“The details, that’s what the world is made of.” Wise words from film director and producer, Wes Anderson. I could not agree more. Architect & Furniture Designer, Charles Eames, went a step further with stating “The details are not the details, they make the design.”
With interior design, the small parts of a design that may seem inconsequential may actually be the critical decisions that define a project. Let’s take a look at a standard kitchen remodel. A lot goes into a kitchen remodel, but I am going to focus on cabinetry today and look at all the opportunities to knock a design out of the park with attention to detail.
The first step in creating a cohesive design is to determine the design style you want to achieve – traditional, transitional, contemporary – and potential subset within each. This could mean traditional craftsman, federalist, or coastal; contemporary mid-century modern… you get the idea. Once the style is defined, so many other pieces fall in place.
Let’s take a look at a few examples…
Here is a beautiful traditional kitchen with the perimeter done in White painted, inset cabinetry, and the island in a Heritage E distressed finish. Look at how the deliberately chosen turned post shape mimics the curvature of the statement clock against the wall.
Also, notice the care that was taken in aligning the crown molding with the coffers in the ceiling and how that relates to the door frames and arched openings.
These are details that in some ways can be more impactful than the cabinetry itself. If these details are planned out poorly, a room will look disjointed at best – cheaply constructed at worst.
Below is an example of a kitchen that used black as a coordinating color in its toe, undercabinet light railing, accent doors (to the left), and crown to successfully integrate other black elements (countertops, appliance control panels) into the design.
Imagine this kitchen without the black molding and door accents, and this becomes a predictable kitchen with appliances standing out. The thoughtful application of black accents is what makes this kitchen unique and pulled together.
Below we see a traditional, cottage styled kitchen with some details that really define the style.
The cottage bead paneling on the back is key to this look, and notice the decorative toes and the valances provide style points. The hardware is a beautiful, functional detail that really pulls it all together.
Special thought was even given to the decorative molding below the cove crown, notice the vertical, carved architectural detailing. Without attention to the smaller details, this would be an ordinary, predictable kitchen.
My main point here is that every decision, no matter how small, is an opportunity to enhance a design. Be deliberate in your choices. In the design world, it can be easy to get bogged down in the minutiae. I hope that you will embrace the minutiae and appreciate the world of opportunities it provides.
I’ll end with one last quote from Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, “Geeks are people that love something so much that all the details matter.” I think the world could use a few more Design Geeks out there, and if I have managed to stir this population just a bit, then the world will be a more beautiful and interesting place!