How can you balance style and function in your home? Nate Berkus has the answers

The design expert says that some areas can be purely for visual appeal

Nate Berkus
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Balancing function and style is an important consideration for every room in the home. Focusing purely on the aesthetic appeal of rooms will mean spaces are impractical for daily use; whereas prioritizing only their function will leave them lacking in visual appeal.

In large rooms, there's often enough space to create purely stylistic moments that don't necessarily enhance the room's function. But how important is it to ensure these spaces are also functional?

Interior designer Nate Berkus has been pondering the same question and recently took to Instagram to discuss the topic. Read on to hear his expert interior design tips

In the video, Nate shares that he was asked this very question while attending a design event – whether spaces can be visually appealing without serving a functional purpose. 

Generally, good design is about balancing both function and form, but that doesn't mean every single corner of our homes needs to do both. In fact, creating specific areas that are purely there to enhance visual appeal can elevate the look of the whole room.

'My belief system around that question is that every space needs to be functional and beautiful but not every part of a room needs to be completely functional,' explains Nate in the Instagram video.

To illustrate his point, the designer explains that in his own living room, he has a vintage side table that holds a sculptural light. Beyond adding visual appeal to the room, the side table doesn't serve a practical purpose. However, he sees the value in having small areas like this within a room that is otherwise designed with functionality at the forefront. 

This very much aligns with the whole point of vignettes. Vignettes are intentionally styled moments throughout the home that display beautiful objects, artwork, or other sentimental decor items with the main purpose of adding personality to a room. While vignettes can also be functional, they certainly don't need to be. 

'Every room needs to be functional and beautiful, but every piece in the room doesn't have to be both,' continues Nate. 'You can have something that you think is just beautiful, just because you think it’s beautiful.'

While rooms as a whole should always be functional, it's reassuring to hear from Nate that not every square inch needs to be. If you have the space, creating areas that are purely for aesthetic reasons can be an effective way to make your home feel more interesting and full of character. 

Feeling inspired to enhance your home's aesthetic appeal? Shop the below decorative items that can help create stylish vignettes in various rooms. 

Emily Moorman
News Writer

Emily Moorman is a News Writer at Homes & Gardens, working across a range of topics spanning interiors, celebrity and emerging trends. With a background in the fashion industry, Emily is well-versed in the world of design and trend cycles. Her undergraduate degree was in Fashion Communication and Promotion which she studied at Norwich University of The Arts, specialising in writing and digital communications.