Why Function in Design is Important


Function-Driven Interior Design


Lesson Info

Why Function in Design is Important

Jake, it really gave it a good description of who I am and and what I do I do have that business side of me as a cz wells the creative, as you all know and maybe that's why functioned driven interior design is my favorite part of design and I always say anybody could make a place beautiful a room beautiful but not everybody can make it place functional and if it doesn't work for you it really you know what's the kind of what's the point right because of things you know have clients and and people that read my block and other things always say, well, that looks really beautiful, but I hate to have to take fifteen pillows off, the better the sofa just to sit down on it, and I do need a place to put my glass down when I'm having something to drink and I'd love to be able to put my feet up instead of things just looking pretty all the time. So the perfect combination for me is beautiful and functional, but I always start with the function piece so that's really what we're going to do while...

we're here together for the next three days and I hope that this brings everything we've covered together we kind of started in a little bit of reverse order we started with the color course because I'm known for color on and then we moved into that what's your design personality, but in the design process for me, this function pieces always that very first part of the equation, right? You have to get it all but it's like putting a puzzle together, and you have to get your room right before you add all the other pretty things, so I'm gonna sit down and take it a little easy today, uh, and and sit down, but we're gonna go through some exciting things and see how we can bring a lot of function into our lives this week. And as they were mentioning, we're even gonna do all kinds of fun things like sketching and drawing and cool ipad app so there's, so much to deal with on, we're going to show you some clever ways of bringing solution see, I think before we even jump into the content, though, it's it's important to know, you know, a lot of people are gonna watch this class this week and find that they didn't even know they had a a problem with function on. And then when you stop and think about it, you really do, because we get in the habit of living in our spaces in a certain way and just you know, working around the fact that they don't really work for us instead of taking the time to go. How could I make this space really better for me? Right? Are some of us do this with other people in our house like it works for us, but we don't make sure that it works for our kids are our spouses or where they were so it's going to be fun to make things work for everybody? Why don't as we start getting into what function driven design is, why would don't each of you in the audience tell me? Maybe what your biggest function challenges in your home right now, teresa? Um, well, I guess one thing that's a challenge right now is my husband has in the corner of our family room, we have a lovely kitchen family room area. Everything about it is perfect, except that he has a saltwater fish tank centre on the corner. Wow, and the cabinet that he bought doesn't match the style of the rest of the room. And also he's added some things on now where we have tubes and and what not going out of the top of it, so I struggle with tryingto make that look good in that space because it bugs me because I'm in that room a lot so sometimes when people have things like this that innocence feel like and I sort of them then you try to decorate around them and then it just this is sort of like the putting lipstick on a pig thing right? So that really work yeah okay so we'll see if we can come up with some solutions for you this week um cash in my own home I really just have dogs so that's probably kind of nicely but I'd actually love to talk about function is a function driven design here at the studio because that beautiful green room is not as beautiful as I wish it was a fun project to tackle yeah and at home you're dealing with the durability of a lot of people have pits tons of people deal with hits and they're part of the family too so I have dogs at home to sew making your ah house functional and durable for for everybody in the house is important right and do you have a chance of challenging your home? Um I do it's a a new environment for me and it's an open floor plan where I'm trying to figure out the boundaries between to establish a dining room and then a living room and I can see everything from everywhere so I wanted to be cohesive it's more modern infrastructure than I think my taste is, and so making it me as well as working with the infrastructure and having somewhere to put everything because the clutter is visit you can't escape it, it's visible everything's visible from everywhere, so just having all of those three things work together and have the place be functional and beautiful and cohesive, we're going to touch on a lot of that the six we have an entire section that covers our that is greatly about organization, so we'll talk about curbing the clutter, and you're going to see some of the things I've done with projects for that very thing, and then it is really difficult when there aren't enough walls to anchor things on her when there's no separation of space, and it became really trendy over the last few years in some places to have these totally open plans are especially in cities and that loft kind of living. So so we can talk about how to define space as well and what might help you do that. So we'll have lots of solutions for you. I think this week okay, great. Thank you for giving us some things to think about as we move through the class well, first let's talk about what function driven design really is so function, you know, is really an activity or a purpose intended for a purpose or a person or thing so that thing that we're doing in our house those activities and then driven it's controlled are controlled by this activity so if its function driven if we know what the activity