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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Will Clarity Help You Design Your Home?

If you read my blog at all, you know I write a lot about the principles and elements of quality design.  But is that really where a design starts?  Nope.  The principles and elements are lenses.  I will write more about that soon but right now, let's really start at the beginning.

Jump right into buying!  Um.... NO!  Stop, take a breath and read on...

There are some things that need to be defined and understood first.  This is a critical phase of any project and often overlooked.

First we need to understand the space we are going to be doing.  What does that mean? 

1)    It means we need to know if the space is a public portion of your home such as your family room or a private part such the master bedroom.  This is important because if it is a public portion of your home it will be important for all the public spaces to have a rhythm, a flow, so ones senses are pleased when leaving one space and entering another vs. having your senses jarred because the room you just left has no connection to the room you just entered.  This is particularly important in open concept floor plans.  Private space will have internal rhythm but doesn’t necessarily need to connect with the surrounding rooms. 

2)    It also means we need to know what people will be using the room, how many of them and what will they be doing there.  For example, how many people will need to comfortably sit in the room on a daily basis?  What about when you entertain?  Are there any special needs like an elderly person or small children? What are the tasks and activities that will occur in the room (e.g. watching television, playing Wii, reading, napping…)? A critical room for this to be examined is the kitchen.  How do you move though the kitchen, what are your motions while you are cooking?  Define, define, define in order to create a room that is functionally perfect first.  The saying 'form follows function' is absolutely true.  Once you know who will be in the space and what they will be doing there – function – then the form will flow from there.

3)    Measure, measure, measure then measure again.  Do a drawing with detailed measurements on it.  If you don’t have software to help you with this, good old fashion graph paper is just fine.  Draw the room once and make several copies of that drawing so you can try several space and furniture plans – or layouts - to accomplish the functional aspect you already identified.

4)    Define the feeling of the space.  How do you want to feel in this room?  How do you want others to feel in this room?  What do you want the room to portray or reveal about you?  You may want a different feel in different rooms.  A family room may be comfortable, warm, and cozy to spend time with your loved ones.  I living room elegant and sophisticated that portrays your success.  What feel and portrayal of you in the space in a very important aspect and needs to be considered every step of the way.  The feel helps keep you focused.  There is so much product out there, so much stimuli it can be overwhelming.  You may have defined the feel of the room as warm, cozy, kid friendly but go over to your friend’s house and see this sleek, leather sofa and think to your self “I love it, I want that!”  Whoa nelly.  If you put that sleek sofa in your warm and cozy room, is it going to be warm and cozy?  Is it going to seat you and your kids comfortably to snuggle up on? 

In summary – define, define, define. Define who and what, define the measurements, define the feel.  Form follows function.  The style will be born from in particular, the feel and what you want the space to say about you.  And, after function, aren't those two things the most important elements ever?

1 comment:

  1. Love the interior shots of your home. What a happy you have shared in here. :)

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