12 November 2010

Industrially Engineered Lifespace Design

Somewhere on the career scale, between Burger Flipper and Rocket Scientist, you'll find the Industrial Engineers.  We function on logic, which means we struggle to understand why the rest of you do the things you do the way you do them.  As engineers, we're supposed to be creative, although, I'm convinced engineering school sucked most of the creativity out of me. I dredged my way though the seven deadly engineering sciences.  Electricity used to be magical, but now, I understand how it works... okay, not really.  It was purely my professor's pity and the help of a few friends that got me through Circuits, but the point is, it's no longer magic.  I know there's a logical reason why it works. 

Not surprising, the courses that actually intrigued me were the subjects directly related to Industrial Engineering: process flow, manufacturing processes, production planning, materials management, and workplace design... and those are the places I still get to be creative.  You usually think of an industrial engineer as a manager.. what? you don't?  well you should, just ask any of my industrial engineer friends!  The skills are transferable to most any field, and I've been blessed to use my IE skills managing my home *and* designing a house for our family.  For an IE, "Home" isn't just "where the heart is."  No, Home is the workplace of the family, and it deserves a simple, creative, industrial, yet inspired design.  For this IE-turned-SAHM, Home is a lifespace.. a myriad of places: 
  • It's our favorite restaurant where we prepare meals (working from the stove & refrigerator on the left to the dining room table on the right).  ....and then do dishes (working from the dining room table back to the sink/dishwasher and then the cabinet).  
  • Each night, Home becomes a spa where we bathe babies in a tub without shower doors to maneuver around or a potty to climb over.  
  • One day, we will again set up our Home as The Potty Training Boot Camp.  The vinyl floored playroom adjacent to the laundry room and a bathroom will be perfect when Tiny is ready.  
  • EIGHT closets, uber-easy-to-access attic space, and a crawlspace make our home our storage unit.  Hopefully, all the "overflow" stuff we don't want to admit we hoard will be easily hidden away, if not, it'll be given away!
  • For us, Home is a happening-hangout for hosting holiday events and spontaneous get-togethers with family and friends ~ in the great room or the oversize porch away from the plastic toys, cartoons, and mystery stickiness of the basement.
  • Home is a place to rest & a place to play ... with Tiny & the Tot, play equals NOISE, so while one is in the basement-level playroom, the other can sleep in her relatively quiet bedroom on the second floor. 
  • For any mom, Home is a place to do laundry.  Constantly.  I'll have a room to sort it and leave it sorted until it's done (Someone please tell me it eventually gets done.)
  • My kitchen has an integrated desk, just big enough for a MacBook, a printer, and an 8" file drawer (Yes, an 8" file drawer... and lots of shelves for MY file system, aka, File-by-Pile!) because Home is also the office.
  • All the bedrooms are on the sunset side of the house because on Saturday mornings, Home is a five star luxury hotel ~ perfect for sleeping in.
  • Most importantly, Home is our sanctuary with plenty of little places to get away from the rest of the family.  I love them dearly, but, well, you know.  
Okay, so it might not be perfectly engineered, but we are pretty excited about the "lifespace" designed dwelling for our family.  Perfect for working on rest, relaxation, and reconnection.  This house is full of function with just enough form to reflect our family's personality.  And, I can't wait to move in ~ Plain & Simple As That.


  1. Wow your home sounds amazing! I especially like the 8 storage closets!! :)

  2. I counted the bedroom closets, but I love having all the little hiding spaces... 2 linen closets upstairs, one in the basement bathroom, one just inside the door from the garage, and one under the basement stairs. Lots of place for Christmas decor, toys, games, old pictures, and other randomness! :)