Monday, June 15, 2009

Inside-Out Design

Because of my interior design background, I have always noticed and appreciated the finer points of - obviously - the interior aesthetic. You know when you walk into a space and all the colors, textures, and proportions just 'feel good'? Great design inherently just exudes this 'feeling' and we often don't know how or why. In design school, I learned how to create a floor plan and lay out spaces. I also learned how to blend construction materials with paint, furnishings, and accessories. But until I began working in an architectural office, I don't think I fully understood the importance of good inside-out design.

I call it 'inside-out' design because I have learned that what is planned for the outside (exterior) of your home can be just as important as what goes on inside. Sure, you may want a family room with a fireplace and that opens into the kitchen. But subtleties like window placement, room symmetry, ceiling heights, and architectural details are the integral framework that interior design relies on. Good architecture is the foundation for an interior worthy of the pages of Home and Garden magazine.

Before working for an architect, it was relatively easy for me to lay out a floor plan that met all interior needs…the kitchen near an eating area…a bathroom near a guest suite. Now I realize that on the inside of a home, every wall, every tray or vaulted ceiling, every jog and turn in a hallway affects 101 different things on the exterior. Without an architect to consider such ramifications, a house starts to look quite lost and disjointed on the outside. Part of the beauty of a well-designed home is its seamless integration of the inside and outside elements. Without careful consideration of both of these crucial aspects of your home, that 'feel good' feeling of good design won't quite be accomplished.

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