The Value of Design
The Value of Design
The great Winston Churchill once said, “We shape our buildings, and afterwards, our buildings shape us.” When it comes to offering new home communities that connect with the people who will live there, at CountryWide Homes, we understand that design is key. From the big picture of how the homes will fit with their surroundings, to architecture, interior layout and even features and finishes, our goal is to create synergy – a whole that is much bigger than the sum of its parts.
This isn’t just fluff. Recent research by a team of architects and neuroscientists indicates that the architecture we see may affect our mental state. The aim of this continuing research is to establish whether architects and planners can influence human behaviour with the design elements they choose.
After a decade in the industry, we understand this concept, as well as the fact that craftsmanship and quality enhance design, both outside and in. We start with a piece of land that has promise for a new home community and come up with exteriors that complement the setting.
Interior design is widely recognized as a motivating factor in influencing workers in retail and office spaces. A well-thought-out space can actually increase productivity and decrease absenteeism. In short, if people feel comfortable in their work surroundings, they are happier and work harder. The same goes for our homes. People whose homes have interiors that flow well and are attractive are more likely to appreciate staying at home, and even sleep better. Finding the balance between beauty and functionality is critical; one should never be sacrificed for the other.
A major factor in creating spaces that work well for their intended use is the positioning of elements. For example, amusement parks, shops and casinos are designed to lead patrons along a path through the facility and grounds. Think IKEA, which does a great job at this. Designers may want to draw attention to a specific behaviour as well. In fast-food restaurants, where the turnover is high, seats are hard and less comfortable, in order to encourage diners to leave quickly. Rumble strips at the roadside alert drivers that one or more wheels have left the main pavement.
The goal of a specific design may be sociofugal (arranged in a way that separates people or allows for a level of privacy) or sociopetal (placed to encourage interaction). Airports are sociofugal by design, with bare waiting areas, long corridors and linear seating layouts. Classrooms and libraries, on the other hand, are sociopetal, with chairs clustered around tables and access to reading material that can inspire discourse.
Do your “home” work!
To create spaces within your home that achieve your personal goals, here are some handy tips.
- When it comes to colours and textures, take inspiration from nature.
- Combine classic modern with period pieces for an interesting look.
- Use three colours at the most for your palette: a major colour, one that is complimentary, and a third for accents.
- Establish your base with neutrals, then add pops of colour with cushions, etc.
- You can combine stripes and prints, but make sure the colours in them look harmonious.
- Pay attention to the lighting you choose, as it can influence your overall look.
- Be creative – use traditional pieces in new ways.
- Be aware of the psychology of colour; yellow in a dining room, for example, will spur conversation.
- Surround yourself with things you love – your choices should bring you joy.
- Stick to quality items that are timeless.
- Read our tips for choosing the right furniture to get started.
Current Interior Design Trends
Like fashion, interior design follows trends, and a home’s décor can look up to date or outdated, depending on the choices you make in colours, furniture and accessories. Here are a few of the popular trends. Do your sensibilities lean toward any of these?
Think Hercule Poirot meets Marilyn Monroe! New Elegance is a timeless look that is both opulent and sleek. Combine metals, fabrics, patterns and textures in an ordered way, and make your statement with an unusual piece such as a chaise lounge or daybed.
With hints of both contemporary and traditional design, this is a style that is popular because it caters to a wide array of sensibilities and tastes; worlds elegantly collide in spaces that feel modern but still offer the prestige of classic sophistication.
One of the most timeless and elegant styles – especially in the washroom – Romanesque design incorporates the use of marble, glass, stone, ceiling detail, and dark bronze colours to create interiors that feel grand and stately.
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