is that's what's driving how our house our route our space is going to really work and then of course function driven interior design in my terms are they just that that design has a purpose and for me it's what I call common sense solution so a lot of times people try to make things more difficult than they really should be and I always weren't things down to the simplest form if I can and teat loved to teach things that way too so people could say, oh, I could do that you know, I don't like to make interior design something that so beyond people's reach we want this to be accessible to everyone because we all have these kind of solutions and not everybody can hire designer all the time right s o we're going to give you those kind of common sense solutions this week as we work together so um not necessarily in this area but across the country before the economic downfall we were seeing projects getting bigger and bigger and bigger and especially where I live like in arkansas and in neighboring places like texas I mean we called them the mc mansions but huge projects and space and function really weren't an issue in a lot of a lot of times in these kinds of projects in fact people had to come up with reasons to go in some of these rooms and I'm known for talking my clients out of adding on to their home and really turning them even though it would have been more money in another project for me and really turning them back into the space that they haven't saying, how can we use these spaces in a more functional way to really work for you like you're not even going in this one room at all? It just holds the piano and it's basically a hallway for you and it could be an entire living space. So um so we were saying more of this at least in a lot of the different parts of the country, not necessarily in cities here now, of course this is the biltmore estate in asheville, north carolina, so it's really just tongue in cheek there, but we you do see, and they're even that articles written just lightly in the new york times about some of the projects like this in texas on what to do with them now so most of us are not dealing with that, but since the seance well in the fifties we were at nine hundred eighty three square feet on average for a home in the two thousand's, the average home was up to twenty, three hundred square feet. Um, so a big difference there, although some of you in city dwelling lost another apartments are still dealing with this small kind of space, right? Um, so before that downturn, before things, people really started getting in a little more conservative people were investing a lot more money in their interiors, and then things change, people started to prioritize in a different way, they had to a lot of times, and people were doing full, complete homes. I was doing huge projects all the time and interior design, which is really, really fun, but it's really not as interesting and challenging as actually taking a set of problems like people have now often and really making it work for them. I often tell clients that my happiest clients, we're really the ones that don't do nuke instruction, but that do remodeling projects because they know what doesn't work for them currently, and then we fix it. So there's nobody happier than a client who say has a huge saltwater aquarium in the corner and someone comes in and makes a solution that everyone's happy. I mean, you're you're so grateful for that change and for making it work for you, whereas if you're building these huge projects you don't even really know how you're gonna live in that space yet and so a lot of times you spend a lot of money and energy building a new house and they don't even work for you really um and so people weren't is concerned about how the space flowed they had so much space they were so concerned about how it was used and you know, they didn't really have to prioritize uh but then we hit this period of what we call it squirted a sort of like stop drop and roll it was the well, several things happen, right? We had the the economy changing, we also in the interior design industry had everything going to the internet for sale, so as designers we had consumersbuying product, we were buying product, everybody was beginning getting really confused about what to buy ah, and then as and then our projects were getting smaller, not budgets were getting smaller, so it became really, really, really important just a few years ago for this function piece too can't become front and center of the whole equation. And then recently we've learned that the average house side was size was really starting to shrink again, and I'm okay with that because I think that it's great that people have spaces that work for them but not so much space that there now we're gonna use, right? I would see people in the places where I live that would have humongous houses and not even furniture and half the room, because they were waiting for their budget to really allow them to furnish all the spaces, and I would rather see someone have a space that's really a fit for them on work for them, you know, just the right size it's kind of like the three bears, right? Listen, too big and too small, and this one is just right. So now I think people are starting to realize what's important to them, and over the next few days, we're going to see some really cool things and some cool ideas that are going to get you thinking out of the box with or as I said, getting rid of the whole box with regard to how you use your space, maybe turning, turning it upside down a little bit and making you think about things you haven't thought of because we're so accustomed to saying, we do what everybody else does. We have a dining room in the living room because we're supposed to instead of, is that what we need? So what are we going to do with our average twenty, one hundred square feet now? Well, the interesting thing is, there's an entire phenomenon now. Called the tiny house phenomenon that's a four hundred, square foot house, and they're really fun. And if he searching on the internet, you can see some of them. But, um, tiny little houses that