The Principles of Design for Kitchens and Bathrooms

Good design is defined as unity of design and a timeless look. But to achieve unity and an evergreen look one must give consideration to all the principles of design. Remodeling your kitchen and bathroom is so much more than selecting fixtures and painting the walls. A good remodel will have a well thought out design concept that begins with the principles of design as its foundation.

The principles are balance, rhythm, emphasis/focal point, scale, proportion, and harmony/unity. In order to have a better understanding of these concepts we will look at each at it pertains to bathroom remodel planning and kitchen planning.

Let’s start with balance which is the distribution of the visual weight of objects, colors, textures and space. On a recent powder room design a client requested tile to be installed above the vanity all the way up the wall and considered tiling the whole wall not just above the vanity. The powder room being very small could only visually support a small amount of tile without making the space feel bulky or heavy. Based on the principle of balance we opted for less is more and decided not to do the whole wall. Thought was also given to the light pendants we chose, again wanting to keep the room balanced we chose streamline lights that had very little bulk and clear glass to keep the balance of the space feeling light. These decisions helped the design of this small room feel spacious even with the lack of square footage.

Moving onto rhythm. The easiest way to create rhythm within a space is to repeat elements of design which can include line, shape, texture, color, pattern and light. In a recent bathroom project we used floral like mosaic in the shower, on the floor and on an accent wall. We repeated the pattern in several areas over mute color tile to give the bathroom rhythm. In a recent kitchen we used straight lines on the cabinet doors, hardware, light fixtures and furniture to create rhythm and flow. The idea is to keep the eye moving in a natural way that makes one feel relaxed and comfortable in the space and never overwhelmed.

Emphasis/focal point is one of my favorite principles of design to work with. Here the idea is to showcase a portion of the design and hold the viewer’s attention. Often referred to as the “wow” factor one can be as creative as they want as long as thought is given to the rest of the design principles. One of my favorite design projects was a master bathroom that was designed in all marble. The entire bathroom was jaw dropping so creating a focal point meant we had to get creative. The solution was building a false wall to house a fireplace and wall to wall niche tiled in herringbone which was accented with sun from a skylight. Though the entire space was breathtaking everyone who entered held their attention to the false wall we created. Focal point achieved!

Scale refers to the relationship of two or more objects, one that has a commonly known size. In a kitchen we know the average prep sink is 12×12. When selecting a faucet for this sink it would not be appropriate to select a large goose neck or commercial kitchen faucet.

Proportion is an obvious principle and easy to spot if it’s not calculated correctly. Simply put, one can not have a nine foot walk in shower in a bathroom that is only 8×9. The proportion of the shower is overwhelming and too large for the space. Likewise we would not use a giant chandelier meant for cathedral ceiling in a kitchen with eight foot ceilings. Scale and proportion go hand in hand and are a very important part of good design.

Harmony is all the different elements coming together to create a well thought out and beautiful design. In a recent mid-century makeover we gave thought to every element we added to the space. We chose dark blue tile, bold gold fixtures, walnut colored cabinets and turn of the century lights. Once all the elements were combined the harmony of the space was obvious. We would not have added polk-a-dots or nickel finishes to this design. Anything outside mid-century would have disrupted the flow.

Design has endless possibilities and with the right care given to the principles of design any bathroom or kitchen can be turned into a showplace!

I guess everyone would agree with me when I say that the wedding cake plays a very serious role in a wedding. Therefore, selecting a cake for the wedding is a huge responsibility. But, this is something that you procrastinate until the last minute. And in those last moments, with the pe-wedding jitters, an increase of workload, formalities and rituals, choosing the wedding cake seems almost impossible due to which you either pass on the responsibility to someone else or choose any cake just for the sake of it.

Now this is not how you plan a perfect wedding, just like any other wedding preparation choosing of a wedding cake also needs to be started at least 2-3 months before the wedding, giving the bride and groom ample amount of time to select the perfect cake for their special day. Now this is a task that seems to be very simple but later when you start the process, you realize how complicating and confusing choosing a wedding cake can be.

In order to choose the perfect cake for your dream wedding, there are a few simple guidelines that you need to follow-

1. APPEALING APPEARANCE

The flavor of the cake, it's texture, taste, everything is important but the main thing to keep in mind is the appearance of the cake. If the cake does not look tempting enough, people might skip it thinking it might not taste good. Therefore, decoration of the cake has to be keenly focused on.

2. THEMED CAKES

Even though it is not a compulsion to have a wedding themed cake, it does make the day more special and memorable. A cake with toppers of the bride and the groom makes the cake look elegant and romantic at the same time.

3. TIERED CAKES

The wedding cakes are usually preferred as a tiered cake. The tiered cakes somehow always seem to look elegant and classy. In a practical sense, it is an advantage as it helps in having more quantity of the cake in less space so that every guest can get a taste of it.

4. TYPE OF FROSTING

Many people do not tend to think about this aspect of the cake much and choose any kind f frosting. But frostings like buttercream, icing, etc. have the danger of getting ruined as they are comparatively very delicate. Whereas, in the case of fondant, it not only gives a polished and classy look to the cake, it is also easy to handle.

5. DELIVERY

One of the crucial tasks regarding the wedding cake is to make sure that it reaches the venue safe and sound. Any mistake while bringing the cake may ruin it completely, which can not be afforded. Therefore, this is work that needs to be taken very seriously and done perfectly.

These are a few things that need to be kept in mind while ordering a wedding cake. While all these are very important, the most important thing is that the cake should be of the choice of the bride and the groom. The wedding day is all about them both, right from the scratch, everything that has to do with the wedding should be according to the couple's choice, including the cake.