5 steps towards recognising good design
To us, it is about being in tune with the finer details in life, to think about how easily you pick up a mug or how your dining chairs give you just the right amount of support in all the perfect places. Most of these instances may end up being a part of your subconscious but it's important to re-visit these small things that make up for a lot of our day-to-day lives.
So how do we not accidentally take this for granted and move towards a more mindful and intentional shopping behaviour? Well first we need to understand exactly what good design is and how it is achieved. For objects to be designed well, they need to be designed with a lot of thought - the designer would put themselves in the user's shoes in order to make the perfect shape, using materials fit for its purpose. It's this process of thought that results in carefully created items that may differ from others. Just because an object is made from an expensive material does not mean it has design value. It could be clunky, not quite comfortable, un-balanced and heavy in the wrong places or it may have an awkward feel amongst everything else in your space. All these things can be avoided through the knowledge of design. Once you have an understanding of what brings value to your life, your home will be a place of accumulative joy that will save you time and money in the long run.
Below is a short checklist of some of the things you may consider when making a design investment so you can make more thoughtful & intentional purchases for your home.
1. Does the item bring me happiness?
The first and most important question. Look at the item from all angles, pick it up and feel it in your hands, grasp the scale and if the item has a purpose, re-enact and play out the action of using it - Is the feeling pleasant and/or beneficial in your life? Your space should be a place of comfort and joy so trust your gut’s reaction.
2. What purpose/s does it serve?
Is your item truly ‘useful’ or is it just a ‘gimmicky’ gadget. What is the item trying to achieve and how well does it serve its purpose? Maybe it’s a simple item that seamlessly helps in different ways or it is something that is so well suited to one purpose that nothing else could replace it.
3. Is the item sustainable, durable and ‘of the earth’?
A big part of the joy when purchasing goods is from an understanding of its origins. Has it been sustainably made? Is it a durable material that's ‘of the earth’? Does it support a small local business? These are just some of the questions you may find yourself asking when making the decision to purchase an item or not.
4. Changing your perception on value
Living in a world where everything is quantified against the dollar, your value of a product can be significantly warped. It is beneficial to learn how to value an object based on its quality, durability, practicality, artistic/sentimental value and unique character. If you think about these different types of value, your vocabulary may change from "making a purchase" to "making an investment" and by following this mindset you will save money in the long run.
5. Does the item add to ‘my story’
Filling your home can also be a journey of finding out about yourself & your own personal taste, through this exploration, you will be bound to stumble across things that speak to you on a deeper level and it is these things that will dictate your ‘style’ - As opposed to trends you may see on social media & on the internet. When you find your own ‘style’, the way you create the space around you will naturally feel more pleasant and as aesthetically pleasing as any ‘trend’.
A lot of people may feel like they need to ‘fill’ a home from the minute they move in to create a homey, well decorated feeling. But we find that this is actually far from the truth. Starting with the bare minimum or putting up with some hand-me-downs will buy you time as you find out more about your personal style. Not only will this encourage a more mindful shopping behaviour, but you will also feel enjoyment in seeing your space transform & change across a longer period of time.
We think it is super beneficial to think about these things when creating your home, particularly how they impact your life both practically and often sentimentally. When chatting about our thoughts on home and living we’re often asked what it means to ‘live like a tortoise’ and why we chose this as our little motto. To us, the humble tortoise is a creature that represents a ‘one-ness’ of itself with its home. To have a space that you treat like an extension of your own character is really a comforting and wholesome way to live.