Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Why Interior Design Matters: Functionality!

Many people often ask the question:  Why does interior design matter?  While there are many reasons why interior design matters, one of the most important is functionality.  Our homes and offices are where we live our lives, so it is important that they are environments that facilitate living, and not impede it.

It is surprising how often functionality is overlooked, and often it requires a professional to recognize these mistakes and bring a room to its full potential.  Functionality is achieved first and foremost through tailoring the design to meet the clients' needs.  Whether the client is a gourmet chef needing lots of kitchen counter space, or an entrepreneur needing an organized and efficient home office, assessing the needs of the client is the most important step in creating a functional design.

In many homes, the kitchen is a room that sees a lot of action, so it is extremely important for the space to provide organization and accessibility.  Here are some examples of kitchen designs that are functional and well designed:
This large kitchen provides a great template for functionality.  The use of multiple islands add surfaces for food preparation, entertaining, and serving.  The bar-style counters and stools also provide seating for informal meals.
This island is a great addition to this kitchen due to its functionality.  It not only provides additional counter surface, but also lots of storage throughout the base to reduce clutter.
This kitchen proves that a kitchen does not have to be extremely large in order to be functional.  This design utilizes the height of the kitchen for storage by hanging pots, pan and kitchen utensils overhead and above the sink.  The cubby holes are also a stylish and functional way to organize cook books.

Along with the kitchen, the home office is also a space in the home requiring functionality.  In order to be functional, a home office should provide ample lighting, storage space, and organization.  Here are some examples of functional home office designs:
This home office is extremely functional.  The book shelves lining the walls give the office the sophisticated feel of a study, while also providing storage space.  The window gives the client a great view and fills the room with natural light.
This home office is a great example of how the right design can make one small room accessible and useful for two individuals.  Creating a surface in which the two work surfaces face opposite directions gives each individual their own space.  The shelves and cabinets provide plenty of storage and organization for multiple people.
This large home office provides natural light, storage space, and plenty of seating.  The bulletin boards can display photos, to-do lists, or even serve as a mood board.

Contact me to make your home or office more functional!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

South End Gems

Here in Charlotte we are extremely lucky in the number of fabulous design and decor resources that we have!  Whether you are looking to do an extensive remodel, or simply refresh the look of your home or office, there are many different stores available to satisfy your needs.

More specifically, the South End area of Charlotte is a hub for interior design, decor, and furnishing!  As a designer here in town, I have learned to love and value this area of Charlotte.  When designing new spaces for clients, I know that South End can provide anything from kitchen and bath hardware, to simple accents for the final finishing touches.

Over the years I have found myself returning to some of the same stores time and time again.  Here is a quick look at a few of my favorites:

The Bird showroom in Charlotte is located in a beautiful industrial style building.  They offer a wonderful selection of hardware and bath products.

Waterworks Tile 

Waterworks Hardware

Various Sinks displayed beautifully 

Baldwin Hardware

Top Knobs Hardware

Axor Hardware (very unique!)

Robern Mirrored Medicine Cabinet
(can be inset into the wall)

Beautiful display of sink hardware with assorted finishes

Ferguson is another great place for bath and kitchen hardware, but also carries a variety of brand name kitchen appliances and bath collections. Their showroom displays these kitchen appliances in a way that really allows for the visualization of the final product.

Beautiful showroom display of kitchen appliances, countertops, hardware, and lighting.

 Kohler Hardware

 Brizo Hardware

Mirabelle Hardware

 Rohl Hardware

 Assorted kitchen hardware

Abode Home Design is a beautiful store displaying transitional style furniture and decor.  This showroom is beautifully designed to create a unified look.

Post & Gray Home is located an a large warehouse space that displays many unique pieces, such as furniture, art, fabric, rugs, coffee table books, and vintage finds.

The open, warehouse-style space is great for browsing

Great selection of fabrics

Art, accent furniture, and unique decor

Pillow Wall! Pillows by Judy M. Brown Designs

Great selection of affordable rugs 

Renaissance Tile & Bath is a great place to find luxury bath tile and hardware for a new bathroom, or simply browse for inspiration.  The store itself is a visual treat, displaying beautiful tile and bathroom hardware throughout every surface of the space.  The floors are especially beautiful, showcasing floor tile options throughout the entire store.

Beautiful display of floor tiles

Wet Style Bathtub

Kallista Vanity

Alexander Scott Interiors is a booth-style store, allowing it to offer home furnishings for a variety of different tastes.  The large, two-story not only carries everything from furniture to candles, and some booths even sell stylish frocks and tunics.

Mix of modern and rustic styles

Great selection of lamp shades 

Beautiful selection of art

Give me a call and I am happy to help you with your selections for your next project!