When it comes to interior design, form should always follow function and create a space that is equally efficient and appealing. This is why we highlighted in ‘That Finnish Lifestyle Is Hard to Beat’ how the place where form and function meet is important to Finns. Things must not only work well, but they must please the eye as well. With that in mind, let’s look at a few home changes you can make that are both functional and pleasing. And we don’t want to limit your options here, so we are going to look at trends from across the world to give you that bit of inspiration you might just need right now.
Renowned the world over for their clean lines and muted, earthy colors, Finnish and Scandinavian spaces are both visually pleasing and highly functional. My Scandinavian Home founder Niki Brantmark points out that practicality is key when furniture is selected for both form and function. Sofas, for example, are made from natural materials, with clean design lines but also contain built-in storage and double up as a bed. By choosing highly functional pieces, homeowners can reduce the number of items they have, resulting in a less cluttered and more aesthetically pleasing living space. With space coming at a premium in U.S. apartments, fewer pieces with added functionality is definitely the trend to go with.
In the UK, homeowners are switching to smaller combi-boilers, as they can reduce annual energy bills. Since these can be easily hidden in a cupboard, from an interior design perspective, they're a huge plus. UK homes rely on efficient central heating systems, which is why homeowners take good care of their boilers. Information on proper boiler care, like how to conduct regular preventative maintenance and pressure monitoring, amongst others, are available at sites like Reviews Gang from the UK. Apart from the regular maintenance and upkeep involved with boiler care, homeowners also buy damage protection to protect their investment; otherwise, it could cost them a lot if they have to repair or replace a faulty boiler. HomeServe recommends that British homeowners should take out a boiler insurance plan that covers any damage. As such, U.S. homeowners should look to replicate this by considering a switch to an energy-efficient combi-boiler, and getting insurance to cover any costly repairs or in the worst-case scenario having to replace an old boiler.
Italian automotive designer Paolo Pininfarina also became famous for his contemporary and ultra-modern interior design ideas. Ergonomic functionality blends with creative kitchen décor that looks fresh and bright. Pininfarina’s designs offer functional storage, extra-deep contemporary kitchen cabinets, and large drawers, perfect for storing pots and pans. Additionally, shallow, extra-wide kitchen storage spaces are a perfect fit for cutlery. The way Italians use unique shades of reds, blues, and beiges also adds a pleasing aesthetic not found anywhere else in the world. U.S. homeowners designing or looking to renovate their kitchens who want a chic, ultra-clean look with ergonomic functionality should consider the latest Italian kitchen trends.
Bathroom Wet Rooms
In Canada, the open-concept floor plan has been extended to bathrooms. In recent years, homes have incorporated a wet room, which includes a shower and bathtub, separated from the rest of the bathroom by a large pane of sectional glass. In essence, this creates a functional wet space, while making the bathroom seem bigger and more open than it actually is. It’s a great renovation idea for U.S. homeowners looking to undertake a full bathroom remodel. If you’re considering this design idea, also think about adding another Canadian favorite to your bathroom in the form of underfloor heating. Adding warmth to these areas will add greater comfort during the cold winter months and make your bathroom warm and cozy.
What do you think of these design inspirations? Tell us in the comments!
Content provided by Sarah Harding.