Do You Know Your Architect’s Favorite Color?

Getting to know Aryo Falakrou, Architectural Technologist

Aryo Falakrou MyHomedesigner favorite color
Aryo Falakrou MyHomedesigner

Do you know your architect’s favorite color? If not, then you are gambling with your life. The quality of our lives is dominated by the quality of space we live in. If you are about to build or renovate, then you have a golden opportunity to upgrade the quality of your life. Who designs the quality of your life? Your architect.

That’s a big responsibility. You are giving someone the task of designing your quality of life for the next 10 to 30 years. Not something you hand over on just because you see a good portfolio.

Choosing your architect isn’t just important, it’s life-changing.

What You Want to Look for in an Architect, Apart From a Favorite Color

If you want a spectacular success in your project, you must know precisely who your architect is. That you drill deeper to find out what truly motivates them, influence them, guide them when they create spaces. To clarify, you should know them as well as they know themselves, down to their favorite color.

Red Flags: What Architect Is NOT For You

The architect who believes that he always knows better. The kind that imagines, once the client sees the final project, will wrap them in their arms offering eternal apologies for questioning the genius. It is great when this happens, except that it often doesn’t. As a result, the clients are forced to live in an overpriced house that was someone else’s dream. That isn’t the house they wanted or asked for.

How Can You Make Informed Decisions on Whom to Choose?

Fortunately, drawing an accurate bead on your ideal architect is quite easy to do. If you ever watched a crime show on TV, you’re halfway there already.

CSI Your Architect (Favorite Color Not Included)

Watch one of the CSI show, or just about any crime show built around the investigative process and you’ll see that one of the key tools the investigator uses is to narrow down their options is to create an in-depth profile of all the suspect’s habits, dislikes, past history, known associates and driving personality.

Similarly, your goal is to create a multi-dimensional profile of your idea architect.

From there, you want to fill in all the business and personal details you can gather. Avoid making this a flat, one-dimensional view. It’s more than just a job description. What you’re really after is a rich, multi-dimensional profile that embodies the mindset, attitudes, experiences, habits and goals of the architect who is going to translate your goals and dreams into a place of life.

To help, I am going to make your CSI profile on me a lot easier. This Q&A will give you an inside look at my past, present and future.

waterfront home
Waterfront home

What Is Aryo’s Background?

Born and raised in Iran, he left his native homeland for Vancouver without a word of English at the age of 33.

Before the move in 1997, life was good for Aryo in Iran. He was working on some incredible projects, designing high-rises and shopping malls in the capital city, Tehran. Opportunities were opening fast, but his eyes were elsewhere. He wanted to develop himself as a designer and saw North America as the place he could reach his full potential faster.

Why Canada, Why Vancouver?

From North America, Canada was in his vision, and Vancouver was the warmest metropolitan city in Canada. He loved people in Vancouver, and he felt home the first year he arrived.

What happened when he moved to Vancouver?

To sum up, he arrived in Vancouver alone, unable to communicate, without a job but with an ingrained work ethic and a burning desire to succeed.

The employment market for architects in the late 90s was tough for anyone, let alone a newly arrived immigrant. He focused on improving his communication skills and learned the building codes and permit processes, which were very different from Iran. Still, it took him over a year to land his firm job.

What Work Was He Doing?

Aryo started short term contracts moving jobs every six months as each project finished. Working for 14 different firms within seven years was like riding a project-roller-coaster with every different type of project you could imagine. The pace was relentless and exhausting. But then again, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Aryo became much stronger and increased his already impressive work ethic.

When Did He Start His Business?

By 2006 he was married. Aryo had walked through the fire, overcoming the language barrier and developing a knowledge base of local zoning and building codes better than anyone in the city.

So he buckled up and started his firm with high hopes. Nothing could stop him. Unfortunately, it was terrible timing. Consequently, his business turned to a sitting duck just in time for the 2008 global financial meltdown. Desperate for survival, he had to downsize and take his office into his home.

How Did He Cope With the Recession When There Were No Design Contracts?

In the beginning, his policy was not to accept any contracting jobs because he wanted to stay focused on design. However, as the times are tough, and bills need to be paid, he had to compromise. He ended up taking jobs as a contractor, working alongside tradespeople and builders. While this was a step away from the design work he wanted so badly to be doing, this experience strengthened his construction knowledge and the challenges tradespeople are facing daily.

