Designing rooms for real life!

One of the most important factors in home design and décor is finding balance in function and style. What homeowners need to know is that with proper planning and the right team to execute the vision, you can achieve the best of both worlds without compromise.

Industry professionals are seeing the shift to open concept layouts that allow for flexible and integrated living spaces. And those spaces are being upgraded in all ways, from electrical, to lighting, to choice of fabric.

A popular trend in home design is replacing formal living rooms with flexible spaces that can be used as needs change. As Michelle Reid, Director of Marketing and Design at Rooftight Construction explains, as homes get smaller, well-organized spaces become essential and open floor plans offer that much needed flexibility.

Once the initial layout is decided, there are a number of unique products that can further increase the efficiency of the space and boost the overall aesthetic. Such as how to deal with lighting and electrical needs for the room.

“Electrical items can be sexy!” says Reid.

She explains that three popular items in particular not only make homeowners’ lives easier, but also allow the home’s details to be focal points. One, the under cabinet plug bar, hides convenient outlets under the decorative light rail moulding at the front of the cabinet. For electrical needs throughout the house, floor plugs are another fantastic option – allowing furniture to float around the room in a number of configurations, while eliminating cords running across the floor and causing safety hazards. Another unique item, the latest in electrical outlets, is the dedicated USB port built into a wall receptacle – perfect for the technology-dependant families of today.

Function and style continue from the walls to the windows. Louise Jessop, Style Consultant from Made In The Shade Blinds & More gives her top three trends in window coverings – the most popular being cellular shades, followed by solar shades and the revamped roller shades.

The cellular shades provide the ultimate in insulation and offer a refined look for any room. The solar shades also offer a modern and sleek look at a reasonable price point and cut UV and glare while still permitting the homeowner to view through the shade. Last, but certainly not least, the roller shade has been redesigned in a variety of exciting materials using the newest in mechanisms. All window covering options are taking into account the efficiency needs and functional needs of the homeowner and wowing them with the style choices as never before.

The design and construction industry has always been working to bridge the gap between what is functional style and what is luxury. But with homeowner standards as high as they are today, luxury at approachable rates is finding its way into homes in a variety of ways – accent pillows, wallpaper, upholstery, and fixtures.

Pam Tower, Registered Interior Designer with Tower Interiors, is seeing florals, Navajo, flamestitch, ikat and chevron fabrics make a wave in today’s homes. The same boldness in design is popping up throughout the house in rough, reclaimed taupey-grey toned wood products with heavy grains, hand-scraped surfaces for rough flooring, tufting on everything from sofas, chairs to headboards, and metallic sparkle in wallpaper, fabric, tiles and countertop.

Above all else, flexibility and the move to bold are changing the way designers are pulling together homeowners’ visions. There are always stylish options that raise the lifestyle standard and overall conformability of the home, it’s being aware of the ever-changing options that will keep the industry evolving and homes improving.

Mari Suyama

Mari Suyama

With a degree in Journalism and Spanish from the University of King’s College, Mari has turned her passion for writing, languages and travel into a career she loves. Diving into the world of freelance after university, she moved to Latin America