Size matters, especially in space-challenged houses and apartments.
And that means slimming down. Gone are the super-size sectionals, towering cabinetry and oversized everything.
A sense of proportion, size, built-ins and visual trickery is being utilized to embrace the big style-small space ethos is the next big thing in home design and furnishings, reports Saturday’s HomeStyle.
If there hasn’t been a decided shift at recent High Point, N.C., furniture markets, let us just say that rooms with smaller footprints will not be ignored. The good news is that the commitment poses even more ramped-up challenges to design furniture smartly, with an eye to size and proportions, multitasking, built-ins and visual tricks.
The goal: “a scaled-down collection of furnishings in sizes that work beautifully in more intimate spaces.”
“One of the wonderful things about having your own home is that you can create your life within its four walls. Whatever, whomever you want to be is entirely possible because you control the space, the colour, the design, and the style that suits best.
Graphic designer Sarah Jackson feels that way about the condominium she purchased in downtown Edmonton two years ago. Located in the historic McLeod building on 100th Street, just north of Jasper Avenue, her home reflects the urban culture that Jackson longed to embrace. Growing up on an acreage, she often felt isolated. When Jackson first moved downtown as a student to study graphic arts, she fell in love with being able to walk everywhere. So the fact that the McLeod doesn’t have parking is no problem at all; Jackson travels by public transit, bike or on foot, navigating downtown streets for everything from her morning latte to groceries. She loves the bustle that characterizes living in any city core.”
“Whether it is your first apartment or you are an empty nester preparing to downsize, at some point you are likely to live in a smaller place. The trick is figuring out how to make the most of what space you do have. You also want to decorate your small house in a way that expresses your personal style. Smaller homes and apartments provide a great opportunity to create cozy, inviting spaces, if you follow some basic do’s and don’ts. They also give you the opportunity to live smarter, by reducing any unnecessary items that will cause clutter.
The enemy of any small home or apartment is clutter. Having too much stuff around is not only frustrating in a small space, but it will make everything appear even smaller. When decorating a small house, do de-clutter. Start by giving away or recycling anything you haven’t used in the past six months. Now is the time to shed any items that you have never liked as well. Certainly keep something if it has sentimental value or is a treasured keepsake, but understand that you may not have the space to display everything.”
“A Day in the life of a Interior Designer
An interior designer is responsible for the interior design, decoration, and functionality of a client’s space, whether the space is commercial, industrial, or residential. Interior designers work closely with architects and clients to determine the structure of a space, the needs of the occupants, and the style that best suits both. The position is a combination of engineer and artist, and it takes a unique type of mind to handle both of those concepts well. Interior designers have to be good with more than color, fabric, and furniture; interior designers must know materials, have budgeting skills, communicate well, and oversee the ordering, installation, and maintenance of all objects that define a space. They also have to know about electrical capacity, safety, and construction. This broader range of required knowledge distinguishes them from interior decorators. Interior designers have to be able to work with contractors and clients alike, planning and implementing all aesthetic and functional decisions, from faucet handles to miles of carpeting —and all this usually must be done within a fixed budget. Interior designers are hired for their expertise in a variety of styles and approaches, not merely their own personal vision. Therefore, they have to be able to balance their own tastes and their clients’ tastes—and be willing to put their clients’ tastes first. This requirement can be frustrating at first for many who enter the profession. Interior designers are often asked to begin their planning before construction of a space is finished; this means that they must be good at scheduling and comfortable reading blueprints. This element of the job comes as a surprise to many new interior designers, who expect to have less of an administrative and technical role and more of a role in influencing the overall feel and appearance of a space. Those who thrive in the industry say this ability to balance the practical with the aesthetic is crucial to being a successful interior designer. Interior design is hard work, but those who do it well find the work very satisfying.”