My Creative Space book cover image


How to Design Your Home to Stimulate Ideas and Spark Innovation

By: Donald M. Rattner

Published: Octobre 15, 2019

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing


Donald M. Rattner is an architect who combined psychology and productivity research to create this guide for optimizing your home’s space and make the interior of your home personal to you. I was interested in this book because I have really no talent in design at all. I decorate our home with things I like or with family heirlooms without much rhyme or reason. Our home is nothing that would make the pages of a designer magazine, but it is homey and inviting and warm.

Rattner begins with the science and creativity behind designing a space. There are photographs of amazing homes and living spaces that are modern and dream-worthy. I am jealous of the gorgeous potting area and mudroom of a home in Minneapolis as well as an adorable treehouse in Philadelphia.

He then moves into Creativity Tactics including Appearance, Ambience, and Action. Those three groups include 48 tactics that the author took great care to show how these tactics can be used in any size, type or location of a home. Then you can use these ideas and apply them to your own home much easier. He stresses not to be afraid to experiment and use any or all of the suggested enhancements based on what you find workable and valuable. At the end of each tactic, Rattner also offers other tactics that work well with that specific tactic.

If you are looking to design a creative space, you first need to decide if it needs its own specific space or can be carved out of an already established space. Does it need a view? Does it need the color blue? Can you bring in natural light? Is there a wall that can be transformed into a space that can be used for storing or display, drawing, or writing? Can you find a furniture piece that has dual purposes? All of these questions are part of the tactics used to have a workable and creative space.

Maybe you are looking to make space for exercise, yoga, or meditation in your home? There are examples included on how to find and create space for this. If you don’t have a specific room to set aside then Rattner suggests finding a way to create a spot with movable furniture or screens to divide the space.

My Creative Space book page

My favorite tactic was #46, Read, Choosing a spot for reading that is comfortable and away from heavily trafficked areas of your home or neighborhood makes for the best reading environment. Make sure the furniture is comfortable enough for longer durations of sitting. The reading space should also have a place for books. The reading spaces pictured in this book offered unique ways of storing and displaying books as well as finding a comfortable spot to read.

The end of the book offers two case studies in applying the tactics explained in the book. I just wish there had been before/after photos rather than just the gorgeous after photos. It would make the experience more realistic to people like me that do not have much design talent.

Are you that person that your friends call to help decorate their home? Are you constantly changing the look of your own home by redecorating or moving furniture? If this applies to you, then this may be a book with just the design inspiration you need.

Donald M. Rattner is the principal of Donald M. Rattner, Architect. As a consultant, he draws on scientific research to help individuals and organizations maximize occupant creativity in the workplace, residential, wellness, hospitality, and retail environments. He has taught at the University of Illinois, New York Academy of Art, New York University, Parsons School of Design, and online. Workshop and lecture venues include NeoCon, Creative Mornings, Creative Problem Solving Institute, and many others. His work has been featured on CNN and in such publications as The New York Times, Town & Country, Robb Report, Builder, Traditional Building Magazine, Residential Architect, L-Magazine, Better Humans, Design Milk, and Work Design Magazine. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in art history from Columbia and a Masters of Architecture from Princeton. For more, visit

To purchase a copy of MY CREATIVE SPACE, click the photo below:

Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to purchase this book through the above links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase.

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