Comfort: The Feel Good Principle Of Design

Posted on | November 21, 2011 | 1 Comment

Not so long ago, home design was centered around showcasing a person’s individual style, and comfort took a backseat. Today, comfort, style and function are equally important to homeowners, and a designer’s focus is on thoughtfully blending all three. To find out more about how and why comfort influences today’s designs, we recently talked to interior designer Anne Simmons of Anne Simmons ASID Designs. Anne has seen first-hand the changes in the wants and needs of homeowners over the past few years, and offered us some valuable insight.

Images Courtesy of Anne Simmons ASID Designs Dustin Peck Photography

NCD: When did the recent shift toward comfort in design begin?

AS: I would say it began right after 9/11. People began to think in a more family-oriented way, and wanted to create a safe, loving and close environment in their homes. It was really a shift in perspective from a home as a showplace to a home as a haven. The recent economic downturn has also been a factor. People wanted to spend their pennies wisely on things they really wanted, really needed, and could really use. This made their living space more personal, more functional, and therefore, more comfortable.

NCD: Comfort is as much emotional as it is tactile. How do you add a sense of emotional comfort in your designs?

AS: When creating a comfortable space, there are no one or two ingredients that designer uses. Comfort means different things in different rooms. It also means different things to different people. One person might find comfort in a cup of hot cocoa and prefer a warm chocolate color on the walls. Another person may find fall comforting, and want colors that relate to that season. A person’s idea of what’s comfortable is usually unconsciously based on warm and cozy experiences from their past. It’s my job as a designer to draw those experiences out of the client and use them to create a room that’s comfortable for them.

NCD: Are there design details, such as fabrics or colors, that can help a space feel more comfortable?

AS: I find that my clients are attracted to natural fabrics like cotton and linen. They also tend to choose natural colors: earth tones like brown and green, as well as mineral colors like turquoise, jade and merlot. I find that my clients also like to incorporate sparkling, shining tones, such as crystal, gold and silver into the design for a bit of “approachable elegance.”

Images Courtesy of Anne Simmons ASID Designs Dustin Peck Photography

NCD: Is it difficult to incorporate beauty, function and comfort in a single design?

AS: No, especially not these days. Manufacturers today are aware of the comfort factor and provide items that are beautiful, serviceable, wearable and easy to clean. It’s really all about knowing your client’s tastes and lifestyles, and helping them find items they love that will also meet their individual functional needs.

Anne Simmons ASID Designs is an interior designer in Charlotte that specializes in creating comfortable, classic and timeless living spaces in homes throughout Charlotte and Western North Carolina.

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One Response to “Comfort: The Feel Good Principle Of Design”

  1. Ellen Reed
    November 21st, 2011 @ 5:08 PM


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