There are times when adding is appropriate.
- You have the capacity.
- You’re going to need to use the add-on daily anyway.
- There are benefits to the separation.
I find that in most instances, embedding is a better option.
You are more likely to establish and continue the new habit (and ALL changes require new habits) if it is embedded in your workflow.
Well designed, embedded changes are often less traumatic than add-ons. In the best cases, it’s an improvement.
You have the opportunity to prune – making the whole system healthier.
Sully Plantation, in Chantilly, Virginia, is a classic example of late 18th-century colonial architecture.
Richard Bland Lee, Northern Virginia’s first Congressional Representative and a local planter from a wealthy family, built Sully between 1794 and 1795 on family land.
The house improvement/new structure is the change you wish to make. The available land is the capacity.
Version 1 – Add an unconnected structure.
In early Virginia, wealthy Virginians would build their kitchen (the change) separate from the house.
There were sound reasons for this approach. Cooking was still done over open flames and in fireplaces. Not only would your house constantly smell like smoke, but there was also a real risk of burning the whole house down if there was an accident.
The Lees had the land (capacity) to create an add-on structure.
The Lees also weren’t “inconvenienced” by having to walk between the kitchen and the house. Virginia has cold winters and regular rain. Wealthy Virginians in the 18th century had slave labor that they expected to deal with the weather and the inconvenience.
If the Lees had to walk back and forth between the kitchen and the house, they likely would have chosen to build a more enclosed path between the two buildings – or add a connected structure.
Version 2 – Add a connected structure
The Lees eventually sold Sully Plantation and the property was in the hands of Union sympathizers at the time of the Civil War.
At some point in the evolution of Sully Plantation, a kitchen was added as a connected structure. It makes sense – especially as kitchen technology improved and cooks were not as dependent upon open flame for cooking.
A connected structure has the advantage of accessibility. No more tromping out in the cold and rain to grab a bite to eat.
The kitchen (the change) is closer to your daily life.
To add a connected kitchen, you still need land (capacity).
There is also a minor change needed to the existing building – such as tearing down a wall.
Save for that minor change, the kitchen doesn’t really change the building.
Version 3 – Embed the kitchen within the existing building
There are some questions when you embed a new kitchen within an existing building.
How much gutting is needed?
Do you need to move walls or can you re-purpose a preexisting room?
Is this just a matter of changing out some furniture for appliances, or do you need to run new electric, gas, and water lines, tear out some walls, and restructure your floor plan?
Embedding a change into your life, by necessity, requires removing things first. We have not added any capacity (land).
Unfortunately, we tend to treat embedding change like we have unlimited capacity. That way lies clutter and overwhelm.
Let me help you design your change so that it better fits into your life. I have some coaching slots available and am currently offering a 2 session package.
My clients and I have found that we can make significant progress together without taking up a ton of your time. Click the button below to learn more and schedule your sessions with me.