South End – Interior design by Leia T. Ward of LTW Design

Photography by Andrea Carson Photography

Hey guys, welcome back to DESIGN EXPLODER – this is the place where we take a closer look