Saturday, May 10, 2008

Design Tip : Think Aesthetic

When embarking on a DIY project, the first thing you want to do is jump in with a hammer and start making mess! But this usually means you will end up shopping for the elusive "money tree".

In other words, leaping before you have planned can be very costly!
There are many questions to be asked, and these can be grouped into four areas:
Practical, Budgetary, Aesthetic and Maintenance


Do you have items of furniture, artwork, carpets, that have to worked around, or which could be the basics of your scheme?Save racking you brains for a place to start, think about what you already have around you that you love, and work from there.

Does the exterior of your building, set the parameters for your interior? You don't have to follow the exterior, especially if you are in an apartment complex, but if you have a Victorian Villa for example it is often nice to keep some of the detailing even if you are updating the interior.

It is good to keep some of the detail from the house following through into the interior as shown here with the cabinetry emulating the window panes.

Do you have a tendency towards any colors? Do you hate any colors?

Also the intensity of color.Get this down on paper now as once you get into a project you will be so busy worrying about everything else that your common sense may goes out the window and you don't pay enough attention to the finishing ie the color. Also your love for a color may not be the same as the rest of the family who have to live in the house. Paint up some large pieces of card and prop them up where you will be renovating, you will start to get used to them and wil soon figure out which ones work in your space and which ones don't.

Do you have features outdoors that need to be viewed, (or hidden)?

Sometimes the view can dictate what you choose to do. If you look out at a concrete block wall through a window, perhaps it is better to use shutters as decoration or drape some fabric across so you don't have to see it. The opposite can also be said, why use window dressings if you have a spectacular view of the harbour!

Does your family (or your clients) have the same taste? Do they dictate a certain style?

Often it is obvious what you like, you always select similar things in magazines that you like, gravitate to particular forms of furniture when shopping, or love to feel textures. Try and pin point what vein of design suits you best - aesthetically as well as practically. This can be done by flicking through magazines and picking out what you like, if you all do that then find the common underlying theme. It could be you all like a similar group of colours ie warm colours, a similar look, uncluttered Minimal or Eclectic - a combination of numerous styles subtly combined, Pacific - bold florals with cane furniture. What ever it is write it down and try and follow that style or look including what you want to keep from your existing space.

Make sure your whole family are involved in the process of selecting style or colors and then select one person to oversee and make the final decisions - don't designate areas to different people, or you could have a nice orange surprise on your hands like this!

Do you want the space to be the backdrop and the furniture and fixtures to be central focus, or vise versa?Do you live in your house or is your house a work of art? You may want to keep one room the central focus for guests and display your artwork and your sense on style, and "live" in the rest ie keep it fashionable and functional.

Do you have an existing style and want to create a new style?Starting from scratch can be expensive, but wow, wouldn't it make a huge difference to your life, so do it! If you have the jitters, you could always put your old stuff in storage - just in case!

Have you see something you like in a magazine or book and have photographs of it for ideas?

This is a great way to start especially if they tell you where you can purchase everything - a great time saver. Just remember, make sure you don't "copy" the magazine, after all it is your own house and you have to spend time there, and it should reflect your style and personality to a degree.

No comments: