7 Ways to Combine the Pretty and the Practical in Your Space

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We all want a stylish home, which is why we go to great lengths to make sure that we purchase the right furniture and accessories for our space. But on top of being stylish, we must never forget that our space should also be practical and safe, especially when (or once!) we have little kids at home.

Interior designer Ayet San Jose-Aniag, principal designer of Design 1528, says, “The most basic rule of design, which I always apply in all my projects comes from Architect Louis Sullivan’s famous quote, ‘Form follows function.’ In order for one to say that the space has been thoroughly designed and well-thought of, style, practicality and safety should all be considered.” Here are her tips on how to achieve that:

1. Before shopping for your home, consider the occupants or users of the space.
“An efficiently designed space is functional and well-maximized, with ample storage and movable spaces. It should also have the correct anthropometry or measurements or proportions relating to the inhabitants of the space so they will feel comfort and ease while living inside it,” explains Aniag. She further notes that safety also considers the quantity of inhabitants of the space as well as the objects inside it to avoid overcrowding.

2. Aside from function, pay attention to the form and texture of the furniture you are about to buy.
“Clean lines should have few pointed or sharp edges. The furniture or accessory should also have the correct dimensions in relation to the space where you plan to put it.” Aniag adds, “The material [of the furniture] should be smooth so the person can use it easily or can move it using their bare hands. Also, materials should not conduct heat and have a fire-retardant rating for safety purposes in case of fire. It should also not retain moisture so molds and mildew cannot thrive in it. For accessories such as ceramic or glass, consider something that is unbreakable or has a ‘tempered’ material.”

3. In the kitchen, go for solid surface for your kitchen countertop instead of tiles to avoid chipping or breakage.
According to Aniag, materials for the cabinets should have a fire-retardant rating for safety purposes. One should also select materials that are water-resistant so moisture would not cause damage to the furniture. Tempered glass is also a must when using glass doors so when the glass breaks, it doesn’t shatter and cause hazard.

4. Keep your kitchen organized and clutter-free.
Breakable objects should stay close to the ground. Plastic containers may be kept on higher areas but ensure easy access.

5. In the bathroom, go for matte, non-skid tiles to avoid slipping.
Choose easy-to-clean floor tiles because soaps, scum and conditioners tend to accumulate on the floor and may become slippery. Install grab bars and railings as well for ease of access, especially for the elderly.

6. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher at home.
This is often forgotten, especially when much focus is given on the aesthetics. Place it beside the stove as fire often starts there. Make sure that the fire extinguisher is visible so you can get it right away in case of fire. Aniag says, “You may [also] construct a cabinet for it as long as [the cabinet] is properly labeled and it’s is clearly visible from most of the areas in the space.”

7. Make sure all your accessories are secure or put in a safe place.
Aniag recommends using screws, double-adhesive tapes, or hidden hooks to mount and secure paintings and other decor on your wall. Mounting cabinets will also help avoid any untoward accidents in the event of an earthquake or child-proof it from very active toddlers at home. “For accessories on the shelves you may opt to put double tapes and adhere them on the shelves for safety,” she adds. Secure rugs on the floor by using tacks, rubber backings or tapes.

Got questions? Contact Ayet San Jose-Aniag at design1528@gmail.com.

*All photos from Pixabay