When caught in the thick of moving house, or planning the architecture of your new build or renovation, it can be all too easy to leave your home’s interior design to chance, whim, or what’s simple at the time.
Lucy Mackey talks to Chantelle Nagamany, the design development manager for Averna Homes, about taking an intentional approach to design, and creating personalised spaces that promote a harmonious lifestyle.
When moving into a new dwelling, it can be tempting to settle for furnishings from your old home, thrown together with on-sale items hurriedly selected at the last minute. Similarly, it may seem easier to make do with existing finishes than update the walls and floors. However, the decision to redesign your living space with conscious intent will make all the difference to the experience of your home in the long run.
For Chantelle Nagamany, creating an intentional interior means thinking about its purposes beyond the design brief. Giving thought to everything from your values and lifestyle habits, to your budget and existing home will enable you to create a space that promotes an adaptable and uncomplicated way of living, while reflecting who you are as a person.
IT BEGINS WITH YOU
In our busy work-oriented society, time spent in our homes is essential for recharging our bodies and minds; they are our refuge and the one place we can alter to suit our personal preferences, so it’s essential that we do. “Your routine at home might seem like a small detail, but when you create a space for yourself that suits your lifestyle, the home will work for you,” Nagamany says. Long before you begin looking at paint and fabric swatches, it’s important to consider how you and your family will be using the space. This may seem obvious, but sometimes it’s easy to become caught up in how we ought to live, and forget what we actually enjoy. If entertaining is a priority, then the space should reflect this, and in turn, if privacy and quiet is important, an intentional interior will provide it.
THE RULE OF THREE
When it comes to creating your space, Nagamany identifies three key principles to guide renovators in their quest for a harmonious interior. First, the space should reflect your personal style, with furniture pieces and textures that are chosen to express your individuality. Feeling connected to your environment on an emotional level is the basis of a calm and easy home life.
Secondly, it’s important for the spaces to be laid out in such a way that suits your unique routine, because a well-planned home goes a long way in eliminating the daily stress we all encounter. Put yourself first and consider how you will use the space; it might be as simple as positioning the television so you can watch it while preparing dinner at the kitchen island. It’s often the small touches that make for an intentional interior.
Lastly, all the textural elements of your home should combine harmoniously, from room to room. This will promote a pleasing, relaxing atmosphere. “Textural finishes and lighting are integral to a renovation,” Nagamany says. “They really set the tone and atmosphere of a space; they’re what makes a house a home.”
WARM AND WELCOMING
With open-plan living, dining and kitchen spaces now the norm for modern homes, “you want each space to complement the next so that all spaces work harmoniously”, Nagamany says. Creating designated zones for different activities is important to introduce a sense of welcome and order to your open-plan living area, and according to Nagamany, lighting has a big part to play in this. “Fixtures with beautiful forms soften the space, allowing you to add a functional detail as well as ambient light.”
In 2019, many of us are searching for a wholesome connection to nature, and such hues will never be out of place in the home. “Natural tones and textures are always a perfect match for kitchens, living and dining spaces,” Nagamany says. “They allow the environment to grow with you.” It’s again important to consider who will be using the space; as the living area will be welcoming guests, natural-hued furnishings are an excellent choice as they are sure to please and set visitors at ease.
YOUR SOUL SANCTUARY
At the end of a long day, your bedroom is your personal retreat, and has the freedom to be a true reflection of yourself. Nagamany recommends optimising natural light and views in this space, as “you want those elements to enrich you every morning as you wake”. When it comes to the colour palette, Nagamany says “it’s always a great idea to deepen the tone in the bedrooms, as this will imbue these areas with a more emotional atmosphere”. She favours dark, earthy colours for bedroom furnishings.
In contemporary design, the bathroom has finally caught up to the kitchen and moved beyond pure functionality. According to Nagamany, an intentional bathroom design begins with texture, tone and detail.
Of course, it’s equally important to keep in mind how the bathroom will be used. “Determine whether the bathroom is for one or two people, and look at how you’ll use the space together.” She also recommends providing easy and discrete access from the living area, or in the case of an en suite, a natural flow from the bedroom. When it comes to the colour palette, “softer, natural tones always work well in wet areas”, she says. “It allows your tapware, mirror and basin to come to life and really emphasise their individual form and function.”
By investing time in considering what each room of the house means to you, promoting a natural flow, and selecting textural elements that work in harmony, you can create intentional interiors within your home, ensconce your family and friends in welcoming warmth, and enhance your personal sanctuary all at once.