Have you ever asked yourself why some homes designed by architect or designers look so much like showrooms, instead of reflecting the personality of the people living in the home? And why after having spent a boat load of money in the remodeling, the inhabitants of the house might not feel totally comfortable?
Designing a home is the same as having a custom dress designed for our body. A fashion designer, or tailor will take in consideration the physical structure of the client, his/her beauty, the color of hair, eyes and skin; will consider the personality of the client, his/her body language, texture and proportions.
It is just the same when designing a home. A designer should take in consideration all the characteristics of the client’s body. Therefore, that affirmation designers often make of knowing how to satisfy their client’s needs, it will never be true, unless a careful study of the client’s body has been made.
Let’s see why a house should be the reflected image of yourself?
A man with a rectangular shape, tall and slim, will feel comfortable in a house with high ceilings, doors and windows proportionally tall and rectangular furnishing with little or no curves.
A woman with a curvilinear body and a small waist will gravitate her choice of lamps and accessories around diagonal lines, or A Lines and her choice of furniture, door handles and architectural details most like likely will have a few curves.
A person with an extroverted personality who makes easy friendship will feel comfortable among vivacious colors and a braggart person most likely feels attracted by pastel colors.
A person with an authoritative job will prefer the “shaded” colors, colors non-better defined, one of them being the “greige” which is the combination of gray with beige. The shaded colors are also described as calming colors.
Any space of the house designed on the occupant’s personal need should take in consideration the height of chairs, counters, dimensions of bath tubs and relate them to the person’s height to assure an easier usage and functionality. I would never decorate a home with oversized furniture, if a petite, small size person lives there and vice versa.
If we want to take the concept of personalizing a home a step further, walls, upholstered furniture, flooring should also be selected in relation of the color of eyes, hair and skin texture of the persons living in the house.
In a personalized home a “private corner” for each person should be planned. It is not true that open spaces are always that good. At time we want to be alone with ourselves and it doesn’t mean we love the people in the house any less. The private moment once a day is necessary and the “appointment with ourselves” cannot be happening where there are open space and lot of activities going on.
This month, I have been featured again on Gentry Design magazine, a prominent publication in California for designers and creative people.
The kitchen in the picture below is the reflection of my client’s personality and an example of how successfully I have interpreted their body’s proportions in relation to their space. The house they bought was built in the late ‘70s, but the client is a young couple. I had to modernize the house with many contemporary amenities, appliances and electronics. They are tall and slender, therefore all the ceilings had to be raised to accommodate their height. They are minimalist, love neutral colors and love to meditate.
It explains why the kitchen and surrounding areas are all painted in a light golden cream, furniture have been lightly antiqued and there aren’t many dust collectors laying around, only the necessary accessories. Lighting fixtures are also slender and rectangular, placed all in a strategic locations to help them in their activities. Simplicity has been the key of this décor, as the couple loves to wear designer clothes with simple, but elegant lines, no frills.
I would like to conclude that we should strive to produce a personalized home, where each space and décor reflects who we are and not exclusively the fashion and trends of the moment.
Houses photographed in design magazines are beautiful, well made, some are very intelligent, but they are not ”our homes”. If we copy them, or worse, if we take bits and pieces and transfer those ideas into our spaces, they might not fit the dimension of our body and might not agree with our soul, as all the dresses parading on a fashion runway don’t always end up covering our bodies.
Please forward this article to anyone you think might be interested in reading it and let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. Thank you. Ciao,
Interior Designer since 1990
Copyright © 2010 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved
Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior & Fashion Designer, working in the USA and Europe. She marries well fashion and interior in any of her design work. She loves to remodel homes and loves to turn unattractive spaces into castles.
Author of the book: ©Come Mia Nonna–A Return to Simplicity