Web & Student Questions


Function-Driven Interior Design


Lesson Info

Web & Student Questions

Saraya again from arkansas she's, saying she has a gorgeous new deaths that she made from an antique table base in a glass top that she wants to place in the middle of her office. But the functional design challenge is how do I hide all those chords on the monitor and the computer, etcetera? Well, for those spaces, I would actually put a work station in the center, but then against the wall, put a cretins are a built in, and so a lot of times I would put all the functional pieces against the wall and like a cabinet, um, and still allow youto have the really pretty desk in the center of the room, he could work with your laptop, which doesn't always have to be plugged into all the court. So depends on how much you have to really, you know, make happen in that space, and if she has the luxury of doing so, but but it is really, really difficult tohave a solution unless you're able to create a custom piece that has a solid base, a lot of times will run all the chords through the table itsel...

f, so we'll make holes into the legs of the tables and have cord control happening all the way. In the base of the piece of furniture, but you have to really kind of think of that before you make the piece, and it sounds like maybe she's already created that piece that she has said, I'm like it was tricky with glasses. I have glasses of table, I moved, I'm a missing person, but I love glasses sort of makes you want to be cleaner. I've done what you suggested, and I feel like I got that idea from your first course is toby, because you were showing various like centerpieces and then storage to the side or story it against a wall or something, do you? You know, if you want glass, you gotta compromise of it. It's tricky with gloss. Oh, unless you can somehow keep it. Some people like it with kids because I can just spray it, man and wife it down, and then other people, it just drives them crazy, you know, that brings up a really great point two, because in this entire conversation, um, it's important to think about the brill personality of the people using this space, and so I deal with some clients that air really relaxed, and it doesn't bother them if things aren't perfect and it's okay for things to have aging and patina, and where and that just make them have character, and then I have other clients who that's really frustrates them, and they want things in mint condition all the time, and they want everything in its place, and they want nothing to have a scratch or amar any kind of, you know, clutter at all. And so you really have to think about the personality of the indies there, and are they a person who really wants things like j k o and I like things really tidy? Are they person, his more relax, and there style is going to be more collected, and they're more okay with having stacks of books around the room and other things because all that so that whole style personality not just the style piece we learned in the last course, but the clinton, but the personality type of the person, if they're really struck shirt or if they're really laid back that's all going to come into play with how you make a place function for you as well. So it's, good to know. Uh, if you go to the key functional rooms of a house, could you walk us through? Say, the main functional problems you find in, say, say kitchen like the wind like over and over again, even depending on the personality, the people, whatever over and over again, your key functional issues in kitchen kitchen for most people it's storage either not having enough storage or having too many cabinet cabinets that sire glass fronts, and they're not holding all of their clutter ah, lot of times things just not working for them in the way they work in the space, so, you know, maybe not having drawers for pots and pans that actually you're tall enough for them or the plate doesn't fit into the kitchen cabinet problem, really, because it hasn't, you know, the cabinets, maybe you're older and they haven't been updated to really fit the things that they're using in a space. We're going to take a look later today in the last session, we're gonna look at some of the before pictures, which are actually still the before I'm living in the before of my current house, and the kitchen is one of the most dysfunctional spices in this whole place, and that is a really situation where our plates won't fit into the cabinets because they were built in the sixties and again when we talk about how things have evolved the size of dish. Chas and platters are much larger than they used to be, whether it's a good thing or bad thing it's probably not so good because it means our portion sizes air really large, too, but just to fit my dishes and my serving pieces and pots and pans into the cabinets is not a possibility I had with my rental, and I actually ended up going and getting an old plate rack ghazali, because I'm because when the plates of big like that and you're in a rental, it could be really hot. I mean, unless you have a modern kitchen in the rent, I have a very old jackie rental, you know? Sometimes you have to just find totally other solutions. A plane wreck was good, and we're gonna look at kitchens specifically and one of our sections and see about how how far really, you want things to be from one another, ideally to make them work together to work properly. So you're not running all over the kitchen, wearing yourself out, going to get something like being able to place things near where you're going to really use them. Ah is important, and I had another thought, and it just left me on my kitchen in particular, it'll come back to me in a moment I'm just moved a couple of weeks ago, and I've downsized usually this time because they really didn't