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Utilitarian design, or ‘form follows function’, is not a completely new concept. On the contrary, it has been present since the early 20th century, and the idea behind it is that the shape of a building or object should be based mainly on its function and purpose, not just its aesthetics. Also, utilitarian design focused on the interiors appeared in the 1970s in New York, in flats created where old warehouses once stood.

Utilitarian Design

This concept means that both exterior and interior design should be simple and lend themselves to a cost-effective construction. For instance, while you may be used to kitchen cabinets where you store your pots and pans, with a more utilitarian design you’d probably opt for open shelving where everything is on display. This is because you can reduce costs and make it easier to use the objects this way.


Getting the perfect look for your home doesn’t mean just aesthetics, but practicality as well. After all, no matter how visually pleasing something is, that won’t really matter if you can’t make use of it – in essence, the décor needs to be functional, not just appear functional.

This pragmatism can take many forms and the end result doesn’t have to be pretty. Rural Design’s Tinhouse, located in the Isle of Sky, is a great example of this, as it looks extremely utilitarian from the outside, with aluminium cladding and wooden sliding doors and deck. The inside of this rental house is a very comfortable and inviting 70 square metres, complete with a bedroom, lounge, kitchen and bathroom.

The modern aesthetics make the Tinhouse look more like one of the many agricultural buildings of the area instead of a home, and yet that was the purpose. This simple and economical approach might not create the prettiest of homes, but there’s no denying it’s extremely practical, as the aluminium protects the building from the regular storms of the area.

another of @BarbourDR photos from the photoshoot last week – looking especially shiny in this one.

— TINHOUSE (@littletinhouse) 12 July 2016


A utilitarian approach may focus more on functionality, but it’s imperative not to lose sight of comfort. Your rugs still need to be comfortable and warm, and putting up curtains can give you privacy from windows designed to let plenty of light in, for example. Adding comfort with a utilitarian edge is, therefore essential.


You can greatly benefit from applying this approach when considering a new design. Utilitarianism is extremely low maintenance, as many elements are easy to clean and treat, such as wood floors, and the home will be essentially clutter-free and edgy. The modern look of such a space is achieved by its clean lines and minimalist approach, but you can also incorporate it in a period property, making this approach incredibly versatile.

Utilitarian Design


Home lifts are designed with functionality in mind, as their main purpose is to allow people to move freely around the home and have access to all its areas whenever they want. However, they’re also a great example of how to incorporate comfort and design into a practical object, as you can choose from a wide range of lifts with many different features.

Scenic lifts allow the interior design to shine through, you can seamlessly integrate a lift into its surroundings when designing a space, and you can also create a room inspired by nature – all of this is achievable by blending utilitarianism, style and comfort to design the perfect home.

A no-frills approach such as the utilitarian can completely transform a home. Focusing on functionality is extremely important, then, whether we’re talking about lifts or cupboards in the kitchen, as people need to be able to make use of the items in their house.

However, equally important is the incorporation of elements like style and comfort, which can be used alongside practicality. At Axess2 you can find a combination of it all, so please don’t hesitate to talk to us to learn more about our lifts and how they can be incorporated into an interior design!