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why I created 4 parameters and how they help me design our home

if I had my last $100 of fun money to spend there's a 87% chance it would be on something for my home. I love everything about houses, homes and the spaces that we choose to live our lives in. so needless to say I was pumped when we decided to move to a new home. a new space meant new opportunities to create intentional spaces just the way we [ I ??] like it.


couple buying wood building materials for small home project

however, downsizing from 2600 square feet to 650ish was only the beginning of the seemingly infinite decisions waiting to be made in our new home. having been in a fairly complacent mindset in our cincinnati home over the past several years I was forgetting the burdens that can come with home design and making a space intentional. but, we had made a choice to build a beautiful life by the lake and for me that meant complacency was no longer an option.


guy girl couple in car with sunglasses on yellow shirt and black shirt

three burdens of decisions of home design

over the past ten months, since we moved in April 2023, I have been seeing a reoccurring pattern of the subtle burdens that seem to be packaged with each decision in home design and making our home truly ours. those burdens are:


circular graph three burdens of decisions including analysis paralysis, decision fatigue, relationship deterioration


  1. decision fatigue

    1. its a real thing. it's the fatigue and brain drain that comes from decision after decision. the impacts can show up in physical ways too like a headache, irritability, brain fog, tired, poor sleep and even stomach aches [I googled for the last one but I can attest to all the others].

  2. analysis paralysis

    1. analysis paralysis compounds the effects of decision fatigue. this is when little to no action is being taken towards a decision because there are way too many options. for me, there tends to be a lot of circular research happening and everything seems to be a viable option. while at the same time, I can find a reason that none of the bajillion options will work.

    2. I think analysis paralysis can come from limited knowledge, self-doubt, fear of committing and missing out on something 'better', aka fomo, or a lack of parameters. however it arises, it typically ends with me feeling directionless + overwhelmed. in real life this results in physical clutter as the tasks + decisions start piling up in my head.

  3. relationship deterioration

    1. this is a sneaky one. I didn't realize it was a burden of decisions until it started going away. relationship deterioration stems from not having effective language to communicate the specific situation. when I'm drowning in decisions and paralyzed in my ability to take action I'm going to struggle to explain what's going on.

    2. my marriage was starting to become a little tense as we attempted to progress through decisions without parameters. blending two very different perspectives without a basis of solid communication typically resulted in heated discussions...without anything substantial actually being said. we needed a map to get out of the woods instead of arguing with each other and stomping sticks.

overcoming complacency in home design

typically when one or more of the burdens of decisions comes into play I go to my default mode of avoidance. turns out, that's not a very sustainable option for building a beautiful life so I had to figure out a way to operate on a different mode.


woman in field with springer spaniel laying in grass

I needed a more stable way to think about the decisions along the path of creating intentional spaces in our home.


I needed to have more of my personal resources available for the things that fuel me, without sacrificing my vision or the beautiful life we're building.


I needed a system. I needed boundaries. I made parameters.

the four parameters I created are based in my personal values, supported by the learning I've done and enhanced by the topics I tend to naturally gravitate towards. things like my occupational therapy degree, organization, daily routines, how the body naturally moves, yoga, nature and of course design.


side note: as I write this it's coming across like I said "Brooke, you need to create 4 things to base your design decisions off of to make life easier and not argue with Bob so much". this was not the case. the four parameters came about organically and I could have probably missed them if I wasn't so nerdy.


woman in small kitchen with messy bun headband and measure equivalents chart

as I continued to be curious of all the little details of how our surroundings impact us on the daily I started noticing a pattern of the things we liked and the things that made life easier.


here's what I came up with.


4 parameters for home design creating intentional spaces

the four parameters of home design

  • function: needs to support a specific task that occurs regularly in our routines. supporting more than one task gets bonus points [multifunctional]

  • aesthetics: it aligns with our [my] individual preferences: color, shape, size and feel

  • sustainability: takes into account the collaboration of nature and humans, now and how it impacts both in the future. I consider how things are made, what they're made from, who made them, how long it will last and what it takes to maintain.

  • ergonomics: it enhances our well-being and/or improves the performance of the task without causing undue stress


I like to think of the four parameters each as their own sliding scale or dial. this way, as the situation changes so too can the parameters that are taking priority depending what other things are impacting the decision.


4 parameters for home design creating intentional spaces

benefits of using the four parameters in our home

since creating and applying the four parameters with more intention I can say I've seen a definite improvement in my stress and my marriage.


guy girl couple in car with springer spaniel dog in backseat

I'm able to filter through decisions quicker and easier now that I have some boundaries, aka parameters, to narrow the options and information down with. I'm able to trust myself more which makes for less hem hawing around and more action of turning my visions into reality...because this is what I live for. I'm also able to understand and communicate the reasons why I made the decisions I did.


woman snuggling springer spaniel dog on couch

real life example

I was drooling all over this couch I had found and as Bob and I were discussing it he asked me "why this one?"...he wasn't sold on it and I couldn't imagine our space with anything else. by using the four parameters I was able to clearly articulate the major reasons as to why this is the couch. bob said "well I can't argue that" and we ended up ordering the couch that night.


more than home design?

the more I pay attention to and apply these parameters with positive results, the more I wonder how many different situations they can be used in. they're working great for me as a framework for overcoming complacency and dealing with burdens as I design intentional spaces in our home.


yet, the burdens of decisions aren't exclusive to decorating and design...I wonder...what other decisions can these four parameters help with? do my parameters change for other types of decisions ?? I also wonder, does everyone have their own unique parameters? what about the people that don't care about design + decorating? how do they figure out their parameters?



I don't know, but for now I'll keep focused on the four parameters and how they help me decorate and design intentional spaces with more confidence and ease. like our kitchen table, our loft ledge wall headboard and my sewing studio so far.

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