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Interior architecture design for new & modern homes

Updated: Feb 1, 2019

The expression “wow factor” has been in most people’s vocabulary when discussing what they are looking for in an interior of a space. It has been promoted as the aspect that sets a space apart from a less spectacular interior. It presumes that it is what people should aspire to – especially by the numerous amateur reality television programmes that seek prominence through creating the dramatic.

The essence of what “wow factor” attempts is to create an initial dramatic impression which is seen to be positive. In most cases, it results in a less than intelligent decision because it is based on effect rather than a deliberation of design criteria. For instance, one of the most used effects to create “wow factor” is lighting, to highlight a particular element of the space. Many show homes are filled with down lights that illuminate rooms like a Las Vegas Casino, but this is neither subtle nor sensitive to energy use. Properly used lighting can take you on a journey, change your mood and highlight special artefacts or object-des.

Interior architectural design should be a continuum of the external architectural expression of a building. Use of internal materials can be used to link and enhance an external space by visual linking, or it may create separation – but in each case, it is a conscious decision, not based on whim.

Some of the elements that develop an exciting and well-designed interior include:

  • Space and movement planning Placement of elements to optimise traffic movement Juxtaposition of elements for efficient use of space and function

  • The influence of natural light on an internal space Natural lighting changes colour on different wall orientations

  • Artificial light Functional needs – movement, reading, etc. For effect Display

  • Durability and maintenance of materials Wear surfaces Cleaning, hygiene

  • Texture Visual interest Contrast

  • Colour To create mood Moderate scale, brightness and volume Energy saving – maximise reflectance reducing need for artificial lighting Accent other features and artefacts

  • Energy Thermal mass – polished concrete floors, brick and stone internal walls

  • Furniture and soft furnishing Choose elements consistent with design philosophy of the building Compliment or contrast room colour scheme Ergonomics

As this list demonstrates good interior architectural design is an in depth understanding of the relationship of many factors, and professionally applied, results in functional and comfortable space that people enjoy over a long period of time.

Time is the final element that needs examination as well. It is widely thought that changing the décor of internal spaces is something akin to a fashion statement like changing a wardrobe of clothes.

This is not a sustainable principle and is often needless. When one examines many of the successful buildings and interiors over history it is rare to see rooms being endlessly revamped. If a space has been well designed and integrated with the rest of the building there should only be a need for change to replace or refurbish tired and worn parts. On the contrary, those who can enjoy well-designed buildings will cherish and protect them to maintain their integrity. Who would dream of redesigning a Frank Lloyd Wright House or a traditional Japanese house with its tatami mats and shoji screens?

In summary interior architectural design is not the canvas for television presenters to dream up shallow visions of spontaneous gratification, nor the space for and building developers to sell bricks and mortar.

It is the realm of the professional – architects and interior designers.

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