need all of the space, but I'm already regretting because the kitchen is considerably smaller and it's exactly that issue for how do you fit the plates into scab cabinetry that really wasn't designed for sort of not, you know what we have in our current modern design? So after this course, you're going to start going to looking for houses and you're going to take a great big bag and you have a stock pot on a plate and they're right, you're going over the numbers and make sure that it fits in there, and I'm sorry, I can't I can't read this house because my plate doesn't not sit in the kitchen. I don't got it. I moved everything in on I thought, great, I got all the plates in here and the pots and pans in here, and then I realized I'd left no room for food. Yes, well, you know, that is one of the big honestly, the pantry is a huge problem with kitchens, and a lot of times people don't have, like right now, I'm also walking into this very bizarre, almost in like, mud room, very dysfunctional. Space around the corner of the kitchen to store our food so I get a day's work out every single day in my own home just walking back and forth it's also another you know a piece of evidence that living in a house first before you renovate it is not a bad thing and why a lot of times I say that the new construction projects aren't as successful sometimes is the remodeling projects because I know exactly I'm living in there long enough to know that a lot of things don't work for me and how do you think you're gonna live in a space and how you really live in a spice aren't always no one in the same like you think oh well hang out in here all the time and we never go in that room and you know or you think oh this will be our most favorite spot and you know it's really not something else becomes the place that you're using all the time so it's really good to really settle in first and see how you live in a space before you go spend a lot of time I don't know what I was going to say sally the other thing that you really can increase the function of of kitchens a lot with store bought um gadgets and risers and things from liken organization store and a lot of times we move into kitchens that especially an older homes older projects that don't have adjustable shelving, and so maybe you stack us back a plates, but there's all this extra space in the top of it and there's so many great little gadgets like risers and things that really can help you maximize the the use of your kitchen. In my last time, I think I've spent about a thousand dollars, which is not a small amount of money, but buying organizer's in drawer inserts, risers all the different things for my kitchen, and I lived in that home for almost eight years, and it made it's so functional for me, so the return on that investment was huge compared to some of the things we would like to spend a thousand dollars on that might be really pretty, but it doesn't make it work for so that was a huge, huge return on investment for me and something to think about. I had not just going to say, you know, the last time toby was here, we talked about the fact that kitchens and bathrooms seemed to be the two areas of our home that we actually tend to renovate mohr on dh focus on because it's that's really the function of our home, if because that's, where, you know we do most of our living. In a way and you know that space is very important, you see recurring challenges when you're dealing with bathrooms as well things that keep coming up I mean, do you think it's still it's the storage? And so we've looked at different ways to add storage a lot of times now I'm creating bathroom counter bathroom cabinetry that would have an upper cabinet or even what I would call like a tower cabinet in the center that all of the gadgets and things can go into that there's outlets in the back of it. So honestly, like we were saying the hairdryer, the the carly and and everything khun stay plugged in either within the drawer, in a cabinet we put outlets inside and all the clutter khun stay in there a lot of times we'll talk about containers and stuff later even posted on my weblog today, which people could go out to on my website? A little video about solutions but using baskets a lot of time so some must at the time, just two cabinet alone doesn't keep your your stuff organized you have to put something inside the cabinet so either pull out drawers or baskets or other containers inside the cabinet so it's not enough just to have a cabinet right or a drawer because inside those then everything's just mass chaos to and we're just going mad yeah susan's inside cabinets especially I have that in my bathroom cabinet for all the cough syrup medicine it's great and I do the same with baskets so I had this in my last time I had this what I would call like a tower tall cabinet in the centre between the two things and baskets inside and so all the medicines in the medicine cabinet basically was a basket on the top shelf and I would pull it down and knew everything was in there and then you know toiletries in the second shelf in the basket and we knew where everything wass and it just makes it so much more functional and a lot of times you are dealing with the need to use taller cabinets for storage that you can't really see it's not that visible so putting something inside of you that you can then bring down to your level and use is great any hand of organizing inside of drawers I love drawers there really the functional but a lot of times they just get out of control inside so using all of these different gadgets within our space in our cabinetry and yours is great now any challenges with the spaces that toby's been saying is that you're actually dealing with projects right now I mean at least your c just move fairly recently the kitchen in the bathroom issues for you