air four hundred square feet are less and sixty five percent of these air owned by upper middle class. So it's not about budget, but more just about people living simpler lives, right? And sometimes that is the reason we want less stuff, because, it's, just you were talking about carving the clutter sometimes just having all these things that we're not using eyes really what weighs on us, right? And so just maybe getting rid of those and if you had only four hundred square feet are like you've done. You've had to downsize east, then it's, so it makes you get serious about what you really want and and what you should keep writing, how you should use your space. Any thoughts yet out on the chat room about any of these things is there. We do have an early night where is she? Lily boots was talking about her entryway lily boots, saying her entryway is in a nightmare because there always is, like a laundry it's, like a huge laundry part because his song ox and jackets and it turns into a huge politics is holding type to hear how you're going anywhere and that's, one of my favorite spaces to address the entry home where all that stuff comes out of your pockets and everybody's, backpacks and purses and shoes and that's exactly what I mean by rethinking and really planning for how your space works for you and not just feeling like you have to take the space as it is, but there's creative ways that you can change and adapt things to really work for you. Okay, you know, your interest ways is really the statement isn't. It was the first impression anybody has of your home, but it is the place that tends to get the most cluttered and where we sort of leaves. Yes, yes. R, for some people it's the back door, they come in the front from the back door. But yes, one or the other, like where you enter your spices, where everything literally unloads right out of everybody's way, everything pockets, purses, the dumping ground. It is, it is, but we're gonna. Let us know your design challenges as we go throughout the days where we definitely hear about those all that those spaces that you've had problems with customs is going to be working on all aspects of the house as well. And I forgot to say earlier, a big shout out to our chap moderator regina she's, working behind the scenes today, so welcome, regina. Thank you. Well, if anyone has a if anyone's part of the tiny house phenomenon having the chat room, we've lived for over half a mcmansion we've loved to hear that because both of those are things we're going to deal with. Well, as we're moving through this idea of how to use our space, we're going to take a little quiz because we want to know how we use our house differently than how we used to use their house. So take some time and if you want to jot it down or just kind of make a mental note about these and see how you really use your space because we're going to be using these things throughout the next three days and really working towards a solution for all of our home. So how many of you have adult children living at home with you, any of you well back and forth to call it s so not all the time. Okay, yes, that you definitely deal with some adults, other adult children living in the same yes, so one third of those who are eighteen to thirty one right now are living with their parents, and this has really changed over time. Isn't that interesting? You're like, whoa, that's a lot of that the while to go if there's still gonna be living here at age thirty one, right? But, you know, this is one of the trends we've seen in how people live, and so if you, you don't necessarily buy a house when you're thinking of raising a family and think your kids are going to be there till they're thirty one, right? And the things they needed when they were eight are far different than the things they need when they're thirty one. So this is one of the things that a lot of people are dealing with these days, how many of you have aging parents living on with any of you? If not, we certainly have might have that happening in the near future, and many, many people are dealing with this around the globe, so twenty five percent of those people who were fifty and older have elderly parents currently living with them, so that's a lot twenty five percent, so you really need an entire separate master suite right if that's the case and it really has to be somewhere that's easy to use easy to get to like on the first floor and we're gonna talk about all of these things but definitely a major concern for a lot of people particularly the population is aging but also in europe right now I know that huge problem of children never leaving home they're illustrated in their thirties there still living with their arrest what does it say after thirty one I think really used to be when you went to college that was it I mean they came back to visit that kind of a route but now they come back and they're living with their parents into the thirty that's right that's very of huge concern for many people how many of you work from home either part or all of the time so just in this room three out of five of you so that's a that's a big need for a lot of you so three point three million people consider their homes their primary workplace that's a lot that's a whole lot of people so three point three million houses have tto accommodate work and you know sleeping and all the other activities that have to go into a space maybe you have children under the age of twelve at home I do do you sally he d o r t just barely so twenty four million households have children under the age of twelve living in their home, so if you don't have an eighteen to thirty one year old living in your house, chances are you have a twelve year old or under, if you have children, or you might actually have both. And what about the people that have twelve year olds, thirty one year old and their parents living at home? Imagine what that would take. They might need one of those mini mansions, right? But you definitely have to get really creative with how you use your space. How many of you have pits? I know that at least one of us, so everyone in the room, every