Home Style vs. Practicality

April 8, 2018

 Image source: Pinterest


It’s fair to say that the quest for a stylish home is something that thousands of people venture into every year. Our home is meant to be the one place we feel more comfortable, so it’s no surprise that we want to ensure the space that we retreat to is as wonderful as it can possibly be.


However, there is an unavoidable truth regarding our homes. No matter how good we want them to look, they also have to incorporate an element of practicality into the space. A home that is lived in can’t just be a showhome; it has to be functional… which is unfortunate, as “functional” and “stylish” don’t tend to blend well together.


Or do they? Is there some way of ensuring that you can achieve a beautiful aesthetic, while still having the house be useful for the functional purposes required of it? You’ll be pleased to know it is possible— if you keep the following “dos” and “don’ts” in mind…

Image source: Pinterest 


DO… opt for built-in wardrobes

Built-in wardrobes and cupboards are a gift to homeowners who are concerned about blending functionality with style. While built-in wardrobes do reduce the overall size of the room, they are incredibly unobtrusive when compared to free-standing options. Built-in wardrobes are the perfect blend of style and practicality, especially if you use light wood finishes and modern handles, as pictured above.


DON’T… compromise on security

When it comes to incorporating style with practicality in your home, it’s important to prioritize security wherever possible. Admittedly, some security options such as safes and cameras aren’t the most aesthetically-pleasing of items, but they are an essential. This is one argument where practical always has to win over pretty.


However, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t search far and wide to find home security equipment that looks as good as possible. Take the time to find out more about the different options for safes, and investigate modern “smart” home security systems which are usually designed to be as unobtrusive as possible.


DO… Try minimalism

Minimalism has been a style trend for many years now, and its popularity shows no signs of abating. While making the transition to minimal living isn’t easy, it is a key component of uniting style and practicality.

Image source: Pinterest  


The more “stuff” you have in your home, the more places you need to put that stuff. While clever storage solutions can do some of this work for you, there will come a time when you simply require more storage solutions than you have the space for. As a result, you’ll have to compromise your aesthetic just to store your stuff.


If you find yourself in this scenario, then stripping back, decluttering, and reducing your number of possessions is probably a good idea. Ask yourself if you have used an item, or a piece of furniture, in the last six months; if the answer is no, then chances are you can live without it. With fewer items to find homes for, you can focus more on the look of your home rather than being forced to make choices based on what will fit where.


DON’T… use glossy surfaces

If you look through any home decor blog or magazine, then there’s a very high chance that you’re going to see a huge number of glossy surfaces. The reason these surfaces are popular with photographers is that they reflect light, making the space look bigger and just generally more impressive.

 Image source: Pinterest


However, in reality, living with glossy surfaces is next to impossible. The surface may look wonderful when it’s freshly polished, but the moment you touch it or walk on in (in the case of glossy-finish floors), then the entire look is going to be ruined. Glossy finishes just aren’t practical, and matte and textured finishes are still more than capable of looking stylish, but without requiring huge time commitments to maintain. The photo above is actually an excellent example of this: the natural light still looks good, even though the surfaces are matte finished. This perfectly exemplifies the fact that you don’t need glossy finishes to achieve a fantastic finished look, even if gloss finishes are most commonly shown in interior design guides.


If, however, you do want to use shiny finishes in parts of your home, then use them in areas that aren’t frequently used; for example, a glossy finish to a high wooden shelf, or bathroom tiles as far away from a water source as possible.


DO… think about your daily routine

One of the biggest mistakes people make when deciding on the aesthetic of their home is designing for a life they don’t actually live. For example, it may be tempting to think that you need to build an on-trend deck in your garden, so you can enjoy sitting outside and watching the sunset of an evening— but how often will you actually do that? The same applies to other aesthetically-pleasing (but ultimately useless if you don’t use them) design elements as dining rooms or studies.

Image source: Pinterest 


It’s important to remember that your home can’t be a show home, because you’re going to have to live in it. It thus naturally follows that your home should reflect the way that you live in it. You may love the idea of designing the perfect home office, but unless you frequently work from home, that office is just going to be lost space that would have been better served as a laundry room. The laundry room might not be particularly pleasing in terms of aesthetics, but it would be more practical, so it’s the better choice for your lifestyle. Try to remember to design your interior for the life you actually live, not the life that you would like to live.


In conclusion

It’s unfortunate that no actual home will ever be able to replicate the high-end pictures seen in magazines and on lifestyle blogs. There are simply too many practical elements that have to be incorporated into the overall look for that to be possible. However, by taking account the points above, you stand the best chance of blending together both style and practicality in a way that works for you.


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