What Drives Aryo, Besides Favorite Color?

As you might have already picked up, Aryo is ambitious. He wants to do incredible work. He also wants to create works of art that are iconic, alive, and multi-dimensional. By thinking outside the box, he wants to make an impact on the world and the lives of his clients. In short, Aryo thrives on challenges and standing out from the crowd.

How Does Aryo’s Ambition Benefit Me As a Client?

The typical architect doesn’t put enough effort into understanding the client. His approach is to understand his clients, their goals, their inspiration, life desire, and comfort zone. In the words of Aryo: “The other day I told my builder to work as if the home he was building was built for Oprah.”

“I ask a lot of myself and the people who work on my projects,” he says. “We all need to work as if the Queen is going to be taking a tour here.” That is how he works. Every project is as if the client is someone incredibly important.

What Is He Against?

There is a significant trend nowadays for sustainable homes. While he loves the idea of sustainability and he preaches to his clients as much as he can, he also values the aesthetic of the final product. Net Zero, Passive House, or high-performance buildings don’t have to look ugly. Luxury homes can be energy efficient too. Therefore, he puts most of his effort to make sure function, beauty and sustainability can best satisfy the needs of his clients.

Who Does Aryo Admire and Why?

Aryo likes to create places that change and motivate the people who live and work there. Along those lines, he admires business geniuses Richard Branson and Elon Musk and in the architectural world Zaha Hadid. He appreciates the way they think big when everyone around them is thinking small.

Elon Musk wants to conquer Mars and very well may do that. What type of thinking does it take to reach Mars?

Thinking outside the box gets you to Mars. Additionally, it gets Aryo’s clients into their dream homes. Aryo has learned to think bigger than he used to because he has also engaged in personal and business development through the Bob Proctor Coaching program. Aryo has learned a lot AND he implements it. The years of working hard to stay in business had made him think realistically. While he does think outside the box, he is not a risk-taker. Every choice that is made on a project is in favor of the client.

How Does Aryo Define Success?

It took him a long time to remind himself that his driving passion is to leave a footprint, a small ecological one, and a large one on the world as a whole. It is this passion that brought him from Iran to Vancouver, where he is now pioneering his firm, My Home Designer.

What Is His Design Philosophy?

Aryo ultimately values three things:

Harmonizing nature and ancient philosophy with modern architecture

Incorporating sustainability into an ideal lifestyle

Aligning each dream home with the goals of its occupants

“Your home should be a reminder of who you really are and where you are going,” Aryo says. “When it’s well designed, it can inspire you to live your life to the fullest.”

This new chapter begins by opening your imagination, that of a child so we can translate a sanctuary from your youth into your dream home. When he interviews his clients, he draws out their goals and personalities. Through this lens, building your dream home and lifestyle is possible by incorporating shapes, forms, light, and of course, a favorite color.

What Is Aryo’s Favorite Color?

Good question, his favorite color is blue with a touch of red!

Should I Remodel During Covid-19?

Many people think of renovating their homes as an opportunity to solve an immediate issue. Often it means adapting the space over the garage to get an extra room or adding a foyer to get a better entrance. Some people believe that a simple expansion of 500 sq. ft. to gain more space can make life easier. The truth is, to truly help the clients, we first have to listen carefully and find out what bothers them. Instead of focusing on the end solution the client has come up with, and try to resolve that, we rather go deep to the issues that they really want to solve. If our clients decide to remodel during Covid-19, we have a double responsibility to help them achieve the best results while avoiding any issues or inconveniences.

Can you imagine a patient who suffers from ear pain and has the doctor advise him to change the shoes? It makes more sense than it seems because a wrong shoe can affect your nerves which can, in return, affect your ear. Instead of giving the patient a pain killer to solve the immediate issue, the doctor actually investigates the issue and solves it from the source.

That’s exactly what we do with our clients. We look at the whole picture and help them unveil the best living and working space that matches their unique lifestyle. After all, we are all unique in our ways of living, so our lifestyle represents our unique personality and character. Our home should reflect our uniqueness and we must not be shy to express it. 

Consult us to talk about your lifestyle. Together, we can find out the best way to help you achieve a better version of yourself.

