I think this is one of the key ways that any design can go beyond expectations, and beyond just being “good design’:
Honing in on the unique qualities of any given space and learning how to accentuate them, celebrate them, and capitalize on them to make a design truly soar is what separates the average from the great — the “well done” from the “WOW”.
It’s the feeling you get when you know everything has fallen into its natural place. It’s how it was supposed to be, to the point that you can’t even remember how it was before.
This image exemplifies such a notion:
Don’t get mad at me for choosing such a great room. No matter how great it may be, there could be some drawbacks to any space.
Take a look at the real attributes of this room. What do you believe to be the absolute best thing this room has to offer?
It’s almost so natural that you can’t see it. You might be looking at the ceiling or the floor, or maybe that cool chalkboard-ey artwork piece there, but what's best is even more obvious than that.
It’s the light.
It's the light spilling in through those tall windows, as well as that glorious feeling that has been captured by the bareness of this design.
Let’s take a closer look...
How do you think all that focus and celebration was achieved?
- No cabinetry on the walls by the windows: Why distract from that light? Why create a barrier or chop up that wall more? Because putting upper cabinets there would have felt like putting a cover up on a swimsuit model.
- The texture on the ceiling: That little bit of interest created there causes you to look up and appreciate how the light fills the space. Without it, you might not have taken in that volume and the spaciousness encapsulated within.
- The tall bank of plain white cabinets on the adjacent wall: What if the homeowner decided... "No. I can’t even reach those. There's no need to have them. They’re impractical.” Wouldn’t that be a shame? The height of the cabinets that echo the height of the windows draws your eye upwards again to the volume and the light. The simple flat surfaces do not distract.
- The white marble counters: The softness, lightness, and reflectivity of those surfaces bounces the light around the room that's pouring in.
- The light fixtures: What if there had been dark cone shaped pendants? Or chandeliers? Or something colorful? Oh, it wouldn’t have been a mistake per se, but that would’ve made the room all about something else. It would’ve made the room about strength or bling or a mood evoked by color. So, if we’re going for accentuating the attributes of the room here, then the clear glass is perfect. They don’t get in the way visually. They are light, yet weighted enough to have a presence - to be noticed but not dominate.
So do you see what I mean?
Okay, so your room might not be perfect. It might be small and cramped and have some weird angles - but then perhaps a wonderful high ceiling. Or you might have a low ceiling and long narrow space but maybe you have some wonderful windows down the long wall.
Don’t fret about what you don’t have. Celebrate what you do have. Go with what comes natural. Go with what feels at home.