The art of designing for your lifestyle
Have nothing in your house which you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful - William Morris
Just because you have three mud-loving toddlers, a full-time job and a hyperactive spaniel doesn’t mean you can’t have the home of your dreams. In fact, the busier your life, the more important I think it is to make your home a haven – and a beautiful one at that.
It’s not necessarily about creating a room that could be on the front cover of Wallpaper. Nor is it about ‘being practical’ and sacrificing those things you ‘believe to be beautiful’ in favour of fast cleaning times. It’s about creating a home. One that brings you pride, and makes you smile on your busiest of days; one that fits your family like a glove. Quite simply, your space should inform your design, and not the other way around. Images of square pegs in a round hole come to mind. It’s your home and it shouldn’t have to match an IKEA display. Put your own spin on it. Make it so you love it.
Starting your design journey
So where do we start? We talk, we browse, we tear pages out of magazines, you let your imagination run wild. This is my chance to get to know you, your family, your space and get a sense of your lifestyle. This is your chance to tell me what your dream home looks and feels like. Fusing together all this information, taking into account budget of course, allows my team and I to design a room that will work for your family today and for years to come.
When I meet a client for the first time they tend to have either a very clear direction of the room design they want, or they are at total a loss. No matter the status of their vision my process with them is still the same. I often find even those people with a clear vision do start to change their idea slightly. This happens when we start focusing on whether the design truly works for their lifestyle. I feel I work like a photographer, turning the focus ring on a lens. As I keep turning, more and more detail comes into view.
Helping clients explore the possibilities
I recently experienced this with a wonderful client in Cardiff. They had been very influenced by the “average”. They were unaware of what was possible and their environment had limited their vision accordingly. They had done their research before meeting me and I knew they had put a great deal of time into it. But they hadn’t spent any time with a genuine designer who was focussed on what was best for them. They had been to well known high street retailers who were more focussed on profit margin than a client’s needs. As we started to talk about how they used their space and what would enhance it, they got very excited. We looked at layouts they had never envisaged, components they didn’t know existed and furniture ranges they didn’t realise they could afford. I wouldn’t say we completely changed their vision, but together we adapted it for the better. The shared goal was to ensure we created something that worked for the entire family and would also meet their challenges and needs for everyday life. They’ve since told me that the decisions we made have improved the quality of their life immeasurably.
From concept and design to installation and aftercare, we can help you create rooms that fit in with your lifestyle, seamlessly. Perhaps the room you end up with is quite different to the one we discussed in our first meeting. Either way, it will feel personal, unique and perfectly you. It’s such an amazing feeling when your room is designed in harmony with you. It is, quite simply (and apologies for the cliché), what makes your house a home.
An example to illustrate my point
When Mr and Mrs Arnold came to me they were really fed up. The kitchen they had fitted only eight years previously was already looking dated. The design had never been to their taste and they had always struggled with the cramped look it gave the room. Here are a number of images to illustrate.
After a long period of consultation, where I helped Mr and Mrs Arnold explore a wide variety of possibilities. They decided upon a clean handleless design from Schuller. This helped to give an illusion of space, whilst offering practical storage solutions and more symmetry to the design. The contrasting red glass splash back was a real design statement that was far removed from their old multicoloured tiles. It goes without saying that Mr and Mrs Arnold are now delighted with their new kitchen.
Category: Hints and Tips