An entertainer’s guide to designing the perfect home for social gatherings

by Gillian Holl

“When you have more than you need, build a longer table, not a higher fence.” – Unknown

At Veld Architects, before we design anything, it is important that we first learn what our clients value in life. A home should represent residents’ passions and allow them to do more of the things they love. From practicing hobbies and enjoying nature to hosting memorable gatherings for family and friends.


The summer holidays and the upcoming festive season in SA are synonymous with celebrations around the braai, pool and dining table. Entertainers usually live for anything from a casual get-together to a formal soiree, and an impromptu party is thrown without batting an eye. 

 

Depending on your unique style of entertaining, the following architectural tips can help you design a home where the party is at any time of the year:


Designing the perfect home for social gatherings
  1. Extended spaces

Open plan architectural layouts have been popular for decades. They make homes feel well ventilated with more natural light and connect the indoors and outdoors seamlessly. An entertainer’s home doesn’t need to be extravagant in size, but the clever use of flow in an open-plan layout can help guests move freely from each social zone, creating the illusion of space. An open-plan also helps guests gather in extended spaces surrounding social zones in a natural way.

  1. Adaptable architecture

Adaptable architecture is an entertainer’s saving grace. From fold-up doors that connect a kitchen and dining room with the patio (thereby creating an instant event hall) to rooms that literally double as something else i.e. a study that transforms into a guest bedroom. Opting for a larger hidden scullery with enough space to prepare meals is a convenient way to keep the actual kitchen clean and a part of the party.

  1. Taking the party outside

South Africans love to be outside, afterall we have the best weather for it. Creating outdoor social zones is therefore ideal. A patio, veranda, boma and swimming pool are excellent ways to make the most of the outdoors and host inspired gatherings. The addition of a covered patio and braai with roll-up doors allow you to host a braai in wind and rain.

Perfect homes for social gatherings inside & out
  1. Lighting

Lighting has a tremendous effect on setting the right mood. Social zones can be enhanced with effective overhead lighting in addition to making the best possible use of natural light. 

  1. Kids entertainment spaces

The most successful parties are those where the kids are properly entertained as well. Designing a home where there are designated areas where the kids can run around and play separately or adjacent to where the grown-ups are mingling, will work in your favour. The addition of a pajama lounge or playroom are great examples of this indoors.

What do you value in life?

Let’s talk about incorporating your ideals into the perfect family home.

 

Email me: gillian@veldarchitects.co.za 

 

Love,

Gill

The connection between architecture and interior flow

by Gillian Holl

A building should be more than just a beautiful shelter but a hyper functional space brimming with purpose. It should make the most of the location, leverage the best of the climate as well as the natural environment, and most of all it should bring those living or working within its walls joy. This may seem like a tall order, but modern architectural practices combined with a clear sense of interior flow can do this and so much more.

What is interior flow?

Interior flow, also referred to as the circulation of a building, is the natural movement of people and air between rooms. The placement of hallways, corridors, doors and windows are critical to establishing a flow that allows a home to “breathe” successfully.

Architects are at the helm of getting this right. By designing holistically with the interior, exterior and natural environment in mind, architects are able to create spaces that are cleverly thought-out to make the most of space, storage, natural light, climate, and of course interior flow. Furthermore, design principles such as feng shui can complement the free-flowing movement creating spaces where humans can live in harmony with their surroundings. 

This concept was explored as early as 1924, by Architect Gerrit Rietveld in his construction of the Schroder House. The client requested a house that is free from conventional association and that has a connection between inside and outside. He investigated the use of adaptable panels as walls that resulted in an interior that is dynamic and flexible, without compartmental rooms.

Trend alert: Inside-outside living spaces

Studies have shown that exposure to natural light and nature can positively affect the mood and energy levels of humans.  This has given rise to an inside-outside trend that is influencing the architectural, interior design and home decor industries dramatically. Clever architecture complemented by the right interior flow are able to erase the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces completely. From bringing the outdoors in and vice versa to interlinking these spaces together seamlessly. 

A courtyard is such a brilliant way to exploit the most of what this trend has to offer. A home of any scale can be complemented by the use of a courtyard, or even multiple courtyards. House with a view from our portfolio, as illustrated in the images below; creates exterior rooms that link internal spaces to each other through a landscaped spine.

Architecture & interior flow

Why interior flow matters

  • Energy

Interior flow balances and calms the energy of a room.

 

  • Functionality

Interior flow complements the functionality of a space, creating joy.

 

  • Space

Interior flow optimises the use of indoor and outdoor space, complementing each other.

The connection between architecture and interior flow is undeniably important. At Veld Architects we pride ourselves in our ability to think practically as well as creatively. We spend hours and hours planning and re-planning the “details” that would help us create a space that would tick all the boxes. 

That’s also why when it comes to the interior design aspect of a project, we are as involved as you want us to be.

Interested to find out more about our process?

Let’s chat.

gillian@veldarchitects.co.za

 

Love,

Gill