Functional Design

Beauty is such an important part of design. If it's not aesthetically pleasing, I want very little to nothing to do with it. However, when it comes to our homes things can't only be pretty, they have to function. A major part of home design to me is figuring out how the people using the space live - what is their routine, how do they do things such as eat dinner, get ready for work, do laundry, entertain, etc. These items play a very important role in how a space is designed. When it comes to new construction or renovations it is so vital to examine these things as you plan in order to build an efficient and useful home. Below are some examples of how really thinking about how you use your space and designing it around those functions can lead you to a happy home and happier life.

Here is a small nook next to a fireplace that was turned into a bar/entertaining area complete with a mini beverage refrigerator. If your home doesn't have a designated area for this, especially when entertaining guests, this can be a great solution.

Here is an idea that provides for function and beauty - above and beside the TV (if you look closely) you can see speakers are built into the fireplace mantel. This allows for the quality sound many people want out of their AV systems today without having the eyesore of wall mounted speakers all around the room.

Create a space for everything! Even bathroom drawers can be designed for the items you know you will be storing in them. Here is a great way to organize your hair essentials.

 Below is an idea we actually used in our last condo and will be using again in the condo we are currently renovating. Building a hamper into the bathroom vanity. If you have a very large home/closet this may not be necessary for you, but for those of us living in smaller spaces or who really don't want a big hamper sitting around this is a great alternative. 

 I love this next idea because I think it can be used in many applications - pull out cutting board in a kitchen, pantry prep space as shown in this image (preparing desserts, drinks, etc), and my favorite as a pull out folding tray in a laundry room - especially one short on counter space.

For those of us with furry friends it is a constant battle how to store/hide their items. The below two images are a great way to incorporate their things into our home in a much more eye pleasing manner. Converting a trash pull out to a dog food storage pull out is a great start and then utilizing that unused toe kick space underneath our cabinets for pet bowls is another fantastic way to hide the clutter.

Last, but certainly not least, for those of us not looking at new construction or a renovation but trying to find a little more storage space in their home, a skirted table can be a great solution. You can really use any type of table (console, desk, side, etc) and find a great fabric that matches your rooms design/style and have a table skirt made. This allows you to utilize the space below the table for storage.

Do you have any spaces in your home that serve double duty or were designed specifically for the way you and your family live?

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