Unlike their human companions that can be rather set in their ways, domestic pets tend to roam the home in search of the perfect spot. In fact, many of them seem to discover a new location each day.

As our dog ages and experiences new aches and pains, he switches positions and places more frequently throughout the day. He might get cozy on the sofa and rest his head on some pillows like a person or plop down on the carpet to take a nap in the middle of the living room.

One of my residential resolutions for 2020 is to follow his lead and break out of my own personal comfort zone in the process. By choosing the same old chair every day, I may be missing out on some perfectly good alternatives to my daily routine.

Our choice of locations can become redundant, too. In my house, I spend a lot of time in the living room and the main floor master bedroom. Still, I know there are other perfectly good places with potential. As my next-door neighbors demonstrate, the kitchens in our condos offer the perfect setting to enjoy a meal or take in the view from the tall windows.  

After giving our original kitchen table and chairs to a friend, our temporary replacement from another part of the home became more permanent than expected. Now I plan to test the game table and chairs as a possible new hangout and add a rug for the dog to join me.

I can see myself working on a project there while facing the front of our home instead of the back that overlooks the pond.

Another area that deserves more of my attention is the lower level that features a number of comfy seating areas like a daybed that could be a great place to read or work on occasion.

Though our lonely chaise in the living room works better as a bench, it still offers a fresh perspective of the space from that particular corner. The same goes for the sectional sofa that resembles a banquette to accommodate guests where I plan to sit in the new year to see how it feels.

One day I sat in my husband’s chair at the dining table only to realize that one simple shift made all the difference. By doing so, I finally realized that he felt cold and I was hot because his chair was directly below the ceiling fan while mine was slightly out of reach.

Whether it’s a quick switch from one chair to another or an attempt to spend more time in a neglected space like a spare bedroom, finding a new place to hang out in your home can make you see it in a new light and maximize its potential.

We even stick to our old habits in other people’s homes where we often sit in the same spot due to comfort or convenience. The next time you’re looking for a change, follow the lead of the nearest cat or dog and see where the wind takes you.

Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at

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