Design. 4

So you have put up with our posts on Design 1, 2 & 3. Now let’s see some examples.

Often a simple, well executed design move can bring about a remarkable transformation. An example of this idea can be seen in a room from the 2012 ASID Showcase House located near Lake of the Isles. The home owner asked for a room dedicated to his daily practice of meditation. We outlined the requirements and defining factors of the project as:

How might we create a Meditation space that is quiet, with tranquil lighting both day and night?


Some major issues that needed to be addressed were the direct Southern light and the possibility of getting warm during summer months.

macro sunflower

The solution centered around a screen wall that was pierced with holes laid out in a Fibonacci pattern (a mathematical sequence found repeatedly in natural forms) to produce a meditative and defused pattern of light. The choice of this pattern as well as all the other textures and elements were carefully researched and selected. A perfect chair, some lighting selections and a low profile ceiling fan were added and the room became a gorgeous sanctuary for meditation.



Usually an environment and the experience in it is specific to the individual. Designers often draw upon broad commonly held culturally understood ideas combined with the specific desires and preferences of the individual user. This is most common in custom design items such as homes and custom furniture pieces. When you partner with an architect or interior designer to build or modify your home (or workplace) you have the opportunity to craft an environment that addresses the things that are most important to you.


The economics are also a critical item that cannot be left until the end. It must be incorporated into the design process and the criteria for success at the outset. Certain things that drive price can be dealt with in design such as complexity to build, material costs and any costs associated with operation and maintenance. By placing priorities where they are appropriate for the criteria of the project we often find the style and aesthetic of the design starts to take shape.


An easy example would be deciding to design a kitchen without any cabinet pulls. Immediately there are some things that are effected. Mostly what do the doors look like? Are they shaped in a way that the outside edge(s) are shaped to be grabbed? Are there shapes cut into the doors to allow you to open them? Are these modifications actually a cost savings? Can they be designed to make the doors more appealing than the common solution of screwing metal hardware onto the doors? How does this choice make it better? These are some of the questions that begin to take shape when you ask, “How might we save money on kitchen cabinet doors?”


Design impacts us throughout every moment of our daily lives. Designers spark ideas on how to innovate and make the world better. They observe the details, ask prying questions and notice how we navigate the built environment. It is an exciting and informative way to problem solve that most people find eye opening the first time they participate on a design team. By allowing yourself to see the possibilities and identify hidden opportunities you can really leverage the power of asking, “How might we…?”


There you have it…hopefully there were some nuggets of interest in these Design posts.

Cheers, your friends at Shelter.


To see this article (in its entirety) as it originally appeared on Lavender Magazine click HERE

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