier to clear the clutter, organize your possessions to best serve those purposes, and keep items out of your home that don’t facilitate those purposes. Think about how you use your space to help keep the clutter out of your home. Maybe you have a “dinner party concept” in your future?