What is Good Design?
Merriam-Webster defines design as “to design is to create, fashion, execute, or construct according to plan, or to conceive and plan out in the mind.”
So, what is good design and how is it achieved?
Design encompasses many elements. Form, function, color, pattern, and texture are all a part of design. Each element contributes to the function, look, and feel. I think of good design as having two components. Unless you are designing a cog for a machine, designs include both parts.
What are the two components of good design?
Since we specialize in bathroom remodeling, I’ll use bathroom design as an example.
The first part of good design is function. Good design demands that we make the bathroom safe and easy to use for users of all ages and physical abilities. Safety grab bars and slip resistant flooring are two examples of items that make a bathroom safe. A good design incorporates adequate clearances that allow the user to move comfortably and safely.
For example, the recommended clearance from the front edge of a vanity top to an opposing wall is 30”. Some older bathrooms may not have this clearance, but when remodeling, if a clearance can be improved, it should be.
The second part of good design is aesthetics, or the combination of color, pattern, texture, and form to achieve an appealing look. Where the first part of design is black and white, the second part is in the eye of the beholder. Certain color combinations are known to be more pleasing than others, but if an individual wants an unusual color or pattern and that combination pleases him or her, then it’s good design.
The aesthetics of a design should arouse an emotional response. The ability to design a space that makes the user feel uplifted is the essence of good visual design. The next time you walk into a room and get that inviting feeling that beckons you to stay awhile, look around and notice the design elements.
The best-qualified bathroom designer has designed and seen many bathrooms. It’s one thing to design a bathroom on a piece of paper; it’s another to see how the space is actually used and how the visual design elements work together to create an appealing environment.
Designing for Function and Space
When planning a bathroom remodel or any other remodel, consider the two parts of the design equation. Think of who will use the space and what their needs are. Design the room for safety and comfort. And after giving consideration to the functional aspect, choose a color, pattern, and texture that will make you smile every time you walk into the room.
Good design, good life.