Function vs Beauty in Interior Design
We are currently staying in a beautiful apartment on holiday and it has reminded me that too often as a designer you can get bogged down in the function of a space, making sure it complies with all the rules and regulations and forget about the fun part of interior design – the beauty or decoration of the space. You get so used to looking at plans in black and white, making sure everything works on paper that you don’t leave enough time to focus on making the space look beautiful.
Staying here has reminded me that it is equally important to focus on the beauty of a space because at the end of the day this is what really makes you feel good. Lets face it, you feel good when you are in an interior space that looks opulent. It makes you feel comfortable and at ease, provides luxury and most importantly puts a smile on your face.
The purpose of interior design is to create a comfortable, aesthetically pleasing, well balanced, functional interior space. Often as a designer we get hung up on one of these areas and the design becomes compromised. Examples of this are when the interior works well ergonomically and is comfortable, but lacks beauty or a focal point, or the flip side, it works well aesthetically, the room is beautiful, but functionally it is impractical and feels broken in it’s flow.
To over come these problems we just need to think of interior design as a recipe. You need to remember for each project that you have to follow the basic recipe and then add your “toppings” at the end. This means that you have to look at the space and make sure that you cover all the aspects of design. Obviously this starts with finding out what function the space is to be used for. Then ensure that spatially you can achieve this task. Make sure that the furniture is in proportion to the space and here you can add some design flair. Think about the lighting, is this part of your decoration with free standing or table lamps or are there fixed lights. Look at the floor, after the practical function is achieved, can you improve it, would an area rug make a difference and provide the extra portion of beauty. Keep looking one step further to push your boundaries and see if you can add the extra bit of design flair. Function is vitally important, but we all love to have beautiful things around us too, so don’t forget those finishing touches, the cushions, paintings, clocks, vases, candles, sculptures, flowers, plants and curiosities that create conversation and good design.
I hope these few thoughts get you thinking about how you approach your next project, I know I am guilty of focusing on the paperwork in my last project.
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