Design – It Isn’t Just Aesthetics

I’m always curious and intrigued by the varying reactions to design, or more specifically interior design.

And I’m not talking about exhibition statement pieces that offer no real practical function and whose main purpose is to spark controversy and satisfy the attention seeking whim of its creator. Although, I do appreciate designs that tap into current topical issues and encourage discussion/debate.

Botta Lounge Chair

I’m talking about design that centres around our daily lives.

I’ve become acutely aware that not everyone shares my keen interest in and enthusiasm for all things interior design related.  When someone (not in the interior design related field) asks me a question about my studies or freelancing or anything about interior design in general, it’s usually the beginning of the end.

I become extremely animated.

My eyes light up.

And BAM, I’m off!

One WayI’m humoured for approx. 10 minutes before the other party suddenly becomes strangely interested in a piece of fluff stuck to their sweater. Which is quickly followed by glazed eyes and a blank expression.  Yes, these are clear indications that the conversation has quickly transitioned into ‘one-way’ territory.

Which brings me to my point: how intriguing that one person’s passion can be another person’s pain.

There’s a simple reason for this.  Design, to me, is so much more than aesthetics.  I need to immerse myself in my surroundings.  My space, my home is where I seek safety, security, solace and an escape from this crazy-ass world.

When I design a space, whether it’s in reality or via a 3D visual I’m leaving an imprint of me.  It’s a glimpse into my personality, my character, my experiences and what makes me who I am.

When I plan an arrangement, or purchase a new accessory/piece of furniture I’m not thinking about its merits merely on face value.

I study its finish, its reflections and the shadows it casts.

I pinch, feel and glide my fingers over its surface, so that I can become familiar with its many contours and characteristics (but only if the material in question is completely comfortable with this level of intimacy; I do respect boundaries).

observe how its appearance changes depending on the time of day and interior lighting used.

And if it’s vintage?  I become curious, intrigued, and respectful of its individuality and history.

And most importantly I consider what exactly it brings to the space and how it affects the overall mood and atmosphere.  And in turn, how it affects me, my mood and my aspirations for the space.

Design: it isn’t just aesthetics.

Interior Design Anita Brown Design Studio


  1. Marilyn G Russell, Allied ASID says:

    Gosh, what a great post. If the general population only knew that we as interior designers look way beyond the surface of the space we design or the items we select.


  2. anitadesignstudio says:

    Hi! Thanks for your comment 🙂 I know, I hate the generalisation that interior design only involves cushion plumping…Grrrrrrrrrrr!


  3. Adam S says:

    Gawd DAMN! Nice piece of writing here, Neeter Neeter Pumpkin Eater. I’d love to chat design with you while I sit here on my $300 Value City Furniture sofa, but I have a piece of sweater lint to attend to…



  4. anitadesignstudio says:

    Haha, ever choked on sweater lint, Sendek??!! Cos I can make that a reality, if you’d like??!!



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