What to think about design?

We had a chat with our friend Anna from Anna Margaret Interiors about the interior design process and the best time to think about design when building or renovating. Here’s what she had to say…
Recently, a client in Dunedin called in a bathroom extraction expert. She was sick of everything steaming up and needing the large bay window always open to dry the space out. During that conversation, she also realised she was sick of stepping into the spa bath to open the window, the shower mixer was always on the blink and….. from there the list grew. We are now remodelling the bathroom to modernise and create an easier functioning space for everyone to enjoy. Quite often then the solution can begin with a niggly problem, which begs the question…

When is a good time to start thinking about design?

The COVID-19 crisis has meant that many of us have been spending more time at home. While we’re spending this time in our home, we might be looking at and seeing our homes in a different way. From the small to the big. This time may be a catalyst for change in your home and a good time to think about design.
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With my Dunedin client, the problem wasn’t a big one, however after a conversation the solution was one that would create change in her environment in both a functional and aesthetic way.
This is something I come across regularly – interior design can solve one or many aspects for the home. The positive change good design creates allows people to have a renewed sense of love for their homes. There’s a psychology embedded in change that can be both good and bad. The positive side is one of fulfilment, satisfaction, and control; and at this particular time being able to gain some control in our own sphere has got to be a good thing.

So what is the catalyst for change in your home?

It can be any number of things, big or small. The oven breaks down, the fridge isn’t big enough, the old stainless-steel based shower with acrylic walls is looking tired (and mouldy), there’s not enough wardrobe space, the kids have moved out of their bedrooms, the beige/cream/white walls are too much, the curtains are starting to look tired, our blended family needs more seating space for family movie night, and/or we’re putting in french doors and building a new deck. Not to mention, the house is too small for our growing family, we want to build our forever home, or downsizing is a real option.

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Or it could be the 7-year itch. The laws of nature follow a 7yr cycle rule; every 7yrs there is renewal. In our home and living environment this can be anywhere between 7-10yrs. It is around this time that we often feel the need for some updating – redecorating, renovating, or building.  

What does interior design mean for any of the examples above?

Interior design is made up of two parts; the structure of a space, and the products that go into the space. As a learnt discipline, these are the principles and elements of interior design. The structure is made up of the architecture (walls, doors and windows), the layout of kitchens/bathrooms/laundries, and how the people in the spaces move around. Products are the colours, textures, materials and even lighting that go into the spaces that make it home for you. Interior design can simply mean bringing about change with a product or two, or remodelling and/or renovating a kitchen or bathroom, or lastly working alongside your architect or architectural designer and builder to create a brand new home. Creating a trusted team at the beginning of a project is paramount for a cohesive and smooth design journey.

“For any number of property choices, the journey of design and discovery should be shared with the people you trust, who will help interpret your desires.”

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So why is now a good time to start thinking about design?

As a country, and world, we are going through a big change in the way we live, interact with each other, travel, and view our homes/community. A lot of this is out of our control, so as part of positive psychology theory we can gain satisfaction around that which we can control. Be it a new sofa with cushions, a new rug, some colour on the walls, or a remodelled kitchen or bathroom, we’ve had this time at home to consider how we want to live and how we want our homes to reflect our stories, personalities, and our past, present and future.

When is the time to engage in a conversation with an interior designer?  

Right at the start of your project. For my Dunedin client, having had the conversation with a designer at the outset has meant the project will create a space everyone will enjoy, without the need to step in the bath to open the window.

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Anna is the creative force behind Anna Margaret Interiors and has a passion to create calm, beautiful and serene spaces to please the senses.