Design 101: You Are Essential!

As we stay at home or brave the risks of essential travel to obtain or provide the necessities of life, many of us have pondered the meaning of essential. What do we actually need and how will things change due to the ramifications of recent events?

You. You are essential. There is no one who will be there for you every moment of every day from when you are born until you expire other than yourself. You require food, clothing, and shelter. You require safety, happiness, and community.  And you should not feel guilty about having those things. Take your portion and then share the abundance with your friends and family.
Pro-tip: You cannot give your all if you are not whole. Place the oxygen mask on yourself before helping the person in the seat next to you. 

For many of us the food chain is something we have become largely distanced from. While many of us fantasize about backyard chickens, it is not always a realistic option. Having an adequate supply of food on hand is essential for an extended emergency. While almost anywhere can be used for dry storage in a pinch the same cannot be said for items requiring refrigeration. One solution is a deep freezer. It consumes a fairly small amount of space and can hold quite a lot of emergency protein.
Pro-tip: Appliances only work if they have power. Consider a generator to keep your stores from spoiling in the event of a power outage that lasts more than a few hours. Take some advice from the Scouts and “Always Be Prepared”.

Despite claims of pants free living or sweats and yoga pants forever, many of us find comfort in looking our best. A shower and fixing our hair helps restore that sense of self, and appearing put together goes a long way in establishing confidence in our professionalism when attending a teleconferencing meeting. As you edit your closet, don’t forget the benefits of an organizational system and adequate storage for the pieces you will be adding to replace them.
Pro-tip: Remote working and video conferencing are only going to become more prevalent. Now is the time to establish a dedicated quiet space with good lighting and an appropriate background for the future.

Whether it’s pets, spouses, or children, there are times we need solitude and quiet. The surest way to achieve this is not by locking yourself in somewhere, but by providing an alternate form of entertainment for them elsewhere. Media rooms with accessible food and drink is a good start. Placing it in an area far enough away from the office is the next step.
Pro-tip: For those who didn’t already homeschool, the in-house classroom environment was a big change. It is certainly foreseeable that you could need a designated space again, plan now and be prepared. 

Sanitation has rarely been at the forefront of so many people’s minds; however mudrooms and foyers have been staples of home design for a very long time.  Arranging a space for the family to enter and leave is essential for managing cleaning in an efficient manner, and so too is an area where guests can come and remove their outerwear when they visit. Mudrooms and foyers allow the house to have a far less cluttered appearance when guests arrive, and presents an opportunity to decorate your entrance in a seasonally changing motif.
Pro-tip: If you never want to worry about running out of toilet paper again now is the time to consider adding a washlette. Discreet and better for the environment. Everyone wins.

Yaron Linett
About Yaron Linett 37 Articles
Yaron Linett is the principal designer of Formal Traditional, a full-service design firm located in Warrenton. To submit your interior design questions, drop him a note at or visit

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