A Design Guide to Customizing Your Space.
Hello designers and design enthusiasts! We had to quickly bring back the heat with a continuation to our customizing your space series, because the rainy season in Kampala is just not letting up! If it's a cold season in your part of the world right now, this means that you're probably spending more time indoors. You may be working from an office space or home, and times like these makes it even more necessary to create a sanctuary for you to enjoy your daily tasks and activities regardless of the weather. Imagine having to bear with your already cold, dead space in the cold season? Let's create a weather-proof escape plan together, shall we?
In part one of this series we found design solutions for four different personalities: the nature lover, the fashion lover, the gym rat and the bedhead. If you do not fall into any of these categories or find yourself split between different personalities, we have three more to look at today! Of course if you haven't checked out part one take a few minutes to catch up before we can continue with today's design case, in which we're representing the most interesting personalities in this series.
Personality #5: The Party Animal
Can we first observe a moment of silence for this lot because their usually extroverted selves are likely not loving being tied down to a few choices in this weather, while the introverts are in heaven reading and staying warm. Let's help this outgoing group channel their energetic, spontaneous and fun-loving nature into their spaces through design.
“A good city is like a good party - people stay longer than really necessary, because they are enjoying themselves.” – Jan Gehl.
1. Acoustic Panels
It's not only the worst weather for staying outside lately but the economy is economying, so the party animals are starting to bring the parties home, much to the annoyance of their probably equally annoying neighbours. Let's make sure there are no introverts vs extroverts fights before we proceed, because there is nothing worse than trying to fight with noise pollution in your sleep.
Acoustic panels may not stop noise coming from outside into your space, but they trap noise going outside from within your space. This makes them perfect for any noisy household that may want to contain their shenanigans. They also now come in a variety of customized finishes, shapes, colours and sizes so you get to have a great looking space and be considerate of surrounding ears at the same time.
You can attach these to existing furniture, mount them on walls or suspend them over your space.
2. Open Plan Design
If your space is going to constantly entertain a large number of guests or have traffic, you will benefit from having an open flow between your public spaces. This means no chunky furniture pieces sticking out all over the place, but rather strategically designed multi-use seating areas, placed to comfortably accomodate your guests. This also helps with proper air circulation to disperse all the body heat.
3. Home Bar
The same way extroverts reach out for a drink at the slightest sign of awkward conversation or prolonged silence, is the same way they might be frequenting their drinks stash three times a day, being confined to their spaces in this rainy season. A home bar is not only perfect for extroverts, but anyone who regularly has to put up with party animals in their space. The faster you can make them happy in your space, the easier it will be for you sneak back into your own world and let them be without you ending up being used for their entertainment. Home bars can be designed as simple wall mounted stations or movable shelving.
Want a more private experience? Have a whole room dedicated to entertainment! Then you can install the acoustic panels we talked about and comfortably pollute your own air.
4. Outdoor Entertainment Space
If you'd rather not deal with any chaos in your personal space, consider taking it outside. You can design an outdoor entertainment area in your garden like our design below which we used to correct an irregular corner space and added a sheltered seating area to this garden space for a residential project.
Is it possible at this point to get even more extra with it? Yes! We haven't explored the air. And before you imagine any legs hanging in the air, it's simply a rooftop bar! Why not have your guests enjoy the open air without taking up space on your compound? Rooftops are great options for those who don't have much landscape in the first place. Take a look at our rooftop bar for The Winged House project below.
5. Mood Lighting
Don't forget to explore with your lighting options, which can help set the mood for different events. Between dimmable lights, coloured strip lighting and decorative chandeliers, find what works for you and light your space up.
6. Photo Booth
Last but not least on our party list is a photo booth. Party animals love creating moments and live for the memories, so having a photographable area in your space where guests can create memories should be on your list.
Some options include a potrait wall, a hall or wall of fame, panelled walls that create the best photo backdrops or the living room swing below, which we've been obsessed with and eagerly hoping for an opportunity to incorporate in a design. Whatever you choose should be authentic to your vibe so that everyone can have fun with it.
