Developing an Aesthetic Concept

ARTICLE_aesthetic concept

Of course, I’d recommend that you hire a qualified Interior Designer (preferably me!) to help you with your project. However, you might find the whole process a bit less overwhelming if you already have an idea of your aesthetic preferences. Don’t feel bad if you don’t have a clue. Some of my Clients have a clear picture in mind and others haven’t even thought about needing lighting until I bring it up. We all have different priorities. A designer can help you define your aesthetic and most importantly, help you execute it in a way that gets you ultimate function within your space.

1. Create an image file. Don’t think too much about it to start with – just rip pages out of magazines and save images from the internet.

2. Sort through your images, asking your self: What do you like? What don’t you like? Specific fixture? Just the way it feels? Use post-it notes or write directly on the images:

  • atmosphere
  • cabinet colour or style
  • doors & hardware
  • finish carpentry (mouldings & stair details)
  • fireplace mantels
  • lighting
  • plumbing
  • paint colour

3. Identify commonalities by noticing things that have a similar aesthetic. Set aside images that don’t fit.

4. Start with cabinetry. Most likely, you’ve got a strong inclination toward a specific style and finish. From there, determine a colour scheme for other finishes. Gold tones? Grey? Chose tile and countertop products that fit the theme. Everything should flow. Just because it’s in a different room doesn’t mean it shouldn’t relate to the finishes in the rest of the home.

5. What style of cabinetry did you choose? If it has traditional detailing, you’ll most likely want to use mouldings that have some detail. If your cabinet style is very contemporary, you’ll want flat stock mouldings with a minimum of detail or possibly less use of mouldings altogether with drywall returns at your windows and/or reveal details.

6. Here’s where you can start to mix and match styles. If your cabinets are traditional in style, you could go either contemporary or traditional with your hardware, lighting and plumbing fixtures – but I do recommend keeping all those latter elements in a similar style and finish. For an updated traditional aesthetic, pair your detailed cabinetry and mouldings with modern goose neck faucets and clean-lined lighting and hardware. I like to use the fixtures to express the personality of the client or create memory points for a project. If your taste dictates a contemporary flush panel style cabinetry, you’re likely drawn to modern fixtures as well. Pick and choose specific fixtures like your dining chandelier to add some flare and personality to keep it from getting bland.

7. The biggest thing to remember is that consistency in your decisions will give you a finished home that feels like it all fits together. Choosing products in isolation from one another without a plan and expecting they’ll all work together will leave you disappointed in the end.

posted 7 Jun 09 in: Articles, Tip Sheets