are you really just dealing with the whole space um, the kitchen was okay, except that it is open and has a counter that could be a bar on dh, so but I don't want teo only have a bar for dining, but I don't want to have bar stools and dining. So how do I accommodate accommodate that? The bathroom had no medicine cabinet and only had drawers s o I have installed a couple of things, and just like you were saying, toby, the modular approach tio have a basket that has my hair products that I used once a day and then put back away. Um so there's that when, um, not the kitchen or bathroom, but something I thought of that a lot of people might be experiencing is what to do with the television? Yeah, not in the bath, not in the bathroom, but but just how teo either acknowledge that you use it and have it out or hide it, have it not be I'm dealing with having I watched television, but I don't I don't want an altar to the television, I don't want to look like it's on nothing throw in there, we're on dso howto have it be part of the space, but it's not the prettiest thing in the world, so just butt. Accessible I don't always want to open a cabinet every day to look at it when I want to watch it and I think that's probably something that a lot of people deal with agree and we're going to address the television in this this weekend and we're going to talk about some other really cool things that are very tech savvy that are coming onto the market, which you're going to probably love if you don't like just seeing the tv all the time really cool austrians in the way that some of this technology is going but you know, I agree with you and so many of us watched tv all the time when we moved into that my latest house I think we have, like six houses and I mean sixty days in the last house and that just wasn't enough for my husband and the other two people that live in the household, so he decided to buy a few more I'm thinking, how can three people really need, like eight televisions? But you know, they were on sale on black friday for five hundred dollars, so how could you pass that up for a fifty five incher? You know, so but it is something to deal with and I'm like you I don't want a tv necessarily in every room, but you're not it's just the days of putting the tv in the armoire really kind of gone and so have it you make it a part of your daily life and but not make it so obtrusive either well we'll definitely talk about that but I think there will be lots of people that have that same question and there's it's funny I did a recent video about that on my block to because there's two schools of thought on that and they're of the people who still want to hide the television and then there are the people who want to make it front and center and then most of us fall somewhere in between that s so well what kind of get a feel for how many of us fall on the side of hiding the tv or not when we get to that segments and just one more thing that's coming to mind is you know, being honest I'm having to be honest with myself about how I use things and how I use the space and not be so aspirational that I'm designing for someone that's not really who I am but I think that's part of the conversation is just being being honest with yourself and not not designing for something you're it's good toe have gold right prove and all that but not just be honest through this whole process and we were talking about that in both of the last two courses I thought that just a whole exercise in self awareness and sometimes that can be scary at first and sometimes it also you see things that maybe you aren't who you thought you wanted to be but it's really people will go out of their way to be uncomfortable and have things be dysfunctional because they think it ought to be another way. So that's really kind of what I was saying earlier is I really want everyone hopefully in this course to start embracing how they really live and making their life simpler because of the way they design the space, not the office it um you know, that's kind of the idea of, you know, my mother would die if I didn't have a dining room or something because she loved to entertain so we're gonna have, you know, twenty five percent of our house with this table that in a room that no one ever goes in or finding clever ways, which we're going to show you some of how to combine some activities to make you have be ableto have both, and some people just don't even need needed something like the old dining room at all, so it just depends on how you lived, so we'll talk a lot about that, anything else coming to mine for any of you that you want to address over the next two days so that I can keep it top of mind as we start, um I actually had a really fun project in mind uh what like I mentioned earlier is working on the greenroom space in our studio just because there are the hosts and thie instructors that share this one tiny space and we have luggage and all that kind of stuff I want to make it uh more functional for a variety of uses. And so so what all over the east is that people get their makeup done in there it's like addressing space it's a lounge it's storage agreed it's all those things in one and especially when you have a you know, friends or family of the instructor like I know your husband and your daughter in town you know I'd love for them to be able to sit and watch you are monitors and see what you're doing here but then it's also a space that other people share so give them kind of like a little little nook or whatnot yes, so you're gonna have all kinds of challenges there and you can think about the light there needs to be three or four different kinds of lighting, makeup, lighting, ambient lining for just relaxing I'm watching tv and all kinds of okay we'll keep that maybe that'll be one of our design challenges