Living with Intention
This week I listened to a podcast where the host was talking about living with intention. She defined it in this way
“Living with intention means living on purpose. So many of us just go through life without really making decisions for ourselves or understanding why we make the decisions we’ve made. We do what our parents told us we should do, what society tells us to do, what our friends are doing.
And then we wake up in our 30s, 40s, 50s or 60s, and we think, “Wait, what? Is this my life? How did I get here? Is this what I even wanted?”
Intention requires planning and foresight. Intention happens ahead of time. Intention is what creates a plan and a plan is what ensures that your intentions are carried out. So if you want to live with intention, you do have to have a vision and you also have to have a plan.”
It struck me that this is exactly what I help clients to do; and what I love most about being an Interior Designer. It’s not about picking pretty items; it’s about helping my clients to live better; to live with intention. When we design rooms, each item is selected with intention and purpose. But, more importantly, and well before we are selecting items, we are discussing how they want to live, their vision for their ideal life in this home. So we truly do help them LIVE WITH INTENTION.
This realization brought me so much joy. It both articulated and reminded me why this work is so meaningful to me personally.
So let’s talk about designing your home with intention.
A room that is decorated without intention is similar to a collection of things accumulated like geological sediment. There is a base layer of things – maybe things from when you got married or first moved in. Then some new things are added on top of the old things. And over time, you develop either an archeological record, if you’re the earth, or a living room if you’re like most people.
In contrast, a room designed with intention is thoughtful and has considered function, how to create ease in daily life and how all of the parts of the room work together. Then we think about how it will feel. Do you need to boost energy? To focus? Do you need to relax? What colors and textures will support who you need to be in that room? What makes you happy?
And finally, we think about how it will look and product performance. Do we need high durability surfaces and fabrics? Are there toddlers and pets to consider? We focus on selecting the items, then arranging them with intention. And that’s what it is; it’s that it’s all formulated on purpose. There is intention behind what was selected. We create a plan with our intentions long before we start to “shop” for a single item that will go into that room design.
Let’s go back to the podcast. Obviously, I was listening to this because I want to live with more intention in my life. In addition to a new appreciation for my own work in this world, I have the following advice to share with you from the podcast.
Carve out an hour this weekend to do something with intention. Love on your people. Take a walk. Read a novel. Bake a cake. Take a bath. Road trip to another city. Color with your kids. Whatever you do, choose it on purpose, with intention. Then while it’s happening, pay attention; be there.
It doesn’t have to be an externally grand ambition. All that matters is that you are choosing it on purpose, to develop your relationship with yourself and to create the experience of living with intention and attention.
Then practice doing these small intentional acts over and over until it becomes a new habit.
More advice for designing with intention and with the guidance of a an experienced interior designer, read the following