The art of creating spaces for entertaining is about creativity and transformation. It's about taking a room, a patio, or any area of a home and infusing it with purpose, personality, and a readiness to host memorable gatherings.
Interior designers are like magicians in this regard, transforming ordinary spaces into extraordinary settings for entertainment, relaxation, and making memories. To gain deeper insights into this art, we spoke with Jeanne K Chung, a Southern California-based luxury interior designer at Cozy Stylish Chic, Crystal Bright, the lead designer of 3D Bright Designs, and Galina Hughes, NCIDQ, B.A.I.D. Their experience and creativity shine a light on how to craft spaces that aren't just functional but also evoke emotions and create an ambiance that lingers long after the last guests have left.
Photographer: Dylan Riley
Design Philosophy: More Than Just Aesthetics
To understand how designers approach the intricate balance between functionality and aesthetics, Crystal offered her perspective.
"My design philosophy prioritizes space utilization before finalizing finishes," Crystal clarified. "It's not about personal style preferences at the outset, but more about understanding what the space permits and then proceeding accordingly. This approach often leads to creating multiple gathering areas, especially in scenarios where specific needs are considered.”
This approach underscores the importance of functionality melded with style, ensuring that the space looks beautiful and serves the needs of both hosts and guests seamlessly.
Galina advocates for a personalized approach, where the décor reflects the host's personality, creating a welcoming and intimate space.
“The spaces have to feel like the reflection of their personality,” she said. “We add personal touches such as family photos, art, favorite games, and mementos.”
Meanwhile, Jeanne collaborates with her clients to achieve an alluring balance of color, texture, and proportion. She uses Canvas from the outset of her projects, especially in challenging spaces.
Key Elements in Designing Entertaining Spaces
As we delve deeper into the art of designing spaces for entertaining, it's essential to understand the key elements that make these areas both functional and inviting. From the layout and lighting to the integration of technology and personal touches, each aspect plays a critical role in creating an environment that encourages interaction, comfort, and enjoyment. In this section, we'll explore these crucial components, drawing on insights from industry experts to highlight how they come together to form the perfect setting for any gathering.
Functionality and Flow: A well-thought-out layout is crucial so guests can navigate the space comfortably, whether at a dinner party or a casual gathering.
Lighting and Ambiance: Lighting sets the mood. The designers we spoke with unanimously agreed on the power of lighting in transforming a space. From soft, dimmable options to statement lighting pieces, the choices are vast and pivotal in setting the right tone for any event.
"Effective lighting design is all about layers," explained Galina. "We integrate various sources such as ceiling fixtures, recessed pot lights, wall sconces, and both table and floor lamps to create depth and texture. Importantly, incorporating dimming capabilities is crucial for crafting a warm, adaptable atmosphere that can transition seamlessly to suit different moods and occasions."
Dining and Eating: Dining and snacking areas are designed with a thoughtful layout, ensuring guests flow naturally between nibbles and conversation. It's where functional design meets the art of gathering.
“In designing gathering spaces, I aim to create dual areas with distinct purposes," elaborated Crystal. "One zone is dedicated to relaxed lounging and socializing, where people can casually interact and unwind. The other is more formal, and tailored for dining experiences. This approach ensures that the space caters to both casual and structured social gatherings, offering versatility and comfort for any type of event."
Photographer: Peter Valli
Conversations and Seating: Comfort is key. Galina suggests versatile seating options that can be adapted to different types of gatherings and to make areas with seating arrangements that allow guests to interact comfortably.
"When designing furniture layouts, the first question is how many people will be using it daily and how many guests it would have to accommodate on special occasions.”
Automation and Technology: In exploring how technology innovations and automation are shaping modern interior design, especially in spaces meant for entertaining, we turned our attention to integrating smart home features.
The Understated Impact of the Canvas App in Design
The role of the Canvas app in the creative process of designing spaces for entertainment is undeniably significant.
“Canvas can save an hour to up to an entire day of hand measuring, depending on whether we’re measuring a room or an entire home,” said Jeanne. “It can be quite cumbersome to draw out all the elevations and then later on to merge adjacent spaces when modeling the entire house, so Canvas saves me time and more importantly, sanity.”
Canvas’ contribution to efficiency and accuracy in design work is substantial. By handling the technical aspects of space capturing, Canvas allows interior designers to dedicate more time and energy to what they do best – creating beautiful, functional, and engaging spaces. It's a reminder that in the world of interior design, the best results often come from a harmonious blend of technology and creativity, where tools like Canvas quietly enhance the magic that designers bring to life.