What is the first thought that comes to mind when you imagine your current space? Old? Dated? Bland? Inconsistent? Cluttered? Drab? … Stress? What if I were to tell you that your space, be it a residential setting, a business premises or a retail outlet, should reflect exactly what you embody, your brand identity.

During the height of the Covid pandemic, when working from home became the norm (it still is in many cases), I remember hearing a lot of complaints from individuals about the state of their current spaces. Up until then, their home was the place they went to lay their head, the clubs where they went to socialize, hotels where they went to relax and the office where they went to make a living. With clubs, hotels and offices omitted from this equation, spending their entire time at home felt like a death sentence.

My response to them, “Your home needs to be your haven, a getaway of sorts from the hustle and bustle of daily living.” To achieve this, one needs to envision their ideal setting, what elements are mandatory in helping them immediately relax, feel at ease and want to spend as much time there as humanly possible. “Instead of going on holiday, imagine your space as a permanent holiday destination.” Once this seed is planted, the thoughts and ideas start trickling in, and soon enough, we have the perfect “recipe” for their home haven.

This “recipe” or checklist, personalized to one’s preferences, may feel daunting at first (especially when the numbers come into play) but that should not be the case. Just identifying what is a must have to begin with, then what follows next and tackling one item at a time, will set you off on a winning streak. Before you know it, you’ll be settling down in the most ambient of spaces, free from the urge of spending money as you would in a club or hotel, and loving every minute of it. You’ll literally feel the stress slipping away. And this, my friend, is just the beginning.

Making sure your space perfectly reflects you isn’t just about the aesthetics. If you are a business owner for instance, brand identity and visibility is key. Your customers need to first be able to find you, then identify with your brand and offering, and later buy from you. If there’s a disconnect, you immediately lose out on business and it won’t be long before you’ll be struggling to remain relevant and stay afloat. Having your brand clearly communicated to the masses is do or die. Al fresco dining, which also became more popular once some of the Covid restrictions were lifted, isn’t just about restaurants having an outdoor sitting space. The space, layout, furniture, lighting, … ambience have to be right if not perfect. It’s only then that the service component comes into play. In essence, before one buys from you, your brand visibility has to shine through.

Having said that, I challenge you all to “audit your space”. Critically look at it and ask yourself if it’s adding to your stress levels or perfectly complementing you? Reflecting all that you embody or sending a conflicting message? Whether it’s a plus or a minus? And if the odds are stacked against it, what changes can you make, starting today, to redeem the same. As the saying goes, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. I look forward to hearing from you; feel free to share your success stories and if you feel stuck, we’re just a call or click away.

Till next time…Baraka Tele

Fiona Odhiambo

Fiona Odhiambo

FIONA is the Principal and Lead Interior Design Consultant of Phi Interior Designers. With a passion for design and the world of interiors, service and mentorship, she has over eleven (11) years’ experience in building consultancy, interior architectural design, project management and planning on CAD programs

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