Interior Design and Decorating Services In Guelph and Surrounding Areas

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Musings on Design

Ocean Bottega Interiors

Which came first? The chicken or the egg?

Layered interiors, colourful style, relaxed living, fun attitude, timeless life

"Form follows function", the proverbial They say. It may seem obvious but many a design novice gets lost in the decorative details and forgets that without it's structure, a house cannot support itself. And so it is with form and function. The form must exist for a function to occur. But like the question, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?", it's an evolutionary process. For the experienced designer it can work in either direction, form follows function or function follows form.  For our purposes it's best to have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish so you can put the structures in place to achieve your purpose. As you can see, "Form follows Function." is the very backbone of great design. 

The heart { form }, more than just our emotional compass, is a pump that ensures oxygen rich blood gets to all parts of the body { function }. The infrastructure of our plumbing is a host of pipes { form } used to deliver water from one location to another { function }. The decorative detail is the beautifully styled tap. Without a reliable delivery system the attractive tap becomes a source of dysfunction and frustration. Have you ever sat in a chair that looked fantastic but felt so uncomfortable you probably wouldn't sit in it again? Have you been in a room where the size of the furniture was so big you couldn't get around it or so small you couldn't have a proper conversation? It's not uncommon to see rooms where there is a poor connection between form and function. 

It's tempting to skip the essential stage of planning for the form and function of a space because it may seem sooooooo boring relative to the uninhibited glee and excitement you feel when shopping for trendy accessories. However, nothing is more disappointing than going to all the time, effort and expense of creating your interiors to find the furniture you've chosen is the wrong size and your layout now awkward; you can't open your fridge door enough to open the crispers inside because there is not enough space between the wall and the door. Or you feel disorganized in your new home office because you don't have a logical system for your built-in storage. The testament to great design is a detailed plan based on form and function. Know that making that plan doesn't have to feel painful. 

One of the easiest and most fun ways to make such a plan is to think of it as a wish  list. Let your design muses go wild and keep going with your list until you've left no stone unturned. Take some time { an hour, a day, a week…whatever it takes } and brainstorm by writing down all your ideas with complete abandon. I give you permission! If you've got magazine clippings, Pinterest boards or your own drawings to go with it, even better. There is no idea that can't be achieved with enough money, time and resources. I promise I'll bring you back to Earth when the time comes but for now every idea is a good one. 

Once you've finished this delectable list, go back and re-order it in priority from most important to the least important. Focusing on your top picks     { top three, five or ten } allows you to plan for the things that really matter to you. Check to see if form and function are adequately represented for each item by asking yourself what structures will be required and how much space is needed for each task or activity you plan to do in that space. Chat up experts and store reps to help you answer these questions. Books, magazines and online sources are great resources too.​ Once the mind is focused, what you need has a tendency to present itself to you.

This is a terrific and fun way to get your manifestation rolling. Creating your plan will keep you in that sweet spot where you find the people, materials and know how you need, ensuring what you really want works for you. It will also help you troubleshoot on paper or your computer and not on your home, while your trades are on the clock, where time and money can flow like a runaway train. And finally it will ensure you're on the right track to getting the room of your dreams. This is where going slow and savouring the experience now so you can speed up and revel in the thrill of the ride when the project gets under way later becomes the best trip ever.

There is nothing more delightful and satisfying than beautiful views and windows that open on those views because you took the time to orient your room to both it's interior and exterior aspects; the delicious dinner you made with friends, that's effortless and full of fun, because you can cook and enjoy your guests at the same time; enjoying that quiet and regenerating bath in your own private oasis even with your family at home. When you take the time to craft your plan based on form and function the decorative details become the icing on the cake and even more delicious and satisfying. To icing!

paula clarke

Love the Home You're In


Thought for Food

​When I get stressed and something negative is looping in my head { repeating itself over and over } to switch off I like to plan a dream space in my mind. This space can be real or imaginary. Sometimes it's a special space I come back to again and again. Sometimes it's a client space. Lot's of times it's a random room or interiorscape I challenge myself to do something amazing with just to keep things interesting.  Can you come up with a space and plan that's based on form and function? Have fun with it. It can be anything. And who knows, it might be real someday.