single person in this room, has pets. A sixty seven percent of all households in the u s have a pit. That number has tripled in the last twenty years, so again, and he kind of said that, like, I don't really have a challenge, but I do have pits, but that's a really, um, need for people, tohave things that air durable and functional, and I mean, if we ask questions again, it's, like how many pets will sleep in the bed with you? Yes, how many hits I get on the sofa, you know how many pits so most of us aren't just having our pets in a crate either you know they're like living in the house and on the furniture and we have to make sure that it really works for everyone so we're going to address that this week so why are all of these factors so important to this idea of function driven interior design? Well every one of these household changes that we've mentioned can impact the flow of your house or how it functions how you're able to move through the space and just think of your stress level depending on how these things work for you I think about the times I just moved into a new house recently well it's been six months but I've been busy teaching three creative life courses so I don't have time to decorate my own house but just thinking about how I don't have it all renovated yet and some mornings just finding the mate to a pair of shoes is really what sets my a day off in a very stressful state we need to be able to find our things you know curbed the clutter stay organized have rooms that bathroom countertops are really old it's like built in the sixties so they're really low bend over every day to brush my teeth when now were usedto countertop being a lot taller so there's so many things to think about that impact you and depending certainly if you're elderly that's even a bigger problem if your counters are too low or if things were to hire, you know, we're going to seal examples of a lot of these and just a little bit yes, questions because yasmin is asking the three point three million working at home. Is that a us statistic? Was that for the oh, whoa, I think it's a us think that was just in the u s so, yeah, it would even be hot much higher if you think about through the world, it would probably what triple r I would wait, maybe, you know, yeah, a studio disaster. Now, if it's not a disaster for you, they're saying their home is twenty, three hundred square feet. But if they spill into their studios basically hoping that during the course we're going to talk about how you sort of accommodate your workspace within your livings were definitely going to talk about your work space in your house, for sure. So s so what? What do all these statistics mean is they were just saying and asking online, they mean several things spaces and homes air used differently than they used to be used and probably used differently than they were used when the space was built, right? So things have changed a lot, we just think about technology alone. Uh, in the last three or four years compared to what it was before, things air rapidly changing with televisions and electronics, and we're gonna cover a lot of that fun stuff too, but but space is a rh used entirely differently than not very long ago. The aging population has very specific needs and that's only going to continue to get bigger. We know that the baby boomers are the big piece of our population certainly issue we looked at the statistics for the u s and what the aging population needs, and we're going to talk about this whole idea of aging in place because most people want to stay at home, right? Is the age, or we want that for our parents, we want that for ourselves, too, so it's something to even be thinking about. We're going to talk in the next segment, I think about how to plan for several life stages, depending on where you are and what kind of house you're in course, those with children and pets have very specific needs in the house, and they've changed rapidly to because what you need when your child is too and when they're twelve, when they're thirty one are all entirely different things, of course, and then working from home is no longer tran it's, a fact that most people are dealing with so it's certainly something that we have we're going to take a hard look at this while we're here together this week and see what we can do to help people really accommodate all of the things that come with work and working from home and just yesterday being cooped up in my hotel room for the entire day while I was sick but me think you know, a lot of times when people are working from home, they don't leave the house the entire day and sometimes just the way you function there and getting fresh air I mean, I was certainly start crazy by the end of the day yesterday and so I know that happens a lot with people working from him, so we're going to talk about how we can really make that work for them as well some of you whether you have any of these challenges specifically what melissa, you relatively moved quite recently about a year ago and it's just you and your husband is no, but you have a few of pets it's too crazy dog way on lisa, you were saying you've just moved to the city from a big space into a small space and theresa, you officer have ah young still kind of living at home and they're always living at home you got all that I remember on the last show you're saying you've had some challenges in dealing with her space as well as your own space within the house redoing her bedroom will now have to in college coming and going back and forth so it's just adjustment not just the space but the personalities and so if the spaces good makes everything else better now do your work from home as well as working outside of the home none of you have that challenge just occasionally so lisa obviously did you have to get we have a lot of things when you moved into a much smaller space I got rid of everything kind of taking a fresh start on and not moving furniture across the country that I wasn't married teo um and so it's the dual challenges of re discovering my aesthetic and finding pieces that work that I love and going from a larger