The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.
Nothing is quite so personal as lifestyle and Inspiration. You may be predisposed to a lifestyle because of the family you are born into, or the profession you have selected, or the area you live in, or a spiritual belief system. Something about these influencers will direct your lifestyle…I find this fascinating and inspiring.
Let’s reference a profession that I have been inspired by… chef-ing. I have a first-person understanding of this, as my daughter is a chef and I have learned that the kitchen is more than just about cooking. As my daughter has taught me, the kitchen is a series of zones, each with a specific purpose with their own requirements. You will have a prep zone (actually more than one, think meats versus vegetables), a baking zone, cooking zone, serving, eating, clean up, mixology (fancy name for the bar area), and so forth. Let’s add to that “the kitchen is the new living room” philosophy and you now have a lifestyle centered around food and drink and all the activity eating and drinking provide. Think back to that Christmas party you had a few months ago. Pretty certain everyone wanted to hang in the kitchen.
Lifestyle can also be the consequence of aging. I am often tasked with designing a home that allows living on one level. This is now a major trend and we are seeing on one level a “senior” master bedroom and a “junior” master bedroom. The larger of the two is for the masters of the house with the junior being provided for an aging parent or perhaps someone with limited mobility. These greatly inspire the design of the floor plan.
Culture greatly influences design as well. Years ago I was asked to design a Minka house, which is a Japanese farmhouse that takes advantage of the natural air currents of the land to cool the rooms. These homes are traditionally simple designs with four corners and a single ridge beam. The inspiration is found in the simplicity of the architecture and the materials, a mix of heavy timbers, bamboo, and open sightlines. Indoor and outdoor spaces are blended to become seamless. Privacy is reduced to a minimum and is more about your personal space being the result of your mental discipline than it is rooms. I found the Japanese culture to be tremendously inspiring as I consider how much we overbuild today in the American culture.
Lifestyle can also be the result of the “tribe” you become a part of. I call this affinity living, where we choose who we consider family…where you find your oneness. How we relate to each other is often reflected in how we live which in turn determines how we put a definition to our environment.
Communal living has taken on a new model. Think about the number of aging boomers who no longer have a spouse. This has created a shared housing model, where 2, 3, 4 or more suddenly single people share the overhead of a home. This has led to a dormitory for seniors….they have a community in the common spaces of kitchen, dining and living rooms, yet they have privacy in their individual suites, complete with bedroom, bath, ample storage and a sitting area. This example reinforces the notion that community and privacy are two sides of the same coin.
Lifestyle will always inspire our decisions. I am curious how your lifestyle has molded your environment. Share your stories of inspiration as well….