Lab Rats – Studying the Science Behind Your Home

Many of us opt to ‘aim high’ when renovating or designing our space. Tall windows, walls and ceilings – they create impact and strengthen acoustics. But, did you know there’s more to those 3metre studs than meets the eye. In the name of science, your architecture choices are doing much more than meeting design expectations – they’re promoting performance and improving your conceptual thinking.

What does neuroscience have to do with building my home, you say? Think design choices that effect the way we live, work and function . . .

Sky high: The story of Jonas Salks, an American medical researcher, still remains the most cited example of the unique tie between architecture and the brain. In the 1950s, Salks – struggling to discover a cure for polo – moved to a monastery in Umbria, Italy. He claims the high ceilings and Romanesque arches enabled him to clear his obstructed mind, inspiring his solution – a vaccine was founded.

Research suggests that higher ceilings promote greater performance and strengthen conceptual thinking. On the flipside, lower ceiling spaces have been toted to improve our mathematical thinking. Think higher – think expansive, opt lower – think focused and contained.

Plant space: Research tells us that our visual connection to the outdoors also impacts our cognitive behaviours. Just being able to see a plant, a slice of the sky or a water view from the kitchen bench or dining table, influences our stress levels and mindset.  

Colour waves: Warm colours promote longevity and warmth – we want to spend time in rooms that exude softer lighting and hues. Calm and serenity on your list? Aim for blues and whites, say colour palette experts.

Lighting fix: Every aspect of home design – right down to the lighting position – can evoke mood and feelings. Wanting less formality in your home? Lighting below eye level livens the mood – think low wall lighting down hallways and corridors, and lighting above eye level creates spaciousness and deepens the mood.

Science or no science, when it comes to your home – it’s what’s on the inside that is going to count towards how you live, play and feel. www.coalesce.nz

Take the Long Road – Design for timelessness, not just the here and now

Living Coral may be the colour of 2019 but when you’re planning on living in your home beyond Christmas, the love and goodwill may be hard to muster in amongst a pink headache. It’s true, our tastes change and our needs change – what we sort five years ago in a lounge suite isn’t going to cut it with the two-year-old. When it comes to art there are no rules that say we have to stick with one particular style – some of the most inspirational artistic people out there make the biggest shifts – Frank Gehry for example.

However, when it comes to architectural design, there are a few timeless choices we can implement first and foremost, that will provide the necessary platform to shift with our lifestyles, mould with our latest furniture purchases and accommodate our on-trend must-haves.

So, if you’re in the business of a new build or renovating a home, apartment or office space, here’s where we think timeless decisions will serve you better than trendy . . .

Height – A featured ceiling with a high stud will never date.

Clean lines – In terms of architecture, a ‘clean line’ in a building emphasises strength and provides a sharper contrast between other elements in the space.

Flooring – Black and white kitchen tiles, solid wooden floors – both will look good in five, 10 and 20 year’s time.

Nature – High-quality materials never go out of style. Wood, stone, leather exude a comfortable classic look and develop a natural patina over time.

A favourite timeless architectural design example of ours . . . The Conversation Pit – think Mad Men – popularised in the 1960s and 70s. In a world where everyone’s starring at screens, a designated spot that brings everyone together for a good ole yak has got to have ageless appeal.

Ready to start your architectural conversation? Let’s coalesce!

 

 

 

Want ‘Real’ New Year Architecture Inspiration for 2019? Look to the way we’re living . . .

Like bikes with bells, scrunchies and chatter rings, trends have defined, moved and reinvented us. Architecture is much the same, it’s ever-changing – there are emerging trends every week, month, year. With so many decades of inspiration tucked under our belt, its no easy feat finding your fit in a melting pot of design. But, as Ludwig Miles van der Rohe says: “Not yesterday, not tomorrow, only today can be given form. Only this architecture creates.”What is today’s architecture reacting to? Well according to architect Veronica Schreibeis Smith, “Spaces that were just for cooking and eating, for example, are now being re-thought to “promote life-enhancing daily habits and rituals.”

Unlike the minor refinement of the 1950s kitchen, today’s kitchen and dining spaces are about well-being and creating meaningful lifestyle choices – think stone engineered counters, induction cooktops.

Outside the kitchen, our rooms continue to open up to new ways of living. Many of us want an aural and visual connection between two spaces – dining and lounge, lounge and office, dining and patio – but simultaneously want to have the ability to close off that space if required – with concealed cavities that are tucked away out of sight, of course!

Just like the all too referenced indoor-outdoor trend, the call for a ‘flexible ‘spaces will continue to sound for some time – think sliding doors, pocket doors, dividers, all transitioning between rooms in the home and outdoor areas. Why so flexible? Because our living style dictates it. Home office, Airbnb, man cave, guest suite, playroom our homes wear many hats and so should its design.

Want design that fits your speak, let’s coalesce . . .