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More than Aesthetics: Interior Design for Functional Improvements

Updated: Feb 26, 2018

We LOVE creating beautiful spaces but what really gives us satisfaction is solving problems. A large part of what we do involves using our intuitive and creative powers to enhance the look of a space and create beautiful rooms where you want to spend time. This part of the process selects things that can be easily seen as you walk into a room... the selection of paint colors, fabrics, furnishings, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures and other finishes. This is a really fun process and is a big part of what creates the WOW! factor when first seen.

In addition to enhancing the visual impact of a room, a lot of what we do involves the things that are virtually unseen in the finished product. We draw on our technical knowledge, problem solving skills, product and trade resources and project management skills to help solve underlying issues that keep a space from functioning as well as it could.

In blending the technical with creativity, we can achieve a successful design that will provide long-term value to our clients.

Recently, Snider & Metcalf Interior Design was commissioned to work on the 1906 Clintonville kitchen renovation pictured below.

The Original Space

This space originally consisted of 3 separate rooms. Our first impression upon walking into the space was that the walls should be opened up, but the homeowner wanted to preserve the floorplan. During the design process, we drew up different options; one working with the walls as originally built and one that reconfigured the space and illustrated what could be achieved if we removed these walls. It became clear that the kitchen would function much more efficiently if the walls were removed and opened up—and the homeowners then agreed.

Large Heat Duct to Hide!

This heat duct was the main and only duct to the second floor so it had to stay. A floor joist below was cut to create enough room to straighten the duct and move it back against the wall. It was then hidden by cabinetry—shallow, but functional—that blends seamlessly with the rest of the cabinets and kitchen.


The old electrical chase was a disaster! It was updated, making it smaller, then concealed behind cabinets that meet the counter resembling a hutch making it look intentional.

Barn Door Pantry

By reconfiguring the space, two broom closets in the kitchen were converted into a large pantry—giving this avid cook plenty of storage.

The Benefits of the Newly Opened Space

Opening up the space also allowed us to add an island as well as a corner banquette where they love to eat as a family.

Everything you SEE (colors, fixtures, finishes) resulted in a beautiful classic space, but the things that are UNSEEN and the problems that were solved in that space is where an interior designer’s technical skills, knowledge of and access to the appropriate materials, as well as project management skills come into play. The design solutions in partnership with wonderful craftspeople allowed us to create a kitchen that is much more functional and spacious—greatly enhancing the homeowner’s daily experiences in the space.

#functionaldesign #snidermetcalf #morethanaesthetics #designfortheunseen

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