ABC's of Architectural Design-F for Functional
One of the most important aspects of architectural decor design and interior decorating is the functionality of the space and the items with which you chose to style. A piece can be gorgeous or make a statement, but if it doesn't work for your space and lifestyle, it can end up being a design nightmare instead of that dream kitchen or bath.
There are a lot of technical things to consider when designing a space. There are those that are designing a home to be able to age in place* requiring some serious foresight and planning. If the home isn't your forever home, one is always thinking about resale value. For some, this can take the joy out of the process. The key is to be able to put the "fun" back into function. When I say fun I don't mean the decor itself has to be whimsical or filled with bright colors. I am talking about enjoying the whole process of choosing the design elements to the accessories. To make something that has a purpose and is useful and take it to the next level of being stylish, eye catching, and pleasing is what I mean when I say to put the "fun" back into function.
One of the best ways to achieve function in a home or space is to design it so it flows from one room to another or creates a balanced space layout. Cases in point, the kitchen should flow nicely into the dining room and a bedroom should flow nicely with the ensuite. Everything from your wall decor to the flooring can create the flow. Pass through spaces should make sense and maintain privacy as needed. For instance, you shouldn't have to pass through a bedroom to get to the family TV room. Any space should be easy to navigate. Furniture should be positioned accordingly, centered around the focal point of the space. If your fireplace is the focal point don't direct the attention from it. Furniture should also be of appropriate size not overwhelming the space. Flow helps function. Function determines the flow.
Next think about the purpose of the room. What will be it's main function? Rooms that have to do double duty are especially challenging to make functional yet stylish. For instance, a guest room/office can be annoying to decorate and make functional. This is where well thought out furniture can help. Murphy Beds or day beds with storage, hide away tables, corner shelving, cabinets, and cubbies can all help to utilize the space and maintain a sense of balance. Custom cabinetry and shelving can especially be helpful as it is built to fit your lifestyle and your space. Determining the dominant use for the room will determine the furniture needs with the majority of the functional elements being used for the room's main purpose. Think what will I be doing in this space the majority of the time? If you are always having to clean off the table to eat, you might want to rethink the space. A nice corner nook with a counter-top might be the answer for the kid's games, crafts, or bills leaving the table to be a table.
In an open floor plan, achieve functionality yet maintain eye appeal with well thought out electrical outlets that allow for the best use of your technological elements such Media and Computer Centers and Lighting. Don't be a slave to the outlets. Nothing will hamper style more than not enough outlets or outlets that are misplaced. To create a seamless transition between the space, lighting and area rugs can play a big role. Track Lighting or Pendant Lights can unite the space while an area rug can create the appearance of an independent area uniquely it's own while part of a greater whole.
The bathroom in the main photo is stylish yet functional. The cabinetry makes perfect use of open shelving coupled with pull out drawers that provide the needed storage. Even the towel bar on the drawer is making use of available space. The small accessories are not only decorative but have a purpose to organize and hide clutter. I like that the everyday use items are right at your fingertips yet are clean and neat. The counter-top can't be confused with an advertisement for some of your favorite toiletries. The toilet paper holder and trash-can an have found a way to fit into the flow of the space and are strategically located. No walking clear across the room to throw something away or having to do your best impression of plastic man to reach the toilet paper. The architectural decor elements are the focal point of the room and they stand out while surrounded by a highly functional space.
Even the smallest of details can help or detract from the form, function, and style of a room. I have only covered a few of the things to consider. Need help with the rest? Rustiques is here to help you put the fun back into functional. Make an appointment today to speak with our Design Team to create the perfect space or get the most out of your home. Rustiques-Awesome is our style!
*planning to stay in one's home comfortably and independently regardless of age or income