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When Form meets Function

What I enjoy most about being an interior designer is creating spaces that not only look beautiful, but enhance the lifestyle of my clients. Achieving this is much easier said than done as it is so easy to be wooed by the bounty of artfully designed furniture and decor that are nice to look at, but lack a sense of practicality and function. It is important to remember that your space can be gorgeous while also serving its purpose. The following tips will help you find the balance.

Consider purpose

When designing and decorating your space, you first have to establish what exactly the room will be used for. Ask yourself: What activities happen in this space? Who uses it most? How often is it used? A dining room provides an excellent example: dining rooms, by nature, are intended as a place to eat and entertain, but many of us have a kitchen table we use more often. If you seldom use your dining room, it may be more practical to store your dishes and tableware in your kitchen cabinets where you can easily access them as you need, rather than in a lavish dining room credenza. On the other hand, if you hold formal dinners frequently, you’ll want to make sure there is enough comfortable seating to accommodate your guests, the lighting enhances the mood you want to create, and there is enough space either on the table itself, or on a secondary buffet table for all of the accoutrements that go along with dinner.

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(photo: bellacor.com)

Is it comfortable?

A home without comfort can hardly be called a home. The comfort factor is especially key in the spaces you spend the most time, usually your living and bedrooms. Many people think modern and minimalist designs can’t be achieved without sacrificing comfort, this simply isn’t true–plenty of companies focus on creating sleek, modern pieces that use luxe materials in order to up the comfort ante. On the contrary, going overboard with puffy, oversized furniture can compromise the flow of space–and while it may be comfortable, it won’t be functional (or beautiful) if there is no room to move.

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(photo: zsazsabellagio.blogspot.com)

Lighting, storage, and materials

Lighting makes a huge difference in whether or not your space is functional. No matter how pretty those sconces are, it would be impractical to have only ambient lighting in your bathroom–you need bright, naturally hued lights to apply makeup easily or shave without an accidental cut. Secondly, storage is important! Design will be jeopardized if there is nowhere to keep the items that contribute to the activities that happen in your space. Decide what can be used as an accent to your design and what should be concealed. Adding shelving in a kids bedroom where they can display their favorite toys, or an ottoman that opens to double as a place to keep extra blankets in your living room are great solutions to storage problems. Lastly, consider the comfort and durability of the textiles and fabrics used in your space. If that sofa gets used everyday, it should not only be comfortable, but able to last through the wear and tear of life–pets, spills, or otherwise.

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(photo: lapetitmag.com)