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Form Follows Function

Form Follows Function is a basic element of good design.  The basic premise of it is that even if the design (sofa, chair, accessory, etc) is beautiful, if it does not fulfill it's purpose in a functional way it isn't a good design.  For instance, white couches are lovely.  They can be chic or modern, formal or many things.  Including a complete disaster were they to be in my home.  I have 2 small children, a husband and a dog.  A white couch in my house would be a bad idea.  A very bad idea.  That white couch wouldn't have a chance to fulfill it's destiny of beauty because it would be stained within 5 minutes of arrival.

Form follows function can be a difficult concept to understand.  But never fear.  I am here to help.  And I have pictures!  And examples!  And, hey, maybe it's not all that difficult.  But I still have pictures and examples.

My family enjoys dinner by candle light.  We enjoy it even more frequently in the winter because it's actually dark at dinner time.  So my options are to get the candles in and out of storage every night or have the candles sitting at the end of my table.  Looking a little something like this:

Only not generally that attractive.  Yes, it usually looks worse.  And in the interest of full disclosure, there's usually other random stuff on the table as well.

Now, back to my options.  Clearly leaving the random candles on the end of our dining room table was not a good option.  And me getting them in and out of storage every night was a completely unrealistic expectation.  I am just too lazy.  

I had a dilemma.  A design dilemma.  We needed a more attractive alternative to my pile of random candles.  So I decided to put together a simple centerpiece that would not only look nice sitting on my table, but would also serve the dual purpose of providing my family with candlelight during dinner.

I gathered my supplies:


And put it all together in a simple way.  The candles add a lovely glow to our evening meals and the rocks won't catch fire from stray sparks.  It also weighs a ton and isn't easily moved.  Which means it has stayed on our table and has not traveled to other various locations, compliments of my children with a penchant for relocating things.

Now, this post is not meant to serve as a tutorial on how to make an awesome centerpiece like mine.  Although you can if you like.  The purpose is to give an example of how form can follow function.  I needed a centerpiece that performed the function of providing candlelight for my family.  And although it's nice to look at and has a good form, it is also functional.  As you go about your daily life it's good to stop for a moment and take a look at what you need.  What could you do to make your life just a little bit simpler through the design of your home?      

There is a popular saying in the design world, "If it isn't useful or beautiful, then it doesn't belong in your home".  So remember that saying and be grateful that your children are beautiful, if nothing else.

Once upon a time, this Lady got a degree in Interior Design.  She now spends her days taking care of her 2 little girls and 1 computer geek husband.  Although it can't be said that she likes to learn everything the hard way,  it can be said that she usually does.

You can read more on her personal blog Lady of Perpetual Chaos

 All Photos Taken by The Lady

 Interior Design 101: You  have questions? We have answers! (Well, about decorating and design  that is.) Leave your most burning decor questions in the comments, and  we will tackle them in upcoming posts! PLEASE leave your contact  information, because sometimes we need more information or a photo to  see just exactly what you're talking about. Thanks so much!  

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