If there is one aspect of 21st century which we can all get on board with, it’s the marriage of aesthetics and functionality. From homemade projects recycling old materials to beautifully streamlined contemporary design modules, the way we manage clutter has become an art form. Minimalist creations utilise negative space, while “busier” decor optimises a homely, “lived-in” feel: two styles which have become popular not only in the home office, but in business, retail and tourism as well. Transparency and presentation is taking precedent over conventional storage – rather than throwing everything into a chest or closet, we are organising, analysing, and realigning the way we approach necessity with beauty.
Appearances are Everything
Storage has transcended its basic functionality to become something of an eye-catching feature in many places and design trends across the globe. Whether it is showcasing how to make the most of a self-sustainable home or accentuate the quirky features of a church-turned-into-cool-cafe, homeowners and business owners are seeking out interesting ways of presenting their establishment for the close scrutiny of the savvy public eye. We have entire design magazines devoted to showcasing just how this type of storage is used to not only be accessible, but to “say” something about the individual homeowner, their family, or their business establishment. Do we really mean to say that storage unravels the dynamics of someone’s personality or reveal the inner secrets of a room? Absolutely. Here’s why:
- Storage can be used to draw out particular design elements of a room. Underground cafes use alcoves as storage spaces which lead the viewer’s eye to that unusual design of the room, for example.
- Storage is used to convey a certain mood or create a specific type of environment. More and more cafes and bookstores are using shelving to completely disguise the original walls – being surrounded from floor to ceiling by an artfully crafted library can be a comfortable environment which immediately appeals to bookish clientele and students who need to grab an Americano while enjoying some free wifi, company, and background noise.
Making a Savvy Investment
Yet the attractive aspect of aesthetics isn’t the only appeal. Savvy businesses invest in storage – particularly in the restaurant industry – for very sensible reasons.
Effective storage allows businesses to run more efficiently and, even more importantly, cleanly. People who walk into a cafe may not mind a tiny bit of fashionable clutter on the complimentary bookshelves in the corner, but they want to see an operation which appears to be running well overall. Efficiently placed storage tells a story – not just what that cafe is about, but how clean and organised it is – which inevitably leads straight to the subconscious. Businesses which are making a start should always invest in storage first – not only will this create a productive environment in which to get started, but it will also allow the owners to see which layout works, plan a long-term setup, and better integrate the storage’s functionality into the overall design (or plan the design around the storage).
While this may seem like an expensive investment, businesses have access to resources which make this possible. Whether starting from scratch or rejuvenating an old business, the core rules are the same – give the place a new, fresh look. And this means looking at shelving and storage options, as well as slapping on a new coat of paint.
After all, on a shelf we place our ideas, our interests, our hobbies, and in the case of a business, our heart, soul, and life-work for everyone to see. It makes sense that it should be sexy.
This is a freelance article by Helen Fogsbottom.