Our Homes Can Reinforce Who We Are

I am infatuated with the HBO series Big Little Lies. As I binge watch both seasons, I just can’t get enough of the incredible storyline, the beautiful setting, and those awesome characters.

In fact, I’ve come to realize that each character’s home plays a vital role in the story. The lives of Jane, Madeline, Renata, Bonnie, and Celeste are wrapped around the environments where they live – each is very unique and helps define them.  The show uses the homes to help reinforce the characters, who they are, what drives them, and the ideals that they strive for.

Let’s take a closer look to see what each home says about them and the lives that they lead.


We can all relate to Jane’s home. It is simple, modest, and unassuming. This home just wants to fit in, be a part of the community and does not seek attention.  The bungalow style represents simpler times from the past, when places were safe and secure.  This reinforces the concept that Jane looks to settle into a new community and blend in. She dreams of going back to a time before horrific events changed her life forever.


For Renata, it’s all about the show, the outward appearance, maintaining the image of wealth, power, and control.  Her home is a classic example of design to impress.  For example, the grand entry stair acts as a stage, begging all to pay attention. Homes designed to impress often have a feeling of phoniness – empty shells used as a prop.  And, for Renata, this show of appearances all comes crashing down in the end.


Bonnie’s home is natural, organic, and grounded with the environment.  Wood, stone, and handcrafted textures create a sense of craftsmanship – we feel a deeper connection with humanity (human hands worked hard to craft the home). Her home reflects the values of being connected with each other, mother nature, and our spiritual selves. Bonnie is motivated by bringing others together in harmony and her home is the visual equivalent to this concept.


It’s clear that Madeline’s home life revolves around the family kitchen. Her number one priority is keeping her family together and the kitchen helps do just. Whether it is getting ready for school, doing homework, prepping for the family meal, or even more intimate occasions, the island becomes the center of the family unit.


Celeste’s modern home screams order, perfection, and everything in its place. Remember the master closet scenes – nothing is out of order and there is a place for everything to be beautifully displayed.  Modern homes present the visual idea of perfection, precision, and meticulousness.  With design, we can strive for the ideal of perfection and order, something difficult to achieve.

For Celeste’s home, the site also plays a vital role.  The rugged coastline and chaotic seas foreshadow the tempest that lies beneath the surface. While the surface looks to be in order, there are tragic flaws underneath.

Our Homes are the Setting for Our Lives

The design of our homes has the power to reinforce our values and reflect the ideas of who we want to become as people.  We can use design to set the storyline of our own lives. However, whether or not we reach those ideals is up to us.

Just like the characters, we can surround ourselves with spaces that help us find order in a chaotic world. Or, we can design spaces that focus our attention on our family and help us connect with our natural surroundings.

What do you want your space to say about you, your family, and how you wish to be perceived by your community?