We all reside in houses of one kind or another. When furnished, whether well done or not, they constitute the environment in which we spend the great part of our lives. These environments influence us continually and profoundly.
To the degree that your home is beautiful and comfortable, affects us favorably and provides a wonderful haven for recuperation of mind and body, as well as facilitating a richer and more satisfying life. To the degree that it is uncomfortable and lacking in beauty, it provides the exact opposite, to a potentially devastating degree.
As you can see, a properly furnished home is a very important matter. It affects your life, as well as your attitude and ambitions. Your home should be an environment that is as supportive of your life as possible. Therefore, knowledge of how to furnish a house properly is also very important.
Beauty and comfort in a home does not result from chance or happy accident. They result from the proper application of a reasoned process. Two quotes on the back of my business card illustrate this perfectly. They are foundations of my business philosophy. Firstly, “Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.” Secondly, “When you love and skill work together; expect a masterpiece.”
Transforming an empty house into a place of beauty and comfort, is no less a creative work than transforming a blank canvas into a picture, or carving a block of stone into a beautiful sculpture. The major distinction between a painting or sculpture, and a house, is that you are looking at the artwork, whereas in the home you are not only looking at the interiors, but also enveloped in them. Therefore, interior design and decoration is also an art of selection and arrangement in a three-dimensional environment. This will require knowledge, appreciation, discrimination, and good judgment. Since interior design is a part of architecture, like a hand and glove, it differs from painting and sculpture in that it has a very practical aim. Your home must not only look good, but function well, to be supportive of your lifestyle
When you set out to furnish your home, you face a threefold problem.
- You must select and arrange items that suit the age, sex and temperament of the individuals; whether one or many, as well as meet their needs, express their tastes and aspirations, as well as fit the budget.
- You must see to it that the furniture and accessories selected and arranged; suit the home in terms of scale, proportion, coloring, and style; whether it is eclectic, transitional, traditional, or contemporary.
- Finally, you must see to it that these things are not only suitable, but also good-looking and aesthetically pleasing. In addition, they must all combine to form a harmonious and beautiful whole.
In other words, the treatment of your house and each room in your house, involves the interplay of three factors, which we will differentiate as the personal, the architectural, and the aesthetic. No decorative problem, however simple or complex; can be solved correctly and appropriately unless each of these factors is properly considered and given its due importance in order to achieve the best result.
Even though the personal factor is of extreme importance, the architectural factor is one of the first things taken into account. Since the size and other physical characteristics of the rooms will determine what goes in them.
The personal factor is critical from the point that houses are for people, and a house exists to make adequate provision for the satisfaction, needs, and preferences of the individuals that will inhabit it. The prior statement is simple common sense; yet professionals, as well as nonprofessionals ignore it frequently. Many look at it as “decorating” without due consideration for personal aspects relative to the real needs and preferences of the occupants.
This is not about fads or the newest craze! You must never forget, that if you choose to disregard the personal factor, or make it of subordinate importance, you will pay the price in loss of comfort and beauty. If your main concern is to comply with the newest fad or craze of the hour, you may experience an hour’s satisfaction; but you will most assuredly fail in achieving any dignity and individuality or the fine flavor of distinction found only in homes whose decoration and design are established on the studied needs and tastes of the occupants.
As far as the aesthetic factor is concerned; making the furnishings fit the house is also of great importance as well as making them fit the people who live there. A properly furnished home meets all the real needs, both practical and aesthetic, of all the occupants, and relates them to the architectural factors as well. This paves the way for a pleasing and harmonious composition that is unique and personal.
Briefly, here is what you need to consider. Imagine three intersecting circles. Circles A, B, and C. Circle A represents the total number of things available, without reference to their suitability, and are intrinsically good-looking, or pleasing in an aesthetic way. Circle B represents the total number of items that would satisfy your personal requirements. Circle C is the total number of elements that would satisfy the architectural requirements. The small area where all three circles intersect is the “sweet spot” which we will label as D. This is the total amount of items and elements that are capable of satisfying all the conditions; that being personal, aesthetic, and architectural. The remaining, are the choices that you are limited to, in order to create the most holistic design possible. This will eliminate all the “fluff” and potential errors and mistakes that can ruin a potentially wonderful result that can greatly enrich your life.