Objectives of Renovation

  1. Expecting newcomer in your life
  2. Envious of friends and neighbours
  3. Mental and physical health
  4. Bored with your existing house
  5. Status
  6. Adding value to the house
  7. Adding extra income 
  8. A family member moving in
  9. Seniorizing your house
  10. Selling your house
  11. Adding privacy and security in your house
  12. Making the house more sustainable and energy-efficient
  13. A need to open a home office within your house
  14. A wish to build a mancave 
  15. Rejuvenating your kitchen
  16. Buying a new house and wanting to customize it to your needs

We design houses for people who are ready to reward themselves, and that determines the three key categories of clients:

1. Couples with very young children (one partner is always in finance).

2. Couples with young teens that have outgrown their home.

3. Couples/singles whose kids are out of the house. They either deferred updating/expanding their house until they were through financing their kid’s education, or they are “downsizing.”

I help people to redesign their lifestyle by understanding their life and designing an ideal house for them according to their taste.

surrey modern architect
surrey modern architect

Remodel During Covid-19: Yes or No?

The world is in slow motion, and nothing seems certain. It’s undoubtedly hard to plan too far ahead. However, it’s still possible to get something good out of the situation, and that includes all the extra time on our hands. The ongoing circumstances that nobody wanted still bear an excellent opportunity to do something we seemingly never have enough time to do properly. For instance, few would consider going for a home remodel during Covid-19. Then again, perhaps they should rethink it. 

remodel during covid
New bathroom in the attic? Why not!

Naturally, the first question to arise is if dealing with such an enterprise is a good idea under current circumstances. The decision is not nearly insensible, as it might sound at first. Still, as with anything, there are both pros and cons.

Slow Times: A Chance for Proper Remodeling Plans

This stay-at-home period offers you a chance to devote to the entire project with higher attention to detail.

You probably have more than enough time now to plan or review the existing blueprint for every room carefully. Revisit the planned layout and double-check for loopholes, recalculate the cost breakdown of different aspects involved. Research new interior trends and discover some fresh ideas. Go slowly—if your existing plans and wishes have been based on any impulsive decisions, this is the moment to bust them.

The economy is, unfortunately, unstable at the moment. However, at the same time, the situation presents a chance to use the abundant offer of various sales. You may significantly lower your project’s cost or benefit from a more upscale purchase within the same projected budget. Suppose you had your eye on some fancy piece of furniture or a professional kitchen appliance. In that case, this might be your chance to finally get it.

House and money
Remodel during Covid-19 can save you money

Remodelling can be expensive, and discounts are welcome wherever possible. In other words, if there’s no significant obstacle insight, why turn a blind eye towards an attractive opportunity? 

It’s also easier to compare offers and prices when showrooms offer plenty of virtual tours. You can even use Zoom and similar platforms to hold a meeting with a designer or a contractor.

Covid-19 Interrupting Ongoing Renovation

In case your remodelling project had started before the pandemic, you have probably already acquired most of the resources and have the plans developed. Apart from the risk of running short of a specific material, this situation bears certain advantages. Unless another lockdown interrupts all plans again, you have no reason to doubt or look back. Even in case of a shortage, your order will be considered a priority in the chain of supply, compared to the ones just made. 

You might be surprised to learn that the home improvement industry is continuing to thrive in many parts of the world, despite the pandemic. Many countries list remodelling companies as essential services. That means they can continue to work even throughout some stages of the lockdown. Most companies are also adapting and continually innovating their business model to fit the circumstances and requirements. 

richmond kitchen designer
Richmond kitchen designer

Finding the right contractor in this period could prove more comfortable than you think. It’s logical to presume there were some cancellations. In the best case, you’ll end up with a remodelling company able to focus exclusively on your home. Also, few contractors will want to delay more than necessary, most likely they’ll work twice as hard to complete the work fast.

Hire an Architect

Even if your initial plan did not involve an architect, this might be a perfect time to hire one. Surely, renovation projects can be done without an architect in order to save money. However, in many cases, the final result turns out to be more costly. Without professional guidance and surveillance, it’s easy to go vastly over-budget and still end up with plenty of annoying failures. What seems trivial at the start, may later reveal just how much it affects daily life. 

Vancouver addition Project
Vancouver Addition Project

An architect does a lot more than coming up with a floor plan. Your architect is also your advocate within the industry. He can take many issues off your back to handle them with more convenience. Think reviewing payments with the contractor, control if the specified materials are actually being used, and supervise to ensure you get what you agreed on.

Most homeowners are not experienced enough to spot subtle differences between the cheap stuff and the natural materials they pay for. A contractor can be honest, but mistakes happen. That is one of the crucial points where paying an architect can actually save you money in the long run.

