Aesthetics Vs Performance in Interior Design

Not every bright shiny object produces light

In a recent annual design awards, design firms, individual designers and manufacturers of all ilk were invited to submit their entries in 25+ categories. Submissions ranged from every day staples to exotic accessories, and in the end, the panel of two celebrated designers made their determinations.

To perhaps no one’s surprise, the awards skewed toward the beautiful and pretty. Aesthetics won the day, even in the most workmanlike categories. And why not? Everyone loves beauty, sleek designs, brilliant colors, the tactile sensations of a well designed room or home.

But something was missing in the final tally of votes: performance.

Truth be told, for some of the categories performance wasn’t much of an issue. A stunning piece of glasswork or fab pillow just has to be, to be successful. But in many of the offerings overlooked (appliances, home-automation devices, furniture, lights, fans etc.) there is a separate but equal measure of beauty: they have to be pleasing to the eye and work as promised to make a design project successful. If they don’t? Reputations, profits and relationships are on the line for the manufacturer, installer and designer.

Our custom tracks are a thing of beauty too.

Automobiles are an easy comparison. The Maserati we featured above? Some people want to bathe in the beautifully sewn leather, pool-deep paints and hand-tooled finishes. That’s what creates the energy at an auto show. However, on the street a great many others want all that eye candy with another set of features: speed, race-ready components, an intuitive level of handling bred from years of competition and reliability. Today the company delivers it all in one sumptuous package, and has seen record sales growth, but that has not always been the case. In fact at various stages in the company’s life (and ownership) engineering, design and manufacturing have not been in simpatico. The resulting unreliability has jarred sales and driven the company to bankruptcy more than once.

The lesson here is, as design professionals we should demand both aesthetics and performance in every aspect of our dialogue. We must work with the people and companies that deliver consistently on both fronts, and we should expand those conversations to our celebrations of our craft and art.


A note about J.L. Anthony’s mission to provide the highest-performing custom drapery hardware

And as we design, fabricate and install our many components, we always put a premium on precision. Our Glydea tracks are tough as tanks, and draw motorized and hand/cord draperies open and closed with quiet, silky-smooth ease. Our motorized systems are engineered in-house to exacting specs to ensure durability and tested repeatedly to make certain each sensor, control and motor responds to every command, every day for years.

And, of course, as we are purveyors of bespoke work to luxe homes and commercial settings, each project goes through a rigorous set of measurements, checks (and rechecks) and communications from initial design meetings to final installation. And we do all of this so that our designer and architectural clients’ visions are transformed into the highest-performing works of art money can buy.

If you would like to know more about our process, product specifications, quality control or materials, contact us, or register for our JLA Designer Studio for all of our specification documents and information.


Tags: , , , ,

Get in touch