Great Interior Design Results From Great Ideas
Function, form, purpose and vision are all integral factors in great interior design. As is when renovating or updating an existing space, treading lightly with respect to the past, present and future.
I’ve always been a fan of great retail and store design that, when done well really exemplifies the above. Take Melbourne based, now global brand, Aesop, who retail their skin, hair and bodycare ranges from what I think are some of the most striking and intriguing stores.
Aesop’s store in Melbourne Emporium is certainly not your average shopping experience, and one designed to reflect not
only the values of the brand, but provided a sophisticated and immersive experience for shoppers. And it works.
Slightly closer to home, and perhaps a bit more down to earth, I am amazed by the way Melbourne’s café scene has changed over the last few years, particularly with regard to interior design. A very close to home example is the recently opened Alfa Bakery in Seddon.
Unlike its more traditional sibling in Yarraville, the Seddon Alfa Bakery features minimalist post-industrial design, in many ways reflective of the neighbourhood’s history. In a first for Alfa, table service was also introduced, with the design of the interior planned to facilitate this. The overall impression is one of space and calm, with a fantastic view into a highly modern looking bakery and kitchen. It really is about as far as you can get from the traditional idea of an inner suburban bakery and café. And the coffee’s great!
So if you are planning a renovation at home, how can you translate some of these design lessons to your own project?
Take your typical kitchen renovation. While a lot of the focus with these can be on work surfaces and the fixtures and fittings, with a bit of thought and planning a good kitchen renovation can be turned into a great one.
Start with looking at function, form and purpose. Plan your storage accordingly. You’ll want pots, pans and cooking implements near your oven, plates, crockery and cutlery nearer the table. The idea here is that you minimise the amount of moving around or additional trips from one end of the kitchen to the other you need to do.
Once you have the basic plan in your mind, you can then start looking at the vision – how you want your kitchen to look and feel. Too many home kitchen renovations start here, simply updating what is existing, without giving too much thought to how the way the kitchen works for the homeowner can be improved.
Another bugbear of mine is the plethora of (primarily) white minimalist style kitchens I see in many modern houses. While their clean lines might look great in a show home, they are invariably pretty impractical in everyday use and certainly don’t, in my book, constitute great interior design. And its been done so often that it has become rather boring.
A kitchen should be at the heart of a house, so perhaps a better start point is that the kitchen reflect some of the design values and cues from the rest of the house. Although in a retail setting, this is certainly the approach the architect and designer took with Seddon’s Alfa Bakehouse, and it works beautifully.
What do you think constitutes great interior design? Let us know in the comments section below.
All the best, Martin
Categories: Home Repairs and Maintenance