Renovation during COVID
Renovation

There’s a difference between a young professional freshly out of school and a licensed, experienced architect familiar with the industry pros and cons. In many cases, paperwork is crucial for a project’s success, and you need an architect well-versed in dealing with specific codes, regulations, and approvals from the city. Choosing to remodel during Covid-19 gives you a chance to get even a high-end architect, usually over busy and unavailable. 

Improve Air Circulation

The pandemic outburst made us all revisit our choices, including the relation to hygiene, health, and germs in our environment. While professionals have already been coming up with improved ways to ventilate public spaces, remodelling during Covid-19 presents an opportunity to do the same in your home. 

It goes without saying that the project of such a scale requires you to move out for a while. Depending on your location and circumstances, a pandemic may or may not be the best time for that. Hopefully, you can have a chance to change the environment a little and use providers like Airbnb for a home away from home. Apart from the fact that every change is welcome once in a while, you will also lower the health risks by staying away from the site. If you have hired an architect, he can take over the entire supervising job, and keep you involved remotely. 

Cons of Remodel During Covid-19

Depending on your location and current circumstances, you may have to pay additional costs for certain safety measures and building protection. Alternatively, you can search for a remodelling company that has it all included in the price. 

Your contractor will probably try to finish the task as soon as possible. However, it’s still possible to experience delays and interruptions due to the “higher force,” so arm yourself with an additional load of patience. It’s a wise move to also have at least 20% over the initial budget prepared for any unexpected issues.

burnaby Renovation, remodel during covid
Burnaby renovation

Although the home improvement industry is seemingly working fine, managing to keep all the popular stock items, there can always be exceptions. The items you have ordered may suddenly run short or go out of stock, so try always to have a Plan B at hand. It is also possible that products may suddenly become pricier, as higher demand can lead to a higher cost.

Don’t fall into the trap of impulsive decisions and spending too much at this stage. Considering the state of the economy, it’s safe to say that the future is somewhat unpredictable. Therefore it might not be a good idea to use your credit card or take a loan to finance your project.

So, Should You Remodel During Covid-19?

Pandemic has undoubtedly slowed down the life we know, but it hasn’t destroyed it. Worldwide, the governments and the people are fighting to keep it on and work towards containing and eventually eliminating the source of problems. 

The times are hard; however, there is still space for some profitable remodelling decisions as well. If you are able to deal with the cons, the benefits can be significant. With all precautions taken, if you have your budget sorted out, by all means, go ahead. 

Psychology in Architecture: Home That Complements Your Personality

Should we feel nostalgic when it comes to choosing our new home style and follow the footsteps of our ancestors? Is it necessarily better to look ahead and leave our own footprint on the fabric of human civilization and be creative? Using psychology in architecture helps us connect with our roots, but at the same time allows us to explore new horizons.

It’s an impressive experience to trace back our steps through history and observe how the architecture and home design have evolved over centuries. When we revisit the past glory and what our ancestors left behind, we also witness the vital role of a creative mind behind each building. Every masterpiece of an era now tells the story of the lifestyle, people’s mindset, and their culture. 

Organic architecture
Organic architecture

There were always daring pioneers like Frank Loyd Wright or Gaudi. Many other architects also stepped out of their comfort zone to create functional beauty over and above streamlines and traditions. Additionally, there were people as investors, homeowners, or developers who believed in them and helped embody the legacy we learned to appreciate today. The work of art is an evolving culture that has to move forward, create beauty, continue the storytelling to the future generations, and reflect the current culture.

It’s easy to design and build an ordinary building, a house, or a shelter. Still, it needs a heck of a gut for the homeowner to ask for something out of the ordinary, that represents their personality and culture. I genuinely admire homeowners who want to step out of their comfort zone. Subsequently, I welcome the challenge of the task of creating the next masterpiece of habitat art for them.

Psychology in Architecture: A part of Our Identity

The design of any physical space heavily influences the psyche of people inhabiting/visiting that space, shaping their decisions, attitudes, and behavior.

Psychology in Architecture: Back to Nature
Reconnecting with nature

Scientists study the connection between psychology and the physical environment for the last four decades. However, that relationship is, at an intuitive level, as old as civilization itself. The effects of architectural frames on individuals and society have been considered from the early shelter to today ́s modern structure. Ancient temples were placed and organized in a way to enhance the desired effects. Alongside this, one can say that modern “temples” like malls and supermarkets continue the exact same approach.

