Context and Longevity

The design of interior space must respond to specific time-related goals. For example, retailers are concerned about the next five years, while banks want to convey long term stability. The interior design of homes is generally approached with longevity in mind, whether as an example of contemporary thinking or as a connection to the stability of the past. In both cases, context is key to the longevity of the design.

You choose a neighbourhood for many reasons, such as schools, transit, safety or quiet and sometimes, the prevailing architecture doesn’t match your lifestyle. We’ve worked on many homes designed to blend within the context of the neighbourhood, but don’t fit with a vision of modern family life. With each client, we consider how their family will live in their chosen environment, and whether they want the interior to harmonize with the architecture or contrast with it. In each decision, it’s important to consider the architecture, in order to ensure a well-designed home with longevity.

Harmonizing can mean anything from an historic approach to a contemporary, clean-lined version of the traditional style. To ensure longevity, visual cues are implanted in the design that anchors it to the architecture. Reflecting the home’s exterior details, this long upper hall’s rhythmic pattern of doorways, arches and sconces is bathed in light from one custom polished nickel high lens. To achieve symmetry, the three windows were draped to look like two.

Contrast or juxtaposition is more challenging to design because the visual cues are more subtle, more an echo of the exterior than a direct quote. This clean, open, contemporary interior responds to this young family’s modern tastes, but references the home’s traditional exterior elements, grey-brown stone / black-brown trim, in elements such as the flooring material and stair’s dark steel patina.

Jeffrey Douglas