Everyone wants to have a house or space that looks nice and reflects their personal tastes, but if that’s the only goal you have when designing a space you most likely won't feel satisfied with your project for very long. Whether your project is a bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, rec room or entire house each room has a specific purpose and needs to be designed so that the maximum potential for that space is being utilized.
The focus in every design I work on comes down to one simple concept: Form Follows Function. On paper this may appear to be a simple concept, but in reality it involves a complex series of decisions based on a number of technical factors. There are precise calculations that help in figuring out how to achieve the right amount of light for a space. There are rules and laws that need to be followed to ensure the structural integrity of your building remains intact. There are accessibility rules. There are minimum and maximum distances and sizes that need to be observed in order to make things that are generally taken for granted a reality.
In the past I have had several occasions where someone would show me their design and I had to delicately explain that only having 1'-0" in front of the toilet is not enough room for anyone to be able to stand up or sit down. Or why placing a kitchen island across from an oven without enough space will lead to problems the first time you're trying to get the Christmas turkey in the oven, but can't open the door all the way. Once, I have seen someone try to design an entire house and forget to add a bathroom. The thickness of walls is something else commonly forgotten in a design. The design of the space has to work and function properly.
Standards and guidelines also apply to things like traffic flow, dimensions of rooms, the distances between furniture and so on.
Nothing I design is just randomly placed in hopes that my tastes will be something that everyone else will like as well. There are specific reasons for why everything is done the way that it is. The wonderful thing is that although there are guidelines and rules that need to be followed, every space is unique and will generally offer more than one solution. The challenge comes in finding the best way to make a room function, while still making it look beautiful and be a reflection of the owners personal tastes.
At North Country we make sure the space will meet these technical requirements and THEN once all of those are met, we make it pretty too!