What is Great Design and Why it Matters

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What is great design and why it matters

We often tend to look at trends in home decorating and fashion, and often confuse pretty with good design.

To me there is only one type of great design: it’s functional that serves a purpose, it lasts for a long time thus it’s high quality, and it is beautiful to look at.

If any of these elements is missing, it’s not great design to me.

When it comes to price tag of great design, yes, I admit, it sometimes is expensive to purchase, but it actually is often inexpensive in use. With high quality comes long term usability and with timeless design that goes beyond trends and fashion, you can have something that you will use for years to come. Great design matters for ecological reasons – we buy (and consume) less when we buy long lasting design. Great design matters for aesthetic reasons – we feel better when we are surrounded by beauty and what we like to look at.

Let me give you an easy example. The thought of buying over a $200 highchair for a baby is ridiculous to me, but when it’s great design, hey, I’ll take three please! One for each one of my kids. High chair that’s great design will grow with my child, is beautiful to look at and will go from dining table to office table and my kid will take her chair to college when she moves out and her kid will sit on it too. What a bargain!

great design, stokke high chair

Surround yourself with beautiful design

I was invited to participate to a fall refresh campaign with Dyson, and do some design spotting this week. I don’t personally own a Dyson Hot + Cool fan heater, but the Dyson Hot + Cool fan heater is a great example of great design. It’s high quality, it heats the room in winter and cools the air in summer for year-round use. Easy to clean and it looks awesome – so it was a no brainer for me to jump on the opportunity to work with Dyson, and do some “design spotting” and share some of my favorite design objects.

I have been out and about and taking some photos of design objects that I like and which would be perfect for refreshing my fall. I’ll feature some of the design items I’ve been spotting next week, but today I’d like to share some of my favorite design objects from my home. The photos are just my Instagram photos because I didn’t want to do any extra styling nor extra photoshopping – unedited from my home, because great design stands out even when I haven’t vacuumed, styled and propped and photoshopped.

design house stockholm

When everyday items and things we use are not just functional but beautiful – you don’t need a whole lot of decorative items in your home. Let the great design of the furniture and the everyday items like lamps and light fixtures you have shine.

I admit, as a nomad who moves every 6 months to 3 years (yup, 3 years has been my record of living longest in the same place the past 18 years), I haven’t always decorated my home the way I would like to. We used to at least buy our houses and I would renovate and remodel them and make them how I wanted. Now we just rent. When we moved to a yet another rental house the past spring, I wanted to make this place look great with minimal effort.

We sold everything when we moved from New York, and we are leaving Sweden in a couple of years, and I don’t even know which country we will move to. But it didn’t stop me from bringing great design home, I just did it with minimal effort.

eames chair

And you know what – sometimes that’s all we need: minimal effort to make our homes look beautiful. Often less IS more, and it is better to buy less of things you really need and want than surrounding yourself with clutter.

White Barcelona chair

Our walls are white, our floor is wooden. It’s all very simple and no frills. Yet when we have surrounded our home with beautiful design objects that are beautiful look at, it has been quite easy to make a beautiful home that I like to spend time in, and I can feel good about. In fact, when picking only a few selected designer items and letting them shine our home can easily to give the illusion of being a well decorated.

We own less and less each move, and many of our furniture even now is rented (oh how I’ll miss you rented piece of a Barcelona chair), and I am very selective what I buy nowadays, and that’s why I much rather buy less but things I really like.

What can I say, even my design dishes just make me happy when I eat my breakfast on the mornings. What does great design mean to you? Are you refreshing your home with some great design this fall?

iittala lempi

Fall refresh with Dyson

This post is brought to you by Dyson Hot + Cool fan heater. Dyson Hot + Cool™ fan heaters use Air Multiplier™ technology to provide the fastest even room heating in winter and smooth cool air in summer for year-round use. There are no fast-spinning blades or visible heating elements, so it’s safe and easy to clean. Learn more at www.dyson.com/hot+cool.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Dyson via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Dyson.

About Katja Presnal

Katja Presnal is an international lifestyle expert, originally from Finland. Katja shows how to live globally inspired life to the fullest. She has been featured in NY Times, Glamour, Redbook, Fodor's, Forbes and Woman's Day magazines among many other national and international publications and written for MTV3 and Lifetime TV networks. She is a board member of the Professional Travel Bloggers Association, award-winning social media strategist, and a well-known speaker in the social media conferences. Katja has lived in four different countries, and seven states in the USA, and married to a helicopter pilot. Their three children were all born in different countries within three years. When not working or jet-setting the world, Katja is at home cooking big family dinners.

Get Katja's first book Instagram as your Guide to the World - How, What and Who to Search and Follow on Instagram to Help You Travel the World for free, and follow Katja's travel account @skimbaco on Instagram.

Comments

  1. I am in total agreement. Surround yourself with beauty and you will start to see it everywhere. I really would like to try the Dyson heaters, not least because a local company is one of their direct competitors… and I still LOVE your Lempi glasses. I want them in clear.

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  1. […] week I wrote a post what is great design and why it matters and featured some of my all time favorite modern design products for home. Today I’m keeping […]

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