Human perceptions of spaces they spend time in are under direct impact of the reflection of overall cultural and social identities. However, the psychological identity sense and its interaction with interior architecture occur more directly in smaller domains such as local neighborhoods, personal environments, and homes. We subconsciously identify with places that reflect our personality’s main features in a complex, bilateral interaction. It’s important to understand that our identity does not depend merely on the composition and form of physical space, but also heavily links to the concept of meaning and making sense. The person defines the space as much as space defines the person, mutually exchanging the gains.

Visual, audio, and physical sensations affect the psychological attitude of humans. That explains the vital role of all kinds of design in shaping behavioral pictures worldwide. Interior design needs a special place in studying these connections. One of the primary duties of architecture is to provide sheltering environments that can sustain, or even enhance, its occupants’ well-being. Considering the amount of time most of us are spending indoors, I dare say it’s truly essential.  

Living room
North Vancouver interior designer

Psychology in Architecture Means Designing a Home That Fits

Setting up an interior that reflects the psychological needs of its inhabitants is quite a challenge. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, as the ways we receive, perceive, and respond to a stimulus are numerous and dependable on personal experience. Culture, age, education level, gender, and social status are just some of the major factors determining occupants’ needs. 

The recent expansion of psychology in architecture and person-centered design had shed new light on a certain disconnection between designers and clients’ needs, research, and practices. From one point of view, architecture leans towards programming and determining clients’ needs. Proposed drafts are sometimes more in line with the current trends and location requirements than with the actual human interest. On the other hand, behavioral sciences take an interest in the role of the environment in terms of consistency with society’s needs. The best approach to architectural design is tending to create physical space as a crossover of the two, based on people’s behavioral characteristics.

Design outcome has a substantial impact on the quality of life, human behavior, and organizational performance of the place. A quality design fits the owner’s needs and can be adequately felt by the owner and attributed to him. The interior doesn’t have to be envisioned by the owner, but it has to reflect him. Great designers possess the ability to see the space through the client’s lenses but also correct mistakes that come with the lack of professional experience, teach, and direct in the best way possible.

Healthy home
Healthy home

Psychology in Architecture: No Place Like Home

The home interior also makes a statement for his owners while providing shelter. Thus it has to offer an unbeatable sense of “being on your own.” Your home is your kingdom, shaped by the way it fits you above everything else. There’s no place like home—because nothing else is a reflection of ourselves on such a large scale.

Close your eyes and imagine that you see an absolutely blank living room. There are no finishes, no furnishing, no parameters, no connection with the exterior. Does this room speak to you? Hardly. But try to add some color to the walls, bring down a wall that doesn’t feel right, put in some textures, and open the windows. Does it speak now? Imagine how far such a connection can reach in the hands of a knowledgeable architect or interior designer. The sky’s the limit.

Essential Reflections of Particular Styles

Scandinavian

This style rose to fame due to its uncomplicated and straightforward vibe focused on nature and comfort. Minimalistic and functional features mark the essentials of the Scandinavian approach. Key color schemes are clean and bright, like whitewash and timber tones. A variety in textures is welcome, as it gives the home an inviting, warm sensation.

In short, this style fits with an open, friendly, stylish personality interested in culture and elegance.

Minimalist

This interior design style dwells on a motto of “less is more.” Minimalism features highly defined, polished aesthetic design elements, developed to represent the most simple qualities. Every piece is a discreet statement of its own, and every tailored detail serves the function flawlessly.

Minimalism is a great fit for an introvert, as well as anyone highly organized, methodical, and efficient.

Psychology in architecture: Minimalist and pure
Basics only

Rustic/Modern Rustic

Rustic aesthetics are not only for farmhouses. It can also be a great way to reconnect with nature in a city environment. A fusion of style elements can create a trendy and sophisticated picturesque interior. It offers a sustainable solution to reuse old furniture, infusing it with new life with pops of color and fresh finishes. Throw blankets, pillows and textures provide an unbeatable “homey” feeling that teleport some straight back to secure, pampered childhood. 

This style is an excellent choice for a trendy yet classic, chic, and nature-loving person.

Classic/Traditional

The classic style offers a certain feel that time can be stopped. Often featuring high-quality pieces with lasting value and immortal décor, this kind of interiors embrace history and heritage. Color schemes are calming and neutral, in earthy hues like olive, beige cream, and wood.

