In our architectural practice, we design the building envelope, the surfaces that form and define space. We add systems to the space to make it function, and we select finishes that highlight definitions of space, functions, or forms. We celebrate the building itself. What happens next? The occupant moves in, they fill their new spaces with furnishings, artwork, travel mementos and books – the stuff of everyday life. And sometimes, that is when the space really comes alive.

What is so fascinating about images of a well-designed, but lived-in space?  They can be aspirational – with their Panton chairs and Wolf ranges – or they can be small, yet significant additions to the space.  These interiors could be in a historic brownstone, a modernist dream home, or have complete lack of architectural significance.  What they show us is how the design and styling of an interior space gives life to the shell.

Think about what these images would look like without the books in the bookshelves, the family photographs, or the selected furniture.  They would be  beautiful, but blank.  Take a look at the two images of the same kitchen.

The first highlights the architectural design – the industrial exposed ductwork, the high-end fixtures and appliances, the sleek countertops and shelving contrasted with the rough sawn floors and historic woodwork.  In the second image, the owner moves in and injects their life into the space.  They set out the toaster and bring flowers home from the market.  Granted, this is a photograph styled for a magazine shoot.  But, what studying images of interiors illustrates is that with the addition of a few seemingly inconsequential items, suddenly what was already aesthetically pleasing is now given a layer of emotion that makes a personal connection to us and our own spaces.

Link : A Brooklyn brownstone via Design*Sponge

Image 1: Kitchen designed by Levenson McDavid Architects via Habitually Chic

Image 2: Same kitchen as photographed in Domino magazine via Habitually Chic



  1. I love the connection to the “move in” element. It allows each architectural design to have a unique look. It reminds me what makes my home unique is me!

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