In a previous blog we talked about the elements and principles of good design. This morning, while flipping through photos we’ve taken of finished projects, I stopped on this image. It’s a beautiful space and a gorgeous photo.
Like all good design, if we spend just a few minutes thinking about those basic elements and principles again, we can learn what makes this room work then apply it to our own homes.
Here’s why I love this space:
It’s balanced! Balance is how we use objects, colors and the overall size of things in order to create either symmetry or asymmetry. This photograph, from this viewpoint, captures perfectly how the room was designed with balance in mind. The dark paint on the fireplace wall is balanced with the amount of white on all of the kitchen cabinets. The hallway walls and island make an easy place for our eye to settle, right in the middle.
- TIP: If you find yourself veering back to the same paint color(s), take a look at the opposite color on the color wheel (green, opposite red, blue, opposite orange, etc.). Then move a few shades lighter or darker and try adding that color as an accent. If that seems too strong, try your favorite color two or four shade values lighter (as was done here) to gradually expand your color boundaries.
It has great light. There are four layers of light happening in this kitchen and the adjoining living room. The upper cabinets have under cabinet lighting for tasks performed in the kitchen. The traffic pattern is lit from above with recessed cans in strategic locations (not just an airfield-style strip on the ceiling), the island pendants provide ambient light and we can see that this room gets a great deal of natural light as well. All the bases are covered!
- TIP: Adding a few recessed cans or under cabinet lighting is a very simple way to add good light to the working spaces in your home (like your kitchen) and it doesn’t require a full remodel or large budget to complete. A certified electrician can add these and literally transform the space in a day or two!
Textures galore. We can see leather, wood, granite and at least two metals that are mixed together (antique brass pendant and stainless/brushed steel fixtures) to make this space interesting. A variety of textures makes everything more interesting; always. Use this simple technique to your advantage.
- TIP: If you’re attracted to shiny things, pick up a few rough, dull or handmade trinkets and add them to your room. OR if you find yourself always buying the same swirly wrought iron accesories, grab something made of glass or natural fibers.
-Holly Bayer, ASID