The traditional interior style fits the person who is very detail-oriented, poised, elegant, and balanced.

vancouver living room
Traditional Vancouver living room

Modern

Younger generations (but not only them) generally prefer the sleek, spacious, simple design concentrating on function and organization. The modern design style enhances practicality, clean architectural lines, and cubist forms. It’s praised for having a strong impact on productivity, mainly because modern style implies a clutter-free environment, which helps to maintain the focus on essentials.

In terms of psychology in architecture, modern style is a paradise for an organized professional. This approach also serves the needs of a person who dwells on time-management.

Home Is More Than a Style Represented

Wherever your life takes you, home is the place to come back to over and over again. Your home is a place of comfort, safety, and self-expression. Your interior design style has purpose and meaning. It’s a communication tool that sends a clear message, a representation of everything you are.

Psychology in architecture: representing everything you are
Everything you are

A home perceived as safe and intimate provides significant psychosocial benefits. It represents a private sanctuary and develops a sense of identity and attachment. Any disturbance in harmony strongly limits this feeling, thereby reducing the home’s mental and social function. 

There are many indoor factors, such as thermal and lighting aspects, moisture, air quality, noise, radiation, or chemical compounds, that affect the psychological impact of the space. Exposure to these stressors can provenly cause both short-term and long-term effects.

That is why psychology in architecture is important. It’s not just your way to get a prettier home. In the hands of a serious designer, it’s also your one-way ticket to improve the overall quality of life.

Why I Like Open Concept Homes

Open floor plans dominate architectural trends in residential construction for a few decades, showing no signs of withdrawal. As a clear concept, it first appeared in the 1950s with the growing trend of contemporary styling. The popularity continued through the 1970s, and by the mid-’90s this type of layout has become a staple of modern design. Homeowners often turn to open concept solutions, mostly due to its sleekness and convenience.

A large portion of the major remodelling projects in older homes feature joining the kitchen, dining, and living room into a form of communal living space. The open concept implies, above all, elimination of all unnecessary walls and barriers in the living area. This kind of construction often relies on heavy-duty beams to carry the load. 

Sunshine coast interior, open concept
Sunshine coast interior

Why Do I Prefer to Design Open Concept Homes? 

The benefits of open floor plans are numerous: the free flow of natural light, the enhanced feeling of spaciousness, openness, and several social and family life advantages. It allows hosts to interact with their guests from the kitchen, or organize cooking parties. Also, parenting becomes more relaxed with the opportunity to do many things at once.

Maple ridge modern architect
Maple ridge modern architect

 Advantages of Open Concept Homes

  • An open floor plan encourages traffic flow. Without walls to hinder movements and doors to open and close, people can move through space more freely.
  • Social interaction and communication significantly improve in the absence of walls. Without barriers, it’s possible to talk and keep contact across the rooms without interruptions.
  • The abundance of light is one of the major benefits of open concept space. Large windows allow for the maximum of natural light to fill the living area. Additionally, the open concept solves the issue of having rooms with windows too small or non-existent.
  • Real estate value can significantly increase. An open floor plan is highly sought after and usually affects your home’s value in the eyes of prospective buyers.
  • The open floor concept simplifies multitasking for families with small kids. Parents can easily supervise children while simultaneously performing their daily activities.
  • The absence of partitions walls allows for more flexibility in setting up a layout. It’s easier to reconfigure furnishings and accessories while utilizing available space in the most efficient way possible.
  • In contrast to closed rooms, the open floor concept is also multifunctional. The area can efficiently serve as a family room, a recreation room, a home office, or an entertainment space. Without major interventions, you can use the place according to your needs of the moment.
  • Large gatherings can be accommodated with no problem. Simply rearranging elements within the open home offers more flexibility than trying to navigate around many static parts of the structure.
Maple ridge modern home
Maple ridge modern home

Psychology of the Open Concept Space

Interior design has a major impact on your emotions and perception. There is a dedicated part of your brain that reacts to the geometry of the space. That is why the best design orchestrates proportion, symmetry, balance, and rhythm to introduce an overall sense of harmony.

Meanwhile, every color, shape, or shade can trigger the subconscious associations. Light, at the same time, has a role of its own. The spaces we live in are an inherent part of people’s mental well-being. It’s the responsibility of the architect to take all factors into consideration and shape solutions that will benefit the user at many, or all, levels.

