Design 101: Listening to the language of your house

So how do you create a great design? There are many many rules of thumb and practical tips… and you can always pay lots of money to go and get a formal education to have all of the official answers for yourself… But maybe one of the most basic things that everyone should remember, and one of the most helpful, above {and before} everything else is to listen to the language of your house.

What does that even mean anyway…

A while back we helped a couple buy a mid 90’s frame house that was a contemporary style. Pretty clean lines, some interesting columns on the interior, pretty simple overall. Our client told me all about how she was going to redo the kitchen and have it be really rustic and dramatic, having lots of ornamentation and fancy chandeliers with lots of crystals etc.

… huh?!

That style wouldn’t work with that house. at. all. And this my dear friends is why it’s important to listen to the language of your house.

What she really needed was a beautiful vintage grey stone house or something along those lines. A style that would have been complementary to those design tastes so she could bring her vision to life and it would have looked amazing {and made sense!}.

When you’re designing any space, it’s important to balance the style and aesthetic of the interior with the architectural style of the exterior and existing space. The best designs are cohesive, balanced, and any differences in style complement each other instead of competing or clashing.

I have literally countless stories about people who buy a place and then make bad design decisions throughout. Not because the design or finishes they are implementing are necessarily bad in and of themselves, but because they aren’t complementary to the style of the house. Everything ends up just feeling disconnected and disjointed and nothing works or makes sense together.

When you are designing any space, but especially in a renovation when you are working with an existing building, it’s important to balance your personal style and vision with the language and style of the existing building, so that everything makes sense and works together.

The architecture of your house and the interior of the space should complement each other… and while you can definitely mix styles and time periods, not all styles work together in the same space. So whether you’re just buying furniture or getting ready to start on a renovation, listen to the language of your house so that things make sense.. and feel good to be in.

I love inspiration images for this very reason, they can help you get focused and stay on track when there are a million different beautiful options out there, and they are a great tool to see a finished style and get a better sense of whether that look will work with the style of the house you are getting ready to renovate.

Great design can really be transformative and impactful… and so can bad design, lol. What are your inspiration images for your dream house or next project? Notice what about them you love specifically, so when it comes time to bring that vision to life in, you’ll have clarity regarding exactly what you’re looking for!



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