Tell a Story With Layout for a Meaningful Home

I just finished listening to the TED Radio Hour piece about storytelling. When it should not come as a surprise that books, poems, plays, paintings or music tell stories, many people do not realize that home layout can, and should, tell a story too. In a feeling, a home’s layout should go beyond only the factual, quantifiable (2,000 square feet, three bedrooms, two1/2 bathrooms etc.) and easily discernible (colonial, gourmet kitchen, lovely view).

But how can a home’s layout do this? How, in fact, can a selection of wood, brick, concrete etc. tell a tale?

Let us see how.

Klopf Architecture

Can we create a narrative? While it can be satisfying to get the narrative all laid out before us the chance to compose our own narrative based on only the barest of truth can be wealthier. For a home to permit this, it has to be inviting. It has to draw on us. It has to encourage us to make, to use our imagination.

Fredendall Building Company

Can we care? Whether with the simplest of forms and commonest of materials or not, a home should inform us how it was created. And it should empower its inhabitants, present and past, to tell their own story. The manners that they lived, their opinions of previous events and their hopes for the future should somehow be written in mortar and bricks.

Prentiss Balance Wickline Architects

Embark on a trip. From works by Homer to Conrad to Pixar, the stories that resonate are those that include a journey, a travel from point A to point B. Can our home do this as well? Can our home tell us about a trip from bedroom to kitchen? Can our home tell us exactly what season it’s by how the light falls on the floor? Can our home mark the passing of time, like grooves notched in a door frame signaling the growth of a kid?


Does the first belief draw people? Like the cover of a publication, the outside of the home must draw us in. It should make us need to find out more. It should beckon us ask to get invited in for tea and to knock on the door.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

Know that there is not any single narrative. Homes could be full of many people in addition to their own pets. We have a story to tell and, collectively, we have our family narrative. Our homes, such as the finest of animation, should allow for each story without just creating noise to happen.

Hillary Thomas Designs

Create drama. A house, like a narrative, is at its finest when full of purpose and meaning. We are grabbed by A story takes us somewhere interesting. A home may have a feeling of life and purpose that goes beyond four walls and a roof.

Modern house architects

And it usually means that fashion doesn’t matter. In fact, storytelling is fashion blind. Whether the home is traditional or contemporary, we’re better for having heard its narrative.

Jenn Hannotte / Hannotte Interiors

Realize that caring is what is crucial. Many Years Back I came across architect Charles Moore’s publication The Location of Homes. Moore states it better than I can when he states:

“If you care enough that you just do it. You bind the goods and trappings of your life with your fantasies to earn a place that’s uniquely your own. The vital ingredient is concern, care for the way a house is constructed and the shape it gives to your life.”

Wherever you reside, be it a rental or a more permanent home, it’s always desired to strive to make it yours and make a home that tells your story.

Inform us What stories does your own home inform, and just how are they informed?

See related