functionality in the home

The function of a space may seem obvious and quite simple at first but when you factor in how you and your family live in the space and what your daily routine is, it becomes clear that functionality is determined by lifestyle and habits.

You might think that the function of a kitchen is to cook, store food and containers and provide an area to clean. Functionality is a word often used by interior designers and sometimes I think it’s tossed around like that 15th throw cushion on the bed. So what does it mean and why is it so important?  The function of a space may seem obvious and quite simple at first but when you factor in how you and your family live in the space and what your daily routine is, it becomes clear that functionality is determined by lifestyle and habits.

Many have heard the phrase “form follows function” where the purpose of the building should be the starting point of its design. And this same principle is often applied to the interior. As an interior design student and later as an interior designer I couldn’t work out why everyone was telling me that one should take precedence over the other. I could never switch my brain off either of these components and design seemed to come much more naturally when I considered both in synergy. I screamed with delight when I discovered that Frank Lloyd Wrights variation of  “form and function are one” ensures a holistic approach to design that will bring a synergy to the space and enhance the enjoyment you experience.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to build day-to-day functionality into your home.

Who lives here?
Who lives here? Understanding the people that inhabit your home regularly is going to help you plan out your day-to-day functionality. A family comes in many shapes and sizes these days so take into consideration people who permanently live in your home, those who may live there part-time or other who are regular visitors.  Remember to include any pets here!

What’s your routine?
Most families have a daily routine that is unique to them. For some families this is going to be pretty straight forward. For others this can look a little messy as though there is no routine. We may all face many of the same challenges on a daily basis but you’ll have your own routine that is completely unique to you and your family. Again, note down any ‘routines’ that may float in and out from the ‘daily’ routine such as teenage uni students who live part-time in your home – they still have washing to be done!

Draw out your wish list.
Now that you understand who your family is and what your routine consists of start writing down anything and everything that would make your home life easier on a daily basis. Do the kids have somewhere quick and easy to eat breakfast? Are the football boots kicked off at the front door after training? Do you walk in and place your handbag on the kitchen bench only to move it to prepare for dinner? This ‘wish-list’ will underpin the planning of your renovation or new build. Knowing what annoys you now will make planning for your new home that much easier and you’ll be building in functionality that suits your lifestyle and habits.

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