Personality #6: The Foodie
Listen, there's absolutely no shame in admitting that you have a passion for food. Just like every other personality in this series, you deserve a space which highlights and celebrates your tasty passion. Here, we're representing the food connoisseurs who think of food as a delicate experience that should be a work of art from preparation to consumption. So whether you are a consumer, an artist or both in the kitchen, we're sure we'll find you something which suits your taste.
To quickly find your best design fit below, ask yourself this question; On a scale from eating to cooking, what type of foodie am I?
1. Kitchen Islands
Foodies don't always need to sit down to eat and will shamelessly throw in a happy dance, mid-conversation while eating and walking towards you all at once. A kitchen island is a must because it offers a chance for foodies to interact with their snacks in a less formal setting.
This is also where all the hearty conversations go down in the heart of a home, the kitchen. Like we proved in our Breakfast Is The New Dinner article, few people in this day and age actually sit down at the dining table to eat. A kitchen island provides a more interactive space to eat and communicate. It's also great for serving and displaying food - you'll never need to set aside a food table for any events.
Don't hold back on customizing your island. It can be made of any material which doesn't need to match the rest of your kitchen, or it can simply be a table converted to play the role of a kitchen island.
Ask yourself if you'll need your island to create extra storage or have extra seating, and whether it would be the center piece of your kitchen or pushed against a wall or corner to create a peninsula kitchen layout. If you'd like to get all the use out of it, make your kitchen island double as a dining table or breakfast bar.Get creative with your options because as you can see, they are endless!
2. Walk-in Pantry
This is as fancy as it sounds. I know most African pantries are used for "dirty food" and things you'd rather not be seen by any guests. But it's time we organized everything to give us a better experience with our food even before we start cooking.
First decide what you'd keep in your pantry to determine its size. If you'd place everything including utensils, ready-to-eat snacks, vegetables and so on, then you'll want to have your shelving designed in different volumes that can accomodate all of it.
Don't be discouraged by the thought of not having a large space for your walk-in pantry. As long as you're walking in, even with just one step, don't let anybody tell you what it's not because on this day we declare any space that you walk into, a walk-in!
3. Outdoor Kitchen BBQ Shed
There's not much to show or debate here, let's just all agree to meat outside. Anyone with a compound can book to host. Just let us know when, where and we'll bring the bricks and have your BBQ shed up by said date. Deal or no veal.
“Happiness is a small house, with a big kitchen.” – Alfred Hitchcock.
4. Vertical Herb Garden
We're ending on a spicy note for our dear foodies who would rather sleep hungry than eat bland, unseasoned food. There's no excuse for bad food when your spices can be part of your decor! Yes, invest in some seedlings and garden shelving, and you'll have a year round supply of fresh seasoning for your food.
Personality #7: The Workaholic
We don't actually have much for this lot because we exhausted so many options in our Does Anybody Read Anymore article, where we represented their besties, the books. But design is a fountain that never runs dry so you won't believe we have one or two more to throw at you.
1. Brainstorming Table
Just like in the action movies where army heads dramatically spread out a map on a large table and start planning an attack, we'd love for you to have a space for planning your own little attacks on life.
A workaholic brain is always on the go, so they need to be able to jot down ideas or brainstorm on the go. There's no right or wrong here, but you want the area around your brainstorming table to encourage ideas out of you. Consider multi-use material like whiteboard, over which you can draw and erase your ideas.
You can also create a mini-conference table at which you can sit and bounce ideas around with anyone else in your space who happens to not be avoiding you and your mad scientist vibes.
2. Planning Wall/Station
Much like a vision board, a planning station helps you to record or pin up your ideas where you can clearly see them and visualize your next move. You can use an entire wall for this purpose or section out part of a wall and design the surrounding area with ample lighting and furnishings according to your needs.
I don't know about you but these last two options are giving me some spy-related excitement. It's starting to feel like I'm working with the authorities to share all this knowledge so before I quit my job and start training to join the police force to channel all this planning excitement, let me send myself and the rest of our workaholics back to this article to check out the amazing ideas we already had lined up for their big brains. Yes, I just realized that I was getting excited about this because I fall under this category. A workaholic in denial. How many are we by show of hands... or comments?
We have three more personalities to go in this series! What personalities are you looking forward to seeing in our last article? Let us know if there's anything you related to in Part Two and we'll catch you on our final personality design case next week!