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Should Form Follow Function When Designing Your Estate Home?

It’s human nature to be drawn toward beauty. If you're anything like us, you’ve always been drawn to gorgeous items, like that new Saint Laurent tote—even though the one you have from last season is in mint condition. Perhaps your home is overflowing with art, but a piece displayed on an art walk catches your attention. You convince yourself it’s meant to be. When you get home, you realize you have no wall space, and the colors clash with your other decor.

Many of us have an eye for beauty, and impulse often fights to overcome the voice of reason. However, not all of us can visualize how pieces will pair in the same room. We also may overlook the fact that the item simply may not make sense in the flow or ‘Feng Shui’ of our home. This often takes the extensive training and experience of a luxury interior designer.

In this Design Journal, we explore the concept of “function vs. form" and how we integrate this into our work when designing estate homes.

Credit: Mike Helfrich of Chad Oppenheim for Architectural Digest

Our Philosophy of Function & Form

From a psychological perspective, human beings often find the greatest satisfaction in patterns, connection to nature, and simplicity.

It is undeniably important to curate a home that helps you feel peaceful and cradled with luxury.

  • Form refers to the aesthetic aspect of a property that isn’t structurally necessary.

  • Function refers to the floor plan, built-in custom furniture such as cabinetry or a large kitchen island, and the way a room is used.

  • We additionally consider Feng Shui as a functional aspect of design, as it is the practice of arranging pieces to create balance and harmony with the natural world.

Our brains are constantly bombarded with countless stimuli throughout the day, so we need to return to a space that promotes efficiency and ease in our routines. For this reason, the aesthetics that bring us the most joy should be fused into the function of a room.

Contemplating the Balance of Aesthetics & Utility

Let’s examine situations in which we carefully contemplate the balance between form and function when designing a property.

1. Flooring Material

When it comes to the floor material of your home, you need to intentionally think about what the space will be used for. Additionally, you must be realistic about your commitment to taking care of and maintaining the space.

Wood floors may be stunning in a bathroom, but water pooling on wood floors is not a healthy situation if a plumbing disaster occurs. Similarly, you may want wood floors in the grand room, but it’s likely your young kids will trail water in from the pool just outside.

As long as you are willing to keep the space dry when it’s exposed to water, and teach your children to fully dry off before stepping inside, form may be able to win. What if you didn’t have to sacrifice function or form? We have access to the highest quality wood veneer materials that we use on our luxury yacht projects and bathrooms alike. Contact our designers to learn more.

2. Showers and Bathtubs

Freestanding tubs and doorless shower enclosures are stunning additions to any bathroom, but they don’t always serve function. Doorless shower enclosures can elevate a bathroom, but they typically only make sense if you have more than 5 or 6 feet of width and a 2-foot clearing. Without the room, you will submerge your floor every time you shower.

Again, you may feel up to the maintenance or be able to hire help, but you will need to stay consistent. If you ever plan to sell your home, any damage may be a concern to potential buyers.

Freestanding tubs can be dangerous to climb into for people of any age. They offer poor accessibility with narrow edges and a deep step-in. Plus, they don’t usually have any kind of support to hold onto, such as a nearby wall. But you can’t deny, they look stunning. Whether or not it’s worth it is up to you. InterLux Interiors will accommodate any accessibility needs you have within your blueprints.

3. Furniture Spacing & Feng Shui

If you pile up too many pieces in a room, no matter how extraordinary and cohesive they appear, you risk creating a cluster of stuffy chaos.

The way you perceive your environment dramatically impacts how you think and behave in life.

When designing a home, we take the energy of your space, or Feng Shui, into account. The Bagua refers to the eight-area energy map on the floor plan in your home. Each area correlates with different life circumstances, including:

  • Wealth

  • Fame

  • Partnership

  • Family

  • Children

  • Knowledge

  • Career

  • Helpful People

At the center, the ninth area represents you and your overall wellness. This is also referred to as Tai Chi, your life force. By strategically placing your furniture and choosing colors and lighting that trigger certain subconscious emotions, we can functionally impact the way you feel and operate each day.

4. Lighting

Speaking of lighting, this places a major role in the function of your space. We all love mood lighting, but there need to be task-specific options for areas such as the kitchen, bathroom, and office.

Every room in your house should incorporate “layers” of lighting. This gives you the option to dim the lights when winding down in the evening or to even impact your psychology and mood through cool or warm tones of light.


Capturing perfect views of your surrounding landscape through floor-to-ceiling windows might be a high priority for you. In some cases, it may not make functional or aesthetic sense to create a space with a view, either due to limitations in either cost or quality.

  • For example, if you live in a cold climate, it may not make sense in your budget to install north-facing floor-to-ceiling windows because it will waste so much energy from heat loss. Plus, the room will likely feel chilly.

  • Likewise, south-facing windows in our warm Florida climate will make a greenhouse out of your living space.

Are the views worth it to you? If so, InterLux Interiors is prepared to come up with innovative solutions to maximize your space to take in the environment while keeping your energy costs as low as possible.

Credit: Daniel Vojinovic for

Fuse Function & Form with InterLux Interiors

At InterLux Interiors, we don’t believe you should have to choose between function and form. Our experienced team is prepared to design an estate that meets the functional needs of your family, increases the cash value of your property, and exudes beauty that will help you thrive.

Let us help you shift into a sophisticated way of living where each square foot of your home is developed with intention, care, and innovative solutions. Start the journey by contacting our team today.

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