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So really what does make a space more functional and attractive?

Dynamic, calming, textural and stylish are some of the words that clients use to describe their NSD designed space. So, the question is, what makes a space more functional and attractive?

Space planning is an important step in the interior design process. It is an opportunity to create a personalised design that fits the lifestyle and activity of its occupants. Space planning should also consider the practical use of the space, such as furniture placement, storage solutions, and traffic flow. By carefully considering the rooms purpose, aesthetic, and comfort, an interior designer can create a space that is both beautiful and functional.

I have been designing interiors for a decade now and I can honestly say that I have never worked on the same size or shaped room twice. Every space I have designed has always been different, whether it’s the door position, how many windows there are or the height of the ceiling. Ultimately, it all comes down to the purpose of the space and how best to utilise the square footage.

I once heard a quote “once you learn the rules only then can you break them”. This really resonated with me. I learnt that it really does take years of working on multiple design projects to be able to fully understand and execute the art of merging function and aesthetic, to create the ultimate informed, successful design.

As the demand for space is growing, people are starting to consider space as an asset. Many people understand interior design as a process that just makes a space look pretty, however behind every beautiful sofa or perfectly positioned accent chair, there should be a reason why it is there. Consideration of placement will ultimately determine how successful the functionality is.

Each space needs careful consideration to achieve interior design goals. Whether designing residential or commercial you should be able to explain the reasoning behind each item and why it has been placed. First begin by thinking about the now, what do you want to use this space for? But then the most important part is not the now but the ‘now and again’. If you only require something ‘now and again’, should you really base your whole design layout and scheme around that? When I worked on television home makeover shows we had countless homeowners who were in dire need of extra storage and simply did not know what to do. The majority had a dining room…complete with a large table and chairs, when asked how often they used this, the answer was mostly, “special occasions like Christmas' '. I couldn't understand why people would allow the rest of their homes to become overwhelmed and crowded yet have a whole room that only gets used a couple of times a year. Keeping up with the Joneses means you must have your dining table set, ready to impress your guests at a moments notice. Do not fall victim to that mind set, instead be open to other options. Open plan kitchen and living spaces are much more appealing for families and guests, even standing around a kitchen island is the preferred option.

Today, the demand for flexible space within the home is increasing, the love for large, open floor plans has grown in popularity. The use of zoning in an open floor plan is still important, I like to imagine there are still partition walls in situ when creating zoning plans. Using rugs to highlight certain areas or different lighting is also a great way to make open plan living feel cohesive, this also gives the space purpose. A room without purpose is like a lamp with no bulb…pointless.

If you are working within a smaller space consider using furniture with rounded edges or open frames to give the impression of additional floor space. In contrast, if you are looking to fill a larger space, opting for chunkier pieces of furniture in more modular shapes will allow a the space to feel more zoned. I think the biggest mistake you can make when planning the layout of a space is only focusing on the furniture. Colour and textural elements should be incorporated to add corners of interest and increased depth. They key is to add contrast, create focal points and direct the eye where you want it to go.

Here are a couple of my tips when spatial planning:

- Where possible, I will always aim to make sure a TV is behind you when you walk into a room. Large TVs can overpower a space, therefore I feel it's more pleasant to walk in and face a seating arrangement rather than a media unit with a large black box above it.

- Consider your ceiling as a wall in its own right, painting the ceiling stark white will only create a cut off point for the eye. If your property has lower ceilings, painting them stark white is something you absolutely do not want! Try a warmer shade of white or a paired back neutral. The difference this subtle change will make is huge.

- Minimum vs maximum guests. If you are someone who has guests visit often but you struggle to accommodate seating for everyone, consider using multipurpose furniture such as a footstool in the centre of a room instead of a coffee table. You can place a sturdy tray on top when you want to rest your cup of tea or packet of digestive biscuits, then remove this when guests visit, giving them somewhere to perch. Opt for a foot stool with hidden storage inside if space is a premium. If you have the space, scatter a couple of oblong side tables around the room that can be brought together to give more seating. If you are somebody who doesn't have many guests try adding a reading nook with a beautiful accent chair.

At NSD Studio, we believe that it takes more than just furniture to create a great space.

We specialise in designing and creating one-of-a-kind interiors that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also inviting and comfortable. Our team of experienced designers will work with you to create a unique and personalised space that reflects your taste and lifestyle. Let us help you create a space that is as dynamic and stylish as you are.

Enquire here if you would like to take the first step in starting your design journey with NSD Studio.

Blog post written by Nick Snow BIID, Founder of NSD Studio

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