space to a small space and one that's open. So did you sell what you had said that you would have a little fund to buy? What you what you're ready for next? Is that how you ran the thing I did? I saw him I sold and then donated or consigned I took many different avenues tio liberate myself of my belongings on dh so I do have a little fund but certainly some of the pieces I'm grown up now so I want the pieces to be um something that will come with me not necessarily totally specific to the new space, but working within the new space. So I have a plethora of design challenges. Well, thank you for sharing those and and melissa, you were saying earlier, if you worked with us for the pre show me, this is actually our production designer. She designs all the sets for our shows, but it's a huge difference between what you do in this free form space and what you do in your own home. But how keen are you on design and decorating a century in your own space? You know, I think living in san francisco has greatly affected my grown up aesthetic, if you will, just because unless you're a multi millionaire, you can't buy home so it's hard to invest a lot of time and money and energy into creating a space that your own, knowing that you may only have it for a year and maybe I'm just a little lazy, but I think I put most of my creative energy into my job, then, you know, when I go home, I do have some crazy colors on the wall, though that's something I think that I picked up from toby's just color course that just adding a pop of color really does brightened everything up and make it feel like it's your own space. It is a chance because I I when I first moved to san francisco I was in a rental place and I decorated it entirely on my own color star but of course three years later I had to repaint it all back to the eggshell gray when I move down I thought this wasn't worth it yeah mostly contrast some of those temporary wallpapers and accept that we talked about remember on and they just peel off that's a great idea it's solution right well we're going again cover so many of these these different challenges over the next few days but I think as I started saying when we started the day why isn't a pretty room enough and this was the project that was on the cover of house beautiful a few years ago one of my favorite client so that they have about thirty eight hundred square feet so it's not a mcmansion but it's not a small house either it's plenty of room on their kids are grown and they have grand kids that are with them often but you know besides the fact that a spice can look great and they had a very certain aesthetic in mind when we renovated this project on and they were inspired by the places they travelled so all of that we captured here but there were other things that were really important for us to think about as we were laying out there space so one of them is there needs to be clear walking path in your house. You need to think about the traffic flow, right? So as much as we might want to put something that we think is really pretty in a certain place, if people are gonna have to run into it or not really be able to move around in a space doesn't really work for everyone on, we're going to talk about some solutions over the next few days for really making that work free. Another thing that's important is tohave a focal point, and this is for a symptoms about the visual noise in the visual clutter, because having something for the id arrest on, if there's too much happening in the room, if you we talked about this in the color course, competing colors, we talked about it in the style, of course, to really wanting to have a few places where, you know, your eye can really rest in this space, and it gives you more balance and it's much more peaceful, so that was something important to this space. Also, a room definitely needs proper lighting. This room gets great sunlight from the outdoors, which is wonderful, but, um, at different times of the day, you want rooms to have proper lighting, and we're going to get a look into this a lot, as well as faras task lighting and if you're working from home, you need all different kinds of light and layered lighting so you can see really well, if you're reading this, you know, depends on what kind of task you're doing, so all different levels of light are really important for a space certainly enough seating and one of my favorite things you'll see over as we draw and work on floor plans this week that I love to do is I love to get extra seating in spaces I love people to be ableto live comfortably most the time when it's just them at home or them in their family, and then also love tohave sort of surprised pieces of furniture that are multi purpose that can pull out and open up and do other things for when you have guests. And so we're going to be thinking about both of those if you love to entertain, even if you entertain often, if you entertained every week once a week that you still it's not even close to the amount of time that you spend in the and the home by yourself. So you don't wantto plan a house just around entertaining it needs toe function for every purpose, and lighting really plays into that as well as the seating um, and then I like to think about every single space from a perspective of that, I was sitting in that room myself. So as I'm designing for clients, I truly imagine myself sitting in the space. If I was gonna sit in this chair and it's drawn on the floor plan, where am I gonna put my feet? If are they gonna do? Can I put them up where we're gonna put it down, something to drink or remote control, or something else that I'm going to be using? How'm, I gonna read is their proper lighting if I'm going to read magazines or books in that space. So, um, you know, having a place a table to sit your drink is something that's important to people. So all of these things we're going to think about in every room that we look at this week, so they're important for creating a beautiful and a functional spice and that's, really the essence of this idea of function driven design.

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.