When we start to design our living spaces, the best way to look for ideas and to get inspiration is to run through images of actual rooms. By doing so, we are able to appreciate the different styles, concepts and techniques that have gone into creating such spaces. But do we know what specifically we are looking for? Inside every home illustration, there is a wealth of knowledge to look out for, and here are some tips to use the next time you go hunting for ideas.
Colours play a vital role in how a room is set up. Always take note that there are 3 types of primary light sources – direct sunlight, reflected light and artificial light. How light reflects around the room will affect the overall colour ambiance and general atmosphere.
In this example, there are a few key elements to look out for. The first thing that captures the eye is how the purple furniture set is set onto a timber finished floor with a stone-cladded wallpaper finish. Through the contrast of colours, the purple tone forces the furniture set to dominate the entire room, yet is toned in a manner where it doesn’t overwhelm the room. The next element to look out for is the reflection of light, which in this case is seen through the semi-reflective surface of the ceiling, which helps to capture small essences of the purple tone, thereby creating a soft ceiling finish rather than a white-washed ceiling that may otherwise contrast with the settee set.
USE THE SKY AS PART OF THE DESIGN PALETTE
Not everyone is blessed with an ocean or valley view, which you see in many design illustrations; look around your home and you will find that the greatest view will be the sky. So think of ways of how to incorporate this landscape feature as part of your home. For example with this kitchen, the skylight is shaped as a fan to mimic the kitchen layout, thereby creating a visual central point that blends into the space perfectly. Being the central highlight, the constant movement of the sky from dusk through dawn will create amazing lighting variations, thereby changing the atmosphere of the space throughout the day.
In areas void of any external landscaping, the easiest way to create a view is to install an internal courtyard. Doing so allows the surrounding rooms to focus onto this central feature piece, which will not just pull all the spaces together but will also help to soften the overall environment. In this example, the living space is set on a modern white concept which without any colour would otherwise make the room feel too clinical or yang. By introducing a setting for plants and water, it helps to create an internal backdrop to the space to balance out the uniformity of the open space plan.
The other key design element to take note of is the treatment of the overall depth to the space. With an open plan concept, it is important to treat the space in such a way that you get the overall sense of space without the feeling of living in a single big hall. The central landscape in effect acts as a buffer between the main living room and the study on the other side. The use of glass screens meanwhile allows the rooms to connect with each other, yet maintain a sense of privacy, giving the user the illusion of depth without compromising on the quality of each separate space.
The final design element to look out for when sifting through for ideas is the concept of planes. Look at a space in its raw value and identify what makes the space unique and interesting. In this image, the use of the Architecture plays a vital role in setting up the overall mood of the room. First, horizontal planes between the concrete roof and timber flooring help define the horizontal surfaces, but it is done in a manner whereby it helps to frame the garden beyond as if viewing it through a picture window. The next design element are the raw concrete walls, which extend outwards from the living space towards the garden, thereby giving a vertical anchor that pulls the user outwards as if signifying there is more beyond the confines of the covered area.
The next time you are looking for ideas, be sure to look deeper into the Design Concept and understand what makes the space unique and how you may incorporate those ideas into your home.
ILLUSIONS OF THE MIND
The next design technique to incorporate is to create illusions in the mind. While we may not notice it in the beginning, we will ultimately feel its effect in the end and start to question how it all works. For example, this dining room scenario is set with an open view to the exterior. What is interesting as a design note is how it all comes together? While we may at first be taken aback by the sprawling view of the landscape, the key element to look at is how are we able to do so as if the structure is separate from everything else. First, the use of a thin window frame profile helps to minimize the physical barrier between the inside and the outside. But the next element that starts to make the mind wonder is how the roof is held up, as we know the thin window frames will hardly have the strength to hold up the concrete roof.
So by playing with different materials and structural elements, we are able to generate illusions that add a bit of spice to create a unique corner for the home.
In this example here, the effect is again translated through the corner glass sliding door and the feature wall at the end. By having the opening at the corner, it helps to highlight the floating ceiling, but the effect is amplified further through the wall at the end, which stops short of the ceiling, thereby teasing the user further with this “floating” effect.
You can see then that through these architectural design techniques, we are able to create uniqueness to the space that will leave an impression… and such is the power of Architecture.