Chi/Complements Home Interiors

The back-up camera. A simple addition to the car dash, but it has saved lives, helped avoid dented fenders, and added a deep layer of convenience. Or the button to remotely open and close the trunk — a great back saver when loading and toting heavy fabric samples to a client’s home, especially in the rain or snow. These bells and whistles on our cars that once seemed frivolous, we now realize they make driving exponentially more comfortable, convenient and safe.

So how do conveniences like these apply to you and your home?

Let’s say you’re considering buying new furniture for your family room. When looking for a sofa you may think, “It’s just a couch.” But if it fits perfectly in your room, and it sits so comfortably that the family is inclined to hang out longer in conversation or to stick around for movies or a board game, it becomes much more than just a couch. What had originally felt a bit frivolous has the potential to make a big difference in the feel and function of a room.

Or, take a room that works “okay” but is missing one element that would make it work really well. A rectangular coffee table may look nice but blocks the sofa. The solution? A round coffee table may open up the flow in the room. Just one piece of furniture can give the room a more welcoming feel and create a space where people want to congregate.

Consider the positioning of the sofa. Is it directly across from the television? Would the addition of a couple of comfortable chairs across from the sofa encourage a feeling of conviviality? “Come on in, sit awhile.” Adding a side table, sized and positioned just right, may add to a guest’s inclination to stick around, especially if there’s a glass of Pinot Noir set down within easy reach.

Or perhaps you’ve got a slightly too-big-for-the-space dining table. The functionality is adequate but not ideal. The chairs are difficult to access and difficult to move in and out. Consider a smaller, oval table with chairs so comfortable people choose to linger in conversation well after the meal.

Interior design affects us all in perceptible and imperceptible ways — whether it is poor design or good design is up to you. And, how a room functions is as important as how it looks.