Interior Design Rules: Function Over Form

by Jane K on June 10, 2020

Gotham U-Shaped Sectional with Ottoman

We’ve all seen houses that look more like magazine spreads than places where real people actually live. One look at the kitchen quickly tells you that no one ever cooks there. While aesthetics are important, one of the most important interior design rules is to prioritize function over form.

Function Over Form Meaning

The term function over form comes from the architectural principle “form follows function,” which means that the shape of the building should primarily relate to its intended function. In interior design, function over form means prioritizing how you will use the room or piece of furniture over how it looks.

Function Over Form Example

Imagine decorating a small living room. Perhaps, you’ve found a beautiful, modern couch that you love. However, if you buy that specific couch, there will be no room for an additional loveseat. If one of the primary functions of your living room is entertaining guests, and the “perfect” modern couch prevents you from fitting additional seating, that specific couch is not the right fit for that room.

How to Prioritize Function Over Form in Design

Wondering how to prioritize function over form when decorating your home? These interior design tips can help you get started.

Start with a Plan

Before you can follow the function over form interior design rule, you need to first understand the function of the room. Whenever possible, don’t start purchasing furniture until you’ve fully considered how you will use the room on a regular basis. If, for example, you mainly use your dining room for playing board games with friends, you may need to opt for the larger dining room table, even if it’s only you and your spouse living in the house most of the time.

Pick Important Items First

While it can be tempting to start with funky accent pieces, when you’re trying to follow the function over form rule, it helps to pick the items that are most important to you, first. If, for example, the primary use of the living room is watching television with your kids, try choosing seating first. That way, you can find the seating combination that works best for your family, the shape of the room, and the function it will serve.

Pay Attention to the Details

Function over form can also apply to specific pieces of furniture. What good is a beautiful chair if no one can sit on it without feeling like their back is all out of whack? Make sure you choose the desk that fits your work style and the bar cabinet that has space for all of those fine bottles of wine you collect.

Looking for furnish your home following the function over form interior design rule? Visit a Star Furniture store in Houston, Austin, San Antonio or Bryan, Texas today, where we have a huge collection of affordable living room furniture, dining room furniture, bedroom furniture, home office furnituremattresses, and décor. In the meantime, check out our interior design blog where we cover everything from common interior design mistakes to how to decorate your home on a budget.

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