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Emotional Intelligence

A house with emotional intelligence will make you feel good every day that you live in it.

Much of your sense of well-being can be attributed to the design. A house will lift your spirits when it’s tailored to your lifestyle and your building site. But an architect can only deliver so much.

The rest is up to you and what you bring to the table.

For example, you’ll be making innumerable decisions. Are you and your spouse good at this? Can you honor your differences, work for a mutually acceptable solution and own the results? How do you design a house for a stepfamily? Should mom and dad decide everything or can the kids have a say?


Green Psychology: What Pushes Our ‘Save Home Energy’ Buttons?


For years, American homeowners have been exhorted to use less energy because this will reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. This sobering message has generally fallen on deaf ears because our emotions underlie every decision that we make, even though we think our choices are 100 percent rational. Any successful pitch to reduce home energy use must factor in this seeming contradiction.


In Builders We Trust, But Still Need Lawyers


Why don’t people have their contract with their builder reviewed by a real estate attorney before signing it? They think it would send a signal that they don’t trust him, says Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist at Duke, who has found that more often than not, we don’t act in our self-interest, a bedrock principle of modern economic theory.


Attn: Home Builders—Step Away From the Focus Group


Focus groups may not be as helpful as home builders think in helping them understanding what buyers want. A behavioral economist and a behavioral psychologist suggest alternatives that would get closer to the truth that builders seek.


Retirement Living in a Multi-Gen Household


Where do you want to live when you turn 70? If you’re like most Americans, according to AARP, you expect to be living where you are right now and to stay there for the foreseeable future. But there is another way to spend your retirement years. You can become part of a multi-generation household by moving in with one of your adult children and his or her family.


How to Plan an ‘Emotionally Intelligent’ House


An emotionally intelligent house makes you feel good every day that you live in it. Much of the sense of well-being can be attributed to the design, but an architect can only deliver so much. The rest is up to you.


The Healing Effects of Gazing at Nature


Taking a break in your workday to soak up nature’s calming effects provides crucial benefits more needed today than ever. The steady stream of beeps and ring tones that interrupts a workday forces us to constantly shift mental gears. This makes us fatigued, cranky and unable to concentrate, say cognitive psychologists.


Katherine’s Top 10 Reasons Why Building Smaller Is Better


Even with 10 reasons, most people will focus on this one: a smaller house costs less money!


Couple’s Decision-Making Ability Is Key to Project Success


Most couples think that success with a remodel or a brand new house depends on the talents of those they hire. But their satisfaction with the results depends much more on how well they can make decisions than on the work of their architect, no matter how talented he or she is, said Tybe Diamond, a therapist in Washington, D.C., who has helped couples work though thorny issues for more than 25 years.


Home Wherever You Roam With Art, Familiar Objects


Our memories tell us who we are. When we display things like posters or photos that evoke a personal connection – say an exhibition we saw, a daughter’s art project or a family vacation — we feel more secure and therefore more comfortable. Unpacking and hanging these things is the final step in any move, but it’s the one that makes any house or apartment finally feel like home.


House Love, House Lust, How We Decide to Buy


We think practicality drives our housing choices but author Jonah Lehrer says our emotions weigh in first. Within three minutes of entering a model home, your emotional networks in your brain have votes up or down. The deal starts or ends with the firing of a few billion neurons. If the vote is up, our brains immediately start generating logical reasons for why “this house is the one.”


Tabled Tradition: Passing Down Family Silver, China, Furniture


Heirs today often turn down family heirlooms, including pieces that have been treasured by many generations. Changing lifestyles and tastes are among reasons cited, as is the time and effort required for maintenance tasks such as polishing silver.


When There's Too Much Room for Real Togetherness

  Every household member needs some privacy and a space to call his or her own. The household also needs to spend time together. The thousands of interactions between parents and their children teach the children how to get along with other people, a crucial skill for a civil society. The interactions between the adults help them to sustain their relationship as they face the numerous challenges of raising their children.

Sizing Up: Big Houses and Happiness

  When the goal of owning a new house is to impress your peers and friends, it won’t bring you happiness for long because, according to two University of Chicago economists, bragging rights are not a sustainable source of happiness. But if your goal is a modest house that supports a modest lifestyle without regard to the “next new thing,” your new house could be a boon to your life.

Bringing Kids to the Design Table


When children are asked to participate in the planning of a new house, the design is often enriched. Although the parents worry that their children’s fantasies will be extravagant and expensive, architects said that the kids’ ideas are usually simple, easy to execute and almost never things that the parents or the architect would have suggested.


House Planning: How Much Input From Kids?


When a family plans a new house, should mom and dad decide everything or can the kids have some say? Therapists say there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. It depends on the family, their style of parenting and the age of the kids. The most important consideration is that parents recognize their comfort level at the outset and tell the kids then, not halfway through the project.


Do Dogs Care About House Design?

Dogs enjoy looking out the window.   Over the 12,000 years that man and dog  have cohabitated, the houses they have shared have changed dramatically. While Fido appreciates some of the relatively recent technological breakthroughs like central heating, he still has a dog’s agenda and couldn’t care less about most aspects of a new house, said veterinarian Nicholas Dodman, a renowned dog behaviorist. The one thing that will get Fido excited is a yard to play in.

Does Your House Make You Crazy?

  Yes, a house can make you crazy. And, according to the designers and staff of Design Basics, a home plan service, the number one complaint is insufficient storage in the places where most people need it—the garage entry where the household enters and leaves, the family room where they spend the most time, and the huge master bedroom suites that often lack enough closets.

Divvying Up Family Heirlooms Takes Diplomacy

  Shortly into dividing up your cherished family possessions with your siblings, you will realize that the exercise is more about saying goodbye to your past than about furniture or dishware. To ensure that everyone is still speaking when the horsetrading is over, give yourself enough time, and work out a way to distribute things that everyone is comfortable with.

Bedroom Suite for Sisters


When Los Angeles architect Murray Milne designed a house for his growing family, a key concept was flexibility. Recalling his own childhood, he knew that the way his family used the space would change over time.


Do Children Benefit From Sharing Bedrooms With Siblings?

  Most home buyers assume it's a good thing for each child to have his or her own bedroom, and select a floor plan accordingly. But experts say sleeping arrangements that follow the natural trajectory of child development—from bonding with parents and siblings to the establishment of an independent identity as a teenager—teaches important life skills.



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