Recently we discussed issues that can compromise a room’s potential beauty, but beyond organization and de-cluttering there is often beauty in a home’s actual space and structure. This is architectural beauty.
Some people say it is the different elements of architecture that make a building beautiful, while others focus on functionality as the determining factor. Thomas Fuller, a 17th century historian, said: “Light, God's eldest daughter, is a principal beauty in a building” while Gustav Eiffel, the designer of the Eiffel Tower, said: "The first principle of architectural beauty is that the essential lines of a construction be determined by a perfect appropriateness to its use.”
While light, lines, balance and symmetry influence the perception of a structure and determine its visual architectural beauty, we believe a home’s true inner beauty lies in functionality. Functionality in a home has a direct impact — physically, mentally and emotionally — on its users.
The art of architecture deals with creating space — three dimensional interior and exterior space. To us, the space itself, even without all the finishes, is beautiful. When remodeling, we do more than create beautiful space; we alter existing space. The beautiful part of the design process is creating a new space or adapting an existing space to solve issues related to everyday living. Honestly, there is nothing as satisfying as seeing how a family is impacted for the better because of design.
When we worked in a commercial architectural firm, we rarely got to meet the end users of the buildings we designed. Now we enjoy working with homeowners looking to improve their daily lives. They are real people with unique situations and problems. We feel we are lucky to work in residential remodeling where we know exactly how our work impacts the end users.
The relationship you have with your house impacts your experience living in it. Some people have a love affair with their house — basically love at first sight. Others love only certain aspects of their house such as the location or a specific area like the master suite. Perhaps the appeal is that the price is right for the current situation. Sometimes people fall in love with the potential of their house. It may not be beautiful right now, but in their mind’s eye it is perfect.
One of our clients said her remodel transformed her ordinary house into something inspiring. We took that as the ultimate compliment. One of our design goals is to create inspiring environments where issues of function and aesthetics are happily fulfilled. That is what makes architecture both an art and a science.
It is interesting that people can see beauty in so many different architectural styles. With all the visual variety available, people ultimately feel comfortable at home because of how the space functions and relates to the end users.
If you are thinking of remodeling, beautifying your home should include more than how it looks. (Have you ever heard the expression "putting lipstick on the pig?") While upgrading the look of your home, consider revamping its inner beauty — the functionality of your home.
Ann Robinson and Annie V. Schwemmer are the principal architects and co-founders of a residential architectural firm focused on life-changing remodeling designs at RenovationDesignGroup.com. Send comments or questions to ask@RenovationDesignGroup.com
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