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A Well Designed Room – what to look for

  Hello design lovers,

As most of you have discovered I’m passionate about interior design, it’s my first and foremost  creative outlet . The interplay of design elements that form a well designed room never cease to amaze me – the moment it all comes together is  truly rewarding. With that in mind, what ARE the tell-tale signs of a well designed room? What should you be looking for to decide this? The 3 guidelines I consider are mood, harmony and function.

Let me ask you this. How would you consider YOUR perfect living room to FEEL to you? It’s a question that takes a little thought I know, there’s a lot to consider. We’re all drawn to our surroundings when they complement how we want to feel hence the feel of each persons perfect living room is quite individual. Just as each one of us has our own unique style a well designed room has too, we refer to this as a mood. In contrast to us however, for the most part a rooms style/mood remains fixed. This is the exact reason we can change our feelings after entering a well designed room, because it has a well distinguished mood – something very important in it’s design. For instance would a  formal, city chic, shabby chic, casual or energetic mood be best for your living room?  What style will suit how you want to feel in this room for most of it’s uses.  Deciding on your rooms mood (style or feel), before you start decorating is good practice, it’s the base of your project. If it feels right you’ll enjoy being in it.

Along with mood a good design needs harmony! This means that all the items in your room are harmonious with each other. Harmony is achieved by looking at design elements like color, scale and quality. If these are in sync our room comes together better. For example. You’ve spent a good amount of cash on a high quality sofa, it’s delivered and installed and all you need to do now is add some gorgeous accent cushions. Do you race out to the local department store to jazz up your new asset? If you do make sure to examine how the quality of your new $10 cushion compares to that of your sofa. If it’s not a match you’re not creating the most harmonious room in terms of quality. I don’t mean you can’t find lovely designed cushions or cushions of the same quality as your new sofa for low prices, you can – we all LOVE A BARGAIN especially me but be cautious that your harmony doesn’t suffer by adding cheap quality if you haven’t gone this way in the rest of your room. It’s better to wait till you can buy the right accessories to fit. Harmony is key. Keep searching – it’s part of the fun and if you get tired give it a break till you’re ready to go again.

Lastly well designed rooms are functional. For instance there’s no use having something beautiful and not being able to use it properly for fear of spoiling or breaking it. If you have a family with kids, even grandkids – you know what that feels like. I certainly do. My poor boys had the nick name of the “Breaker Brothers” when they were young, luckily only given jokingly by Nanna, but they deserved it, they broke things when they visited, it happened at my house too. I’m breathing out now that they’ve grown out of it!!!  That aside,  this kind of “life getting in the way” design priority, doesn’t mean you have to always go without – just give serious thought to your options putting function high on your list of importance. Making better functioning choices may mean you’re actually  going WITH – not without. If your room can’t be used the way it should for it’s realistic function – not idealistic function – then it isn’t well designed. You won’t get the enjoyment out of it that you really should and as a result it isn’t worth the sacrifice. A well-functioning room will lend itself to comfortable, more joyous living – we all want that.

With these things in mind, be sure to have fun with your next room design project  remembering mood, harmony and function as the three guidelines that will help you achieve good design.

I hope you enjoyed reading these tips, here’s some of my personal picks for a well designed living room suited to my family. Enjoy searching the net to find inspiration from beautiful rooms, you never know where it will lead you.

Well Designed Room
Love the casual mood of this but would need a subtly textured or patterned sofa for better function – I have 3 beautiful messy kids.

Well Designed Room
Love the light in this room, and the mood. Would need to have the sofa color more kid friendly for good function though.

Well Designed Room
Great functionality here with plenty or chair space for my large family to sit, love the casual mood and color scheme. Would add a TV above the fireplace mantle for better function, we watch TV in our living room.

Well Designed Room
This room is functional in terms of flooring, seating and table space. I’d need a lot more light in here but other than that the mood is lovely. It oozes harmony. Love the scale here.


Well Designed Room
Functional and harmonious but perhaps not as pretty as I’d like to see. Not sure the mood is right for my family room even though I like this a lot. I’d add an accent color perhaps and change the rug???


Well Designed Room
My favourite living room in terms of function, mood and harmony. Suits my family’s needs for a well designed room. Especially the seating and table space behind the sofas, the large amount of sofa space and the colors. Great scale here too.
Well Designed Room
Love it, there’s tonnes of table space and light coming in to the room. It has a casual dynamic mood – down to the REAL plant, unmatched cushions and shag pile floor rug. MINE!!!

There are so many beautiful things around I could have added plenty more…