Design Basics – Furniture Function And Style

It is thought that at one time, man roamed the earth struggling for survival in a world full of obstacles & dangers that threatened his very existence. Some believe life was lived on a day to day basis. Food was gathered. Shelter was found. But as man adapted & evolved to better suite his surroundings, he found that life could be less burdensome with a few tweaks and changes. Necessity spawned ingenuity. Tools were created that made catching food a bit less exhausting, transporting water a bit more effective and yes, communing in the cave a bit more enjoyable.

I cannot speak to the veracity of such claims, but I do enjoy the pictures they paint. The fundamental explanations of why the spaces in which we live and the furnishings with which we choose to populate them, must always have a “function” that supersedes all design stylings or manufacturing methods I find comforting if not always agreeable.

Though we still live in an age where the functionality of our furniture is imperative to our daily lives, we now find ourselves at a point in history where our furnishings (and even our surroundings in general) help define who we are. Not just our social status or upbringing as it may have done a few centuries ago, but our furniture now sets us apart from our colleagues, our friends & even our family. It shares, with all who enter our dwelling, the most intimate details of our life. What our interests are…where we may place certain priorities…even who we desire ourselves to be.

Furniture in our homes not only help to define certain characteristics that we posses, but it also creates a level of comfort that can only be found in our most secluded of spaces…those places we consider a retreat from the world (you remember, that world full of obstacles & dangers that threaten our very existence). It is in these spaces we find rest from a weary day. We find the quiet solace of a plush cushion behind our heads or an oak surface under our feet.

What makes a piece of furniture great? Sometimes the best answers are more questions…

First, what do you need your piece of furniture to accomplish for you (in the hunter/gatherer sense of the phrase)? What will it hold or store? Where will it go?

Next, what stylisticaly defines you & your interests? What do you perceive as “Quality in Design”? How do you want to be perceived by those who enter your home?

Finally, what brings you comfort, peace & pleasure? Is there a scent or sight that may help to ease the pressures of the day? Or maybe a texture or surface that defines (for you) rest and reassurance?

Furniture is so much more than utility. It becomes who we are as individuals. It helps define us & comfort us. It brings us the rest we need after a long day of gathering. A well designed piece of furniture should fit you like a glove. There should be no questions as to whether it belongs in your home. The only question should be…Can I afford it?