The 10 Principles of a Purposeful Home

published Oct 21, 2016
Post Image
(Image credit: Bosch Home Appliances)

For a century that’s still so young, the speed of life has changed rapidly. Now more than ever, we’re seeking ways to streamline and curate our busy lives. Nearly 100 years ago, the Bauhaus design movement began as a similar reaction. Its reigning principles, such as the unity of form and function, are still a pillar of modern, purposeful design.

Today, thoughtful brands like Bosch Home Appliances continue these principles of clean, simple design in considering the needs of the modern home. Let’s look at how the these timeless principles can help us create meaningful, but simpler lives.

Form and Function (Image credit: Bosch Home Appliances)

1. Form and function over fads.

First and foremost, focus on simplicity and usability. Choosing kitchen appliances that are purposeful with clean and minimal design should both streamline the cooking process and make for a much easier clean up. For example, rethinking something simple like stovetop burners allow for different cooking arrangements and smartly designed grates make sliding pots around easier. Kitchen appliances that are engineered for functionality first will help lend daily easy in the kitchen, ultimately improving the quality of life and experience.

2. Symmetry brings balance.

To create a sense of harmony, use objects to mirror one another. It’s one of those things you don’t consciously notice, but a space that’s symmetrical just naturally makes you feel comfortable while asymmetrical spaces can feel a little off-kilter. Pairs bring balance, in dining chairs, end tables on either side of a sofa, or kitchen appliances installed side-by-side.

Proportions (Image credit: Bosch)

3. Everything in proportion.

Proportionality refers to the way elements of different sizes relate to one another. To make a space more interesting, vary the size and scale of pieces and arrange them in relation to one another. For example, a long sofa and a smaller armchair match each other in height while creating contrast in their varying lengths. A large rug grounds a furniture arrangement, while a medium-sized, open-based coffee table adds some airiness to the design.

Materials (Image credit: Bosch Home Appliances)

4. Materials matter.

High-quality materials not only make a room look richer, they also create a sense of tactility. Quality materials are also a giveaway as to how well something is made (and will last). Premium elements such as cast-iron grates and panels made of brushed stainless steel, seen here in these Bosch appliances, help elevate a kitchen space in an understated way. When the materials speak for themselves, there’s less need for embellishment.

Illumination (Image credit: Bosch)

5. Illuminate.

Light can be used for more than just basic visibility: It can be used to communicate and decorate. Use light in unexpected ways to create emotional connections in your home. For example, forgo bedside lamps in favor of hanging pendants, or choose kitchen appliances with LED lighting that communicates information (like time and temperature) while creating a subtle, streamlined glow.

Color Palette (Image credit: Bosch)

6. Classic color palettes never fade from style.

While pastel appliances might come back into fashion every few years, there are some color palettes that are always in style. You can’t go wrong with black, white, and metallic tones. Limiting a color scheme to neutrals allows new pieces to blend in easily. Plus, you can always use easy-to-update accents when you fall in love with a new trend or shade.

7. Alignment leads to enlightenment.

True quality extends beyond lasting materials and style. To really reach a higher plane of design, pieces need to be aligned. For instance, a truly timeless kitchen will have appliances that look great installed together or separately, installed horizontally or vertically in their own perfect configuration.

Subtlety (Image credit: Bosch)

8. Subtle details define good design.

Purposeful design doesn’t shout; it just shows up. Subtle details reveal themselves in unexpected ways. For example, a beveled edge on a cabinet looks good, but it also makes cabinet doors easier to open and close. Piping on upholstery adds interest but also helps the seams to wear well over time.

9. Integration is all-inclusive.

With kitchen designs ranging from modern to traditional, it’s important to choose appliances and hardware that can integrate into any style. Wall ovens that install flush blend seamlessly into modern kitchens. Streamlined faucets and knobs are easy to work with in any kitchen.

Longevity (Image credit: Bosch Home Appliances)

10. Longevity means years of use.

Longevity doesn’t mean something will simply last for a long time; it means the design is timeless. When you’re buying something you’ll use every day, from an appliance to a sofa to a bedside table, make sure it will lend beauty and purposefulness for years to come.

Which of these principles for purposeful design have worked for you? What additional principles would you add? Share them in the comments below!

This post is sponsored by Bosch Home Appliances.
Thank you for supporting the brands that make Apartment Therapy possible.