this week that we sketch out anything else condom onto recently? Well, I am thinking now about my master bed dream we have pretty big master bedroom and there's a corner where there's I have, like, a dressing table in a mirror jewelry box, that sort of thing, but then there's another wall, and I'm just not quite sure what to do with that corner way already have a chair and an ottoman. The bed, of course, nightstands. I'm just not quite sure I'll take a picture, okay, get and cheryl and I think that's a great point, because sometimes people start just thinking of what else could I put here? Like you think, what else could I put here? As opposed to thinking, what could we do to make this a space that we would really use? And so a lot of times and city going well, I have a chair in a chase. What else is there in the realm of furniture? You might, you know, think what other activity are we constantly needing a space for that we don't have a place for? And could we actually create that car of that out here? Would it make sense in this room? So maybe we'll just reverse engineer your thinking a little bit, because a lot of times people do just go straight to oh, it's, a better room, I need a bed, and I needed tonight stands and I need a couple of chairs as opposed to going we could have a very unique, you know, combination of activities happening here. I often these an example when I'm teaching other classes of mine that I had a client one time I'm doing a second home for this client in a condo, and he she wanted to feel like a spa and he wanted it to be a library, so we created what we call small library and we were joking that this is going to be the latest trend it's really going to catch on, but it was this idea of making a really relaxing place cool colors made her feel like she was at a spa getaway, but we used really dark wood shelving so israel sleek and urban looking to put all of the books and things that he wanted in the space lots of beautiful lighting and like a shining chrome finish. So we really combined we took two two thoughts one that's an activity really library reading space and then one that's more of a feeling or a mood or an aesthetic, and we combine those in a way that you wouldn't normally think of so certainly something we can do in a space like a better and we can think, how could this be used? How would we use this for me? I also often confess although I hate to confess this that I pretty much live my entire life in my bedroom, I travel a lot and when I come home it's the place that's most comfortable for me so it's where I work on my laptop even though they say you shouldn't work and sleep in the same space is it's where I hang out with my daughter and we watch movies it's where asleep so it's really kind of the hub for me of my entire house so when you're spending almost all your time in one space it's really important to think about a lot of different activity so I have lots of places I could go in my house but this is the place where I feel most at home so thinking how to accommodate all those things in one area um so you can start thinking about that for your space to how you would live there now at least you're living in a loft did you say a loft space or open spaces open space? Yeah, I have a challenge too. And if that pure design interiors is dealing with that right now they're saying they have a client that wants to knock out all of their interior walls to make one open space for everything for your dining kitchen living I don't think that's a terribly good idea because I've dealt with noise if you dealt with noise as well I mean that's something you seem and also I always felt that I never had any escape that's this is yeah there's there's your everywhere all that they're the same place and how do I mean maybe I don't know have a swivel chair so you can heist one direction or another, but, um but it's it's I I don't deal with noise, but I live by myself so there's this whole other section in this conversation online also about the smell from the kitchen and the smell and if you don't have fantastic ventilation, how kitchen becomes the smell of the house, which my oh my don't work well and I think it became trendy at least in america a couple of years ago to really create open space is because someone saw one you know that a friend had or someone had taken some walls and it really worked in this instance, so they thought I'll go home and take all the walls out of my house too, and then it wasn't such a good idea for a number of these reasons like we're talking about and there wasn't any separation there wasn't a place to put any furniture and just it doesn't work in the same way that people think it might it's not as glamorous is it seems like it's going to be to have all these activities combined, so thinking and maybe just widening sindoor openings and opening space is up to one another, a little bit more in the traffic flow, but not removing all the walls. It's probably a good, happy medium for some of the things they're trying to achieve, creating an open space.

Class Description

Brought to you by House Beautiful Magazine, award-winning interior designer Tobi Fairley returns to CreativeLive for her third workshop on creating a functional, beautiful space for the way you really live.

Tobi will show you how to merge style with function. Tobi will teach you how to make use of every square foot of your space — whether that space is large and spacious or small and compact.

You'll learn about spatial planning, including how to read and use floor plans, as well as how to maximize small spaces and make the most out of large rooms (without blowing your budget on more furniture). Whether you're redesigning your home office space or studio apartment, Tobi will give you the tools you need to make your space function perfectly just for you.