When it comes to your living space, openness offers wideness. Combined with windows that connect it to the outside world, it gives the feeling of freedom. Humans are not meant to live in boxes, and your living space should not remind you of a dungeon, keeping you closed between narrow walls. In contrast to your bedroom that requires a sense of intimacy and privacy, the living area should be a place to connect and spread your wings.

Some of the key designing factors every architect must consider are ease of movement, sensory stimulation, and social connectedness. Along comes the quality of light and air. The open concept works alongside all those factors to deliver the best package of benefits within designated limits.

luxury house designer
Luxury open space concept

Harmonized Aesthetics

When we design open space, we join the compartments of living room, kitchen, family room, and dining room. At the same time, we explore new, creative ways to separate these compartments. Even the tiniest changes in the decorative motives, panning, light pattern, or floor covering, create an orchestra of beauty. On the contrary, when a designer separates them by walls and hallway, not only does the place look smaller, but it indeed loses a lot of space for the circulation from one room to another. 

Having a clear plan in mind before diving into any design project is always important. However, when you’re working with an open concept space, it becomes the priority. To put a proper focus on the room’s aesthetics, you first need a defined idea of the ways you intend to use the space. Stunning visuals lose their impact if a person inside can’t function due to a bad floor plan or inadequate furniture.

The best way to harmonize is to create distinct groupings by function. When putting an open space together, visual cues separate each dedicated zone without the need for specified barriers. For instance, a kitchen and a dining area often share one common space. In this case, a kitchen island or peninsula acts as a visual dividing line between the two regions.

To create zoning between a dining area and a living room, a divider can be a short set of stairs, different paint colors, different flooring, a laser-cut decorative barrier, or a bookshelf.

Maintaining a steady aesthetic flow throughout an open-concept space is crucial. All principal design features, such as flooring, furnishing style, and lighting, should be consistent. Color palettes should complement one another. Highlights and accents are achieved through deco, layers of texture, and different hues.

Dining room, open concept home
Stairs as a divider

Increased Maneuverability

The open space concept offers more flexibility in use, and also improves productivity. A typical kitchen traffic flow follows the line of acquiring—washing/cutting—cooking food. The efficiency of this process greatly depends on the available space. The size and shape of a traditional working triangle are determined by the sink, fridge, and stove positions. Minimizing the distance between them is easier to achieve in an open concept plan due to its flexibility. 

The open plan also allows more users at the same time, without movement interruption.

That is very convenient for smaller homes, since allowing fewer restrictions for shared activities with high frequency. An open floor concept is a consistently functional space with augmented friends & family factors.

Regardless of age, moving around is more comfortable when your home is not separated by doors and hallways. Since there are no walls between the rooms, the travel distance is shorter between point A to point B in a house. This is especially significant for residents with mobility issues. Using walking assistance or a wheelchair is a lot easier with fewer barriers on the way.

Maple ridge contemporary home, open concept
Plenty of space for traffic flow

Furnishing an Open Concept Space

An open plan’s interior design depends on a space available to work with, the ways to divide and arrange dedicated zones, and the volume of traffic necessary to secure functionality.

One of the common mistakes in laying out an open concept home is not considering traffic flow. Functionally conducive walkways between zones should go hand in hand with furniture layout, supporting instead of compromising each other. 

An open floor plan should not be interrupted by too many visual barriers. Partitioning the area defeats the purpose of having an open-concept. An open shelving unit, for example, can create division while still maintaining a sense of openness, but cluttering it with too much deco will distract the eye’s line of sight.

When the entire room is within sight, it’s easier to spot the subtle inconsistencies that break up the harmony. Tall furniture can visually anchor one area more than the others. Significant differences in flooring or too many strong, contrasting wall colors will ruin the streamline and bring out the vibe of discomfort in place of a balanced, pleasant symmetry. 

modern kitchen designer
Consistency is the key

Fewer walls can also mean less storage space. The utilization of empty wall space can circumvent such an issue. Smart storage and built-in hidden shelves provide plenty of creative opportunities. A kitchen island or bar can also host some hidden storage compartments. Modern design offers visually flawless multifunctional pieces, such as a coffee table that doubles as a storage box or a sofa designed with surrounding exterior shelves.

Finally, seating should always inspire social interaction. A well-designed open space concept will offer some space for a private conversation, with sofas and armchairs arranged to create more intimate contacts.