How to Create a Space That’s Both Functional and Inviting

Hi, I’m Cherie Arscott with Architectural Design Studios!  Today I’m going to share some great design tips to better educate you on how to make each space in your home not only functional but inviting as well.


I’ll start with the entryway, as it is the most important part of your home.  The first steps through the doorway set the tone.  While this space is about utility, it doesn’t have to lack personality.  You want your entryway to be a beautiful and welcoming place to you and your guests.  It is a small space, often forgotten, but it’s also a space that can change your mood and mind-set.  Before you decide on how to fill this space, take a moment and think about how much space you have and how it will function.  If you have a smaller space to work with, that doesn’t mean your furniture and décor need to be on the small side too.  It is a good idea to add larger pieces, such as a long console table or bench and an oversized mirror.  This will give the illusion that the space is bigger than it really is.  It is also a great way to incorporate details that add the welcoming factor.  Maybe add some books, a simple picture frame, or plants to soften up the space.   Add a table lamp for additional lighting and possibly a basket or two for storage since entryways are where we tend to dump all our “stuff” when we get home.  Consider adding a patterned area rug to highlight the space.  One last factor to consider is the paint color.  Try to keep your color palette neutral because it can help to provide more of a clean foundation to design around that other colors can’t.  This gives you more freedom to get creative with your décor.

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~Living Room

The next space I’m going to discuss is the living room.  This space is one of the most multipurpose areas of your home, so defining the space is essential.  From the furniture to the décor, it needs to reflect your style and be functional.  You want to create a space that encourages interaction while also allowing you to unwind.

Creating the perfect living room does take some planning.  First, define the mood and vibe you would like in the space and identify the energy that makes you feel best.  Think about specific places, feelings, and moments in time that can guide you.  The living room should be about your interests on the broadest level, making them understandable for those who visit and adaptable enough to change with time.  Study the objects you own and love.  Figure out what theme you can build around them.  Once you’ve identified the base mood, it’s time to add pattern, color and texture through textiles and accessories.  Pattern adds movement and emotion in the room.  Using the same print in different areas of the room help to unify the space.   Choose a pattern that resonates with the mood of the activities you plan to do in the space.  Add color to create brightness and interest.  Focus on texture by using woven pieces of furniture, baskets, woven fabrics, wood or stone.  Also, try to choose more neutral colors for your main pieces of furniture to keep the focus on the foundation.

How to Create a Space That’s Both Functional and Inviting 4~Kitchen

The kitchen is just as important as the living room and can go a long way to reflect the beauty and appeal of the home.  Take cues from other rooms in your home to make this space more personal.  For example, use your floors, ceiling and walls to become expressive components by using pattern, texture and color.  This can be done by using decorative tiles on your walls, a fresh coat of paint, or maybe wood paneling on your ceiling.   This is a great way to give your kitchen a sense of character.  Add low-maintenance plants, herbs and flowers to the right spots to bring in a sense of soul and extra decorative flair to the kitchen.  Bringing in nature from the outside is a great way to make your kitchen feel alive.  Also, always look for ways to make your kitchen look more organized and clutter-free.  Getting a stylish kitchen faucet or an elegant coffee maker will not only make your kitchen more functional but will give it a more appealing and modern look.  This helps to free up more usable space as well and create a calmer atmosphere.  It also a good idea to bring in warm and natural-looking bright lighting because it can help add more life to the kitchen.  This can be in the form of overhead pendants or even under cabinet lighting.

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~Dining Room

Ultimately the heart of any home is the dining space.  It’s embodied with daily memories, love, and joy.  Gathering around a table reinforces the importance of family.  Whether it’s an eat-in kitchen or a formal dining room, this is the place where we gather to celebrate the everyday as well as the special events.  Setting the table gives you flexibility and opportunity to try new things and change the mood.  A great way to warm up this space is to consider using open shelving or a credenza to display objects of meaning.  It could be plates and dishes, or they don’t have to relate to dining at all.  Let collections and small groupings shine by keeping the backdrop soft.  Look to bring pieces with history into your space.  A table or chairs made from reclaimed wood is so much more personal and exciting than something picked up at a furniture store.  If you want to have a brighter, more cheerful vibe, consider bringing in color through artwork or a textured rug and make it a focal point.  These important pieces can also provide clues for how to compose the room.  You could also paint the walls a bold color or even a use a patterned wallpaper.  A printed fabric can tie together an abstract patterning concept, such as the arrangement of your dining room chairs.  Look for interesting shapes and materials to create patterning with your lighting, accessories, and furniture.  When setting the table for an occasion, change the mood or refine it with the use of accessories.  Let nature be a part of your meals, from where you’re seated and the food you’re eating to flowers on the table and china patterns that reference it.  No matter what space you have, and how you’ve built the foundation, the plates and pieces you bring to the table will shape the story and lead and encourage celebration.

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The most important element of the bedroom should be a place to recharge and rest.  Of course, this means different things for different people.  Think about the places and things that make you feel recharged.  Dark and cozy or light and airy?  A peaceful and serene space may be what lets you unwind, or conversely, a space filled with visual inspiration could provide you comfort.  Investigate this on a personal level and make this place your retreat.  Use color and accessories as tools to make the room feel unique.  A little continuity can be as simple as reintroducing or reinterpreting elements used in other rooms.  Consider bigger items like furniture as a way to provide unity throughout the home by making sure they have an aesthetic connection on a broad level such as the design period, materials, and color.

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The bathroom is often a neglected space when it comes to decorating, but as one of the most personal rooms in any house, it deserves attention.  Approach the bathroom as you would any other room.  Think about unique places you’ve seen that use tile, glass, mirrors, porcelain, stone, marble, and other materials found in the bathroom that exude a vibe you love.  Your inspiration could be a visit to the spa that left you blissfully relaxed, an elegant hotel bathroom, a restaurant with an open kitchen, or even the simplicity of an outdoor shower in the summer.   Consider the big picture first and set an overarching vision for the space.  Remember that a bathroom can be personal and homey even if it’s simple.  Start by paying attention to the finishes.  Consider mixing natural elements, such as linen and different wood textures, to warm up the space and keep white from feeling stark.  You can even find tiles that look like wood.  White subway tiles are also a great option for shower walls and always give off a classic look.  Next, look to the floor.  Possibly use a decorative tile to enhance the feeling of calm and relaxation.   Try to think outside the box when it comes to accessories and textiles.  Just a few pieces can completely transform the space.  Bringing nature into the bathroom is also a way to renew, which is ultimately what this space is all about.

How to Create a Space That’s Both Functional and Inviting


So, as you can see, there are many ways to create the spaces in your home to be not only functional but inviting as well.  I hope you enjoyed today’s topic and look forward to seeing you all next time.  Thanks for watching!