Design: Space to Provoke Emotion and Thought

July 1, 2015

What do you think of when someone says they are an interior designer?

Most people assume the decorator portion.  You are someone who orders pillows and places ribbon.  Interior design is so much more.  We are therapists, problem solvers, artists and creators of harmony. Interiors provide an opportunity to provoke, create a feeling.  Fast food restaurants openly use bright colors and textures to provoke the customer to eat quickly, and thus filter through as many consumers as possible.

Hospitals are typically designed with calming colors and patterns to keep patients emotions at bay. For someone in the hospitality side of design, I am called to provoke a lasting emotion, leaving a potential resident with undying craving to live there. In doing so, you must create a space that is beautiful in an attainable way.  The laymen user may not have thought of the design but can certainly see themself living within it.

A truly talented interior designer listens to the client and implements their style, rather than forcing their own.  You have to engage yourself in the problem through the client’s eyes, and, from there, achieve your solution.

The above is a shot from a very complicated condo layout: a large one bedroom unit with a weird open study.  In this instance, custom doors were added to create a study/bedroom area, intended for the blended family.  From there, a story was born.  The resident is a successful single father, needing not only a work space, but an area for his child to stay when visiting on the weekends.  Real life stories like this make interior models very relatable and appealing to the resident.  If we had simply filled the open space with pretty things, it may have looked nice, but not shown a filled need. It would not have provoked the story of the client.  In fact, if done poorly, the design would have likely provoked him to take his story somewhere else rather than live at home.

Sometimes the biggest constraint is the actual space itself.  The area is small or awkwardly shaped, yet still needs to be a space that fits form and function.  The shots below show a leasing space in Dallas that had a very narrow amenity area.  The space needed to accommodate leasing staff as well as provide a warm area for potential residents to lounge and wait for assistance.  As an interior designer, I provoked feeling in this space by optimizing what I had: ceiling height and an opportunity for unique finishes.  The entry lobby, although small, houses a modern fireplace with an intimate seating area.

The leasing staff are then separated from these guests by decorative orange resin panels that swivel, providing a unique design element and practical functionality.

In summary, interior design is a problem solved through an applied art.  You create a solution for the resident that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but functional; a space lived and enjoyed.

KATY BYRNE inspired Interior Designer, Katy Byrne, has eight years of experience in design and project management. Specializing in multi-family design, Katy has worked with major developers such as JLB Partners, Lincoln Property Company, Trammel Crow and United Dominion to design unique properties that cater specifically to their location and clientele. From initial space planning to final installation, she is a part of the project from start to finish, producing a cohesive and aesthetically successful design. Completed projects span all over the country, including Dallas, Austin, Atlanta, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Charlotte and Denver. When Katy isn’t designing, she’s spending time with her outgoing husband and adorable Shih Tzu, shopping in Denver’s nonexistent retail market, and checking the newest design blog posts on her phone.

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