Form Follows Function

Architect Louis Sullivan (1856-1924) once famously said “form ever follows function” to denote that in architecture and interior design the form or look of a space is secondary to its practical functionality.  The phrase has been used as a battle cry for modern architects and designers for the last century in their crusade against superfluous adornment and  impractical spaces, but it applies nonetheless in principle to every different style of architecture and interior design, from starkly contemporary to staunchly traditional.   No matter how beautifully designed and decorated a space is, it isn’t truly a success unless it is able to be used and enjoyed by the people it was designed for.  Rooms for entertaining should make your guests feel comfortable and welcomed, not afraid to touch anything lest they break, stain, or scuff your delicate collectables, white sofa, or Brazilian mahogany floors.  Kitchens should make you want to delve in and get your hands dirty, media rooms should invite you to eat a bowl of buttery popcorn and chug grape soda, mud rooms should be able to withstand tons of mud unscathed.

When I work with a client the first thing I like to consider, before even talking about style, is what purpose or function a room will have.  Simple considerations like traffic flow, ample storage, cleanability, furniture height, and lighting are of paramount importance in a well-designed room.  One of the primary purposes of the decorateITonline StyleFinder guide is to delve into the specific uses, context, and limitations of the room so that we can come up with a design that is not only incredibly attractive, but also eminently functional.  It is only when we achieve both that we can truly consider a room to be “finished”.

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