Aesthetics vs Function in Bathroom & Kitchen Remodels

Aesthetics vs Function in Bathroom & Kitchen Remodels

Bath & Kitchen Remodels Aesthetics ever Follows Function

I always found the terms “form v.s. function”, “form over function”, “function follows form” to be confusing. Because of the word form. It really helps to think of “form” as simply aesthetics. It then makes understanding the two primary terms using form easier.

 “Form follows function” as described by WikipediA  is a 20th century principal of modernist architecture. Which is that a building or objects in a building or furniture or bathroom & kitchen cabinetry should be based primarily on its intended purpose or function. The phrase is attributed to the American architect Louis Sullivan who actually said “form ever follows function”.

Bethesda kitchen remodel with large island in a chocolate stain with white icing perimeter.

Bethesda kitchen remodel with large island in a chocolate stain with white icing perimeter.

The bathroom & kitchen remodeling process should begin with function; how you, your family and guests will utilize the space (function). Followed by “form” aesthetics such as bun feet inside the toe kick, valances above the window, three inch fillers with or without a pilasters or decorative element demarcating the refrigerator.

Form over Function? Designing for aesthetics with no regard or begrudging regard for function. Designing a Kitchen for aesthetics over function is short sighted. The problem in kitchen and bathroom design is that “Form” aesthetics is an important component to most customer. Our initial conversations usually begin with form; the style of the door, the species, the stain or paint. The pattern and color of the counter top etc.. It is sometimes easy for customers and designers to lose sight of function as the first and most important part of the process.







Kitchen Design




Let’s look at two simple examples. A kitchen designer likes the look of 4.5” filler boxes on either side of the refrigerator with a large rope molding and a pilaster on the bottom. If the result is a 30 inch refrigerator when the client wanted a 36 inch refrigerator, then this is form over function not form following function.

Unique cabinet pulls. Maybe they are squiggly lines or grapes or dolphins. If the bathroom or kitchen design meets basic NKBA guidelines subject to or in addition to the client’s desired method of using the space then the decorative pulls are form following function.

A Bethesda MD kitchen remodel combining a dark island with a light perimeter along with two different counter tops is it form over function? Again provided the kitchen functions to the client’s specifications and does not ignore basic kitchen design guidelines then form is following functions as it should.






Kitchen Remodel DC

Great function, yet very personal “form” lime green back splash for this Remodel.


An example of a well functioning kitchen with extremely personal colors is this kitchen done for Deborah & Dov Zakheim in Silver Spring MD.






In the world of Architecture if an Art Deco façade compliments the basic function of the building then it is form following function. If the Art Deco façade interferes with the doors or windows making them less useful then it is form over function.

Good bathroom or kitchen design

kitchen remodelers Potomac

Potomac Kitchen Remodel off white & espresso

begins with a well thought out layout for function, coupled with good proportions in a style appropriate to the client including the style of the client’s house and ends with colors and decorative embellishments.



We would really like you feed back please comment below. In addition if you need more information free planning guides that sort of thing we have a large selection of downloadable pdfs on our site. Free PDF Bathroom & Kitchen Design Guides


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