Functional And Bright
Have you ever entered a beautiful room and yet somehow it felt unwelcoming and non-inviting? Or have you entered spaces which made you feel like you could have moved right in, despite them not being the most luxurious or grandest homes in the street? Just like expensive doesn't necessarily mean quality and bigger doesn't always mean better, the homes that feel the best to spend time in, are not only defined by how they look, but how they feel!
A good Interior Designer knows this, and will help guide you to prioritise your selections and balance all the elements needed to help you achieve a home which you love to live in. There are a multitude of elements needed to help achieve this, but in my opinion, two stand out above all the others: flow and natural light.
FLOW in a home is the combination of how the floor-plan is designed, the functionality of the space, the placement fo the furniture pieces and finally the way in which one room follows another, how one space opens into the next. If you're planning to build or renovate I suggest you pay great attention to how the floor-plan works and consider how it can be improved, as this is key, well before you add any furniture and décor pieces. And just as every home is different, so to are the needs of every family, so to point you in the right direction, here are some generalised tips that might get you started:
for quiet and privacy, consider how to effectively separate the day areas of your home (living room, dining, kitchen etc.) from the bedrooms being the night. Maybe adding doors in between, or quieter flooring options might be considered;
adding a generous walk-in pantry will bless your kitchen with great storage solutions and make it easy to at least appear tidy, by keeping your work space out of view;
create a work-from-home space, with a dedicated desk, shelving and of course natural light, and be ready for flexible working opportunities, and spread the paper work, out of view from the rest of the house;
storage, storage, storage; add it wherever you can, and you'll never be sorry, as it also helps create a sense of calm by helping you stay organised.
NATURAL LIGHT has a great power in positively affecting the way you feel in any property as well as the value of the property itself. This is one element that you cannot fake, but can improve upon if needed, and as every property, once again, is different, here are a few considerations that might get you started bringing more natural light in or increasing the feel of it:
clear any obstructions, like furniture and plants that loom outside your windows and replace old flyscreens with new thinner ones;
choose light neutral colours for the paint of your internal walls;
opt for lighter colours and frames in your furniture, think thin legs, and cull the amount of clutter on all your surfaces,
add reflective surfaces to your styling, like metallic finishes, glass-top tables and of course mirrors in key places to enhance and capitalise on any available natural light.
Every family has different needs and priorities, and it's very important that you modify the place you live so it is 'home' to you, so if you're renovating/building or just looking to freshen up how it feels, talk to an interior designer, perhaps your chosen builder, and describe what you expect from the place you chose to live in. As much as we all love looking at inspirational images, creating a beautiful and inspiring home is far from simply creating Insta-worthy photo ops. I always encourage my clients to make lists and bring inspiring images to me, as they do help to understand what 'you', the person who's going to live there, is after, and then with some designer magic, we can create a home that's functional, welcoming and why not beautiful too.
James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James has three decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design and regularly shares his knowledge and experience in adding value to properties through effective design & styling. Watch his free videos on YouTube, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram for more free information.