Home design ergonomics and aesthetics
(continued from Part 4)
- Schematics — this is the technology and wiring part of it. Setting up the framework
- Dimensions — understanding your space allows you to maximise the flow of movement and furniture layout
- Design Concept — making the various elements integrate seamlessly makes the visual not just functional but appealing as well.
- Ergonomics — mostly under-rated but essential for your own health.
If it has cost you an arm and a leg to make your home “Smart”, you are not likely to compromise on the aesthetics. Functional purpose and visual aesthetics need not be mutually exclusive. Cater for the appropriate storage, which is a necessary complement to all gadgetry. You could design cabinetry that doubles up as bookshelves, display units and drawer units. Panels that conceal wiring can be designed for multipurpose use and be aesthetically pleasing as well. Home office desks need to cater for all the gadgetry that you would need to feel “complete”. If they have their wiring done internally, it can be a visual treat and functional. Wall-mounted speakers can be housed in floating shelving that doubles up as storage and display. If you get your wiring done right, even the most awkward spaces can be put to good use. Knowing the size of your television will also allow you to assess the correct distance for the seating. Bespoke cabinetry that houses the electronic devices and works as a storage or display options is the ideal choice.
The other matter that you need to consider is flexibility for awkward spaces. Gadgetry and TVs on a swivel frame allows you variables in placement apart from the funk value. Corner brackets are great to mount TVs in spaces where there may not be a simple straight-forward option. Motorised lift in a TV console keeps the gadgetry accessible but concealed when not in use. Great for multipurpose settings and small spaces. A ceiling recessed panel is another place that you could fit your LCD/LED TV, especially in rooms which are used for activities other than television viewing like basement den, sports room, and gymnasium.
This is the intelligent choice for a smart home. In the entertainment room, seating is the most important factor. It should be comfortable and allow for some flexibility —sofas and armchairs with a swivel base, recline or lounge option. If you plan to place a TV in your bedroom you may want to also pay attention to how comfortable your headboard is. A crick in the neck is easily avoidable. The incline is as important as padding and cushions.
A comfortable swivel chair with a high back is essential if you spend hours on your computer at home. Get one that is right for you. We all spend a considerable amount of time working on our computers and pay little attention to our own comfort. If you just love to read a book and listen to music, a good lounge chair with a footrest is one thing that will make that experience far more pleasurable.
If you really want to integrate your entertainment devices with the decor of your home there are many interesting options. You could “frame” your television, get speakers to blend-in with walls and have media units that can conceal your gadgetry when it’s not in use. Feature walls are great if you need to bring in an element of drama to the media space. It could just be a contrast colour, textured wall treatments or wallpaper. Bright, over-the-top colours are a strict no-no. Darker deeper hues work best as they absorb light better. A fireplace is a great design complement with a large wall mounted TV. Especially in a small space. A more expensive option is a recessed electric chimney. Do remember, that a large TV screen automatically becomes a focal point in a room. So, you could make a conscious to integrate the point of focus aesthetically.