How Does Design Impact Lifestyle?
Good design matters, and when it’s done well, it’s not just how it looks, but the space feels good!
Great design shows up in a couple of different components. It starts with aesthetic choices that evoke an emotional
response. It also takes into account the factor of lifestyle requirements, meaning function. The most beautiful design,
if it’s not convenient or comfortable, is not going to be effective for the client. Both form and function are part of a
compelling design, and then I create opportunities with lighting, natural materials, and color.
When I begin thinking about a client, I contemplate how they’re going to use the space – what activities are going to
happen there? How do we space plan to allow for those activities that make up a home? For example, a family room
may have a television, which is very typical for American families, but we may also want to create a place where they
can curl up with a book or have good conversation. If it’s a family with young children, we think about storage for the
toys so that they can be quickly tucked away.
Starting with the Client:
Good design is really thinking through the different ways that a client functions in a space and then making that
easy for them. I love doing that for families, couples and individuals alike, and really stepping into their shoes to
understand what will work for them inspires me in my work. And them, of course, I think about the aesthetics, making
it beautiful in a way for that particular client’s needs. Everything responds differently depending on their personality,
how they were raised, their cultural background, and what makes them happy. First with space planning, I work out
the functional requirements that then are articulated with materials, textures, and color to set the tone.
The Need for Light:
Some things stay true across all humanity, and that is the need and desire for light. For me, I definitely need daylighting;
I can’t live in a room that doesn’t have a window. When thinking through a client’s remodel or new construction, I think
the directional exposure greatly impacts the harshness rays of daylighting in a tight room as often as possible, and when
possible, I try to include two different exposure locations. Artificial light sources also can be used to mimic the all
important day lighting. Often, especially in subterranean areas, I will create a long wash wall treatment that feels like
rays of light coming from above to enhance a dark corner.
People respond to nature, and using natural materials like wood and stone have calming effects. Sometimes,
porcelains and quartz are chosen for function, however, I always bring in another material of mother earth to
compensate. Fortunately, many manufacturers and our other resources are conscious in harvesting & sustainability
measures to ensure good choices.
Integrity in design from quality aesthetics to conscious resourcing to the heartfelt implementation all impacts the
resonation of a space. I feel as a designer it is my responsibility to ensure all the criteria is comprehensively considered.