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  • Writer's picturePatrick Landrum

Introducing “Domicile Diagnostics” Self Health for the Sad House

Updated: May 12, 2020

Sad house with tears

This post was originally written in 2016 concerning New Year's resolutions and is updated below.

With the current Shelter in Place Orders and so many people working from home it occurred to me how relevant this information is today- right now for many of you out there.

It's not just our physical health we need to monitor. It's our mental and emotional well being too.

There are a million posts out there telling you things to do and aspire to while we shelter... tasks and routines to make life more “normal” or at least seem to be so. Lofty but valiant goals including...

  • Getting organized

  • Staying in touch, and planning to spend more time with family and friends- virtually now, and in person when the crisis passes.

  • Enjoying life more

  • Exercising

  • Eating healthier

  • Being more productive

  • Reducing stress

  • Getting more sleep

  • Feeling better/more positive about yourself/outlook

These are certainly excellent ambitions… But!

One of the most important factors negatively effecting your success rate at these lofty goals may be staring you right in the face…in fact it may be surrounding you right now.

What on Earth could it be you ask…well it’s your home environment!

We know about radon and carbon monoxide and few will argue that the winter blues doesn’t actually exist, but repeated exposure to spaces that do not inspire us can be detrimental to your mental health and in turn manifest in physical symptoms.

First alert talking smoke co2 monitor

Introducing “Domicile Diagnostics” a simple self evaluation of your home and how you feel about it that will give you an idea of just what may be ailing you.

I can’t claim this as science but I can tell you that I have been in the Interior Design field since I changed my major at The University of Texas to Interior Design when I was 22. I began as an assistant designer while still working on my degree and stayed with the same company for 10 years, and then started my own firm over 20 years ago…so I have seen it in action.

A bit tongue in cheek, these questions may seem silly, but answer them honestly and you will learn more about yourself and the spaces you inhabit than perhaps you care to…but the good news it can all be changed.

To get started take a few minutes to read through and ponder the following statements and questions.

1. Would you rather set your fireplace on fire than light a fire in it?

Chimney on fire

2. Does your stair railing look more like jail bars than a safety feature and make you feel trapped?

Sad woman behind jail bars
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

3. Are your chair and sofa cushions more like pancakes than marshmallows?

4. Are your pillows just tired deflated beach balls out of season?

5. Take a look at your accessories… are they all close to the same height, or size in general. Do you even know why they are what they are, when and why you acquired them? Do you like them, and if you didn’t own them now would you purchase them if you saw them at the store?

6. If you saw your art in a gallery would you smile or vomit and wonder what they were thinking?

7. How many material or color floor transitions can you see within a 360 degree view not counting rugs, and tile or wood borders? Are any of the transitions wider than 36”

8. Do you suffer from Houzz Envy

9. Are you ashamed of your naked lonely windows?

10. Is your carpet stained and covered with a rug, or is there a carpet/rug stained and covered by furniture that can’t be moved

11. Are you feeling exposed…to the neighbors, to the sun or wind or cold

Shirtless man in window naked
Photo by Luan Queiros

12. Is it time for some “real” furniture

13. Has Granny’s old sofa come full circle and is back in style, but you don’t like it any more the second or third time around than the first

14. Do you avoid having friends over because you are unhappy with your home, or worse…


15. Is it a struggle or a joy to prepare meals in your kitchen

Ugly kitchen before remodel renovation
Before photo- 1916 home Kitchen

16. When you wake up in the morning do you feel like it’s a beautiful day or the end of the world

17. You look pretty damn good with your new do and new outfit, but that bathroom reflected in the mirror is so hideous it all becomes meaningless

1980's Home bath before gut and remodel

18. When was the last time you actually took a bath in the master tub

19. You can’t wait to get out of the house in the morning, and put off going home as long as possible

20. Are you laughing or crying right now

I bet I got a chuckle or two out of you didn’t I? Read the list again and look around you…How many of these "absurdist” little questions hit so close to home, they’re right inside it, home…your home!

Then grab a piece of paper and jot down exactly what goes through your mind as you read them and look around. Think of it as 20 questions for the house, and be sure not to edit…

I guarantee you will be shocked, surprised and maybe a bit annoyed that you’ve let things go this far. I also guarantee you that you have made a huge step forward in creating a plan to improve your and your family's life.

Stayed tuned for future posts where we will discuss how these things chip away at our happiness, little by little, day by day and what we can do to fix them!

Of course if you can't wait... you can check out this post here that will give you some options for items #3 and #4 or feel free to call 512.913.1950, or drop me an email, and we can diagnose your issues together and come up with a prescription especially for you and your own home....

"Don’t you deserve to enjoy total comfort and security in the choices

you make for your home decor and interior design--

with the advantage of knowing they are the most appropriate for you?" 


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