It's time to set the record straight. When it comes to interior design, beauty and function are not mutually exclusive! Think of it like this: your home's function is the foundation that allows your design to shine. A home that doesn't function well is a design disaster waiting to happen.
So, how do you make sure your home is functional? Here are some of my tried and true functional design tips that will allow your style choices to really shine!
How to Design a Well-Functioning Home
Use Your Awkward Spaces
Functional design is all about taking advantage of every nook and cranny in your home. Unused spaces tend to attract clutter, so putting them to good use is important.
That empty corner could be a fantastic spot for a cozy reading chair and side table. The awkward space in your kitchen could be the perfect home for a rolling island or coffee bar. And that weird little alcove in your bathroom? It could be the ideal place for some open shelving to store extra towels and toiletries.
Get Creative With Storage
I've found it helpful to strategize your storage needs around the items that actually need storing. Start by making a list of the things you need to store, and then brainstorm creative ways to do so.
Finding that perfect space for an item to call home might mean using some unconventional storage methods like wall-mounted baskets or under-the-bed drawers, but that's part of the fun!
Create the Perfect Layout
The layout of your home can make a significant impact on its overall functionality. If you're unhappy with how your space is currently laid out, don't be afraid to make a change! Get a clear picture of what changes you need to make by pinpointing the functional issues in your home.
Do you need more counter space in the kitchen? Does your living room feel too cramped? Is it hard to find a place to put your shoes when you walk in the door? Once you've solidified your must-haves, you can start planning a new and improved layout.
Make Your Rooms Work Harder For You
There's no reason your home can't be working double duty! If you're short on space, look for ways to make your rooms work harder for you. For example, a home office could double as a guest room, or that three feet of unused space in your bathroom could be the perfect spot for a small cabinet to store extra toiletries, towels, linens, and more!
Create Balance with Your Lighting
The lighting in your space helps set the tone and atmosphere, so it's essential to get it just right. A well-lit room will feel cozy and inviting, while a poorly lit room can feel dark and dreary. Lighting is key to helping you get the most out of your space, and that goes for both function and enjoyment.
Be sure to take advantage of both natural and artificial lighting. However, too much of either can throw off the ambiance as well. Use blinds, shades, or curtains to control the amount of light that comes into a room, and add lamps or overhead lighting to help brighten up a space.
Pick Practical Finishes
When it comes to finishes like paint colors, flooring, hardware, and more, choose materials that are both functional and stylish. If you have kids or pets, you'll want to choose durable and easy-to-clean materials.
If you're looking for low-maintenance options, consider materials that don't require a lot of upkeep. When doing your research, don't hesitate to ask your designer or contractor for their input on which materials will work best for the space and its intended use.
Layer Each Space with Color
Functional design doesn't have to be boring! Add interest and personality to your home by layering each room with color. This can be done through paint colors, fabrics, artwork, rugs, throws, and more.
The wrong colors can really detract from the harmony in your space, hurting the function of the overall room. This is why I always suggest playing around with a color palette before making any final decisions. Establishing your palette will allow you to get creative with pops of color, complementary shades, and balanced neutrals that will help to make your space feel complete.
Prepare for the Future
Functional design is all about preparing your home for the future. As your needs change, your space should be able to adapt with you. If you're unsure how your needs might change down the road, it's helpful to work with a designer who can help you plan for any potential changes.
Is your immediate family growing? Do you plan on having pets? Is your office space going unused, or will you need to make room for one in the near future? These questions will help you make functional design choices that can be easily modified as your life changes.
Personality is Key
At the end of the day, functional design is all about making your home work for you. This is why it's so important to infuse your personality into your space!
Don't be afraid to let your personality shine through with your functional design choices. If you love bold colors, use them! If you're obsessed with a wild wallpaper print, go for it! If you prefer a more minimalistic style, I say do whatever makes your space feel like home. After all, that's what functional design is all about.
Injecting personality into your functional design is all about adding those special touches that make your space unique. Display items that are meaningful to you, add personal details like family photos or heirlooms, and choose finishes and materials that reflect your taste. These personal touches will make your functional space feel like home.
Ask for Help!
Designing a functional space can be overwhelming, but you don't have to go it alone! If you need help getting started, an interior designer can be your fairy godmother of functional design. I can help you to create a functional space that perfectly suits your needs and reflects your personality.
Schedule a consultation with me today if you'd like help getting started with your design. I'll help you to assess your functional design needs and develop a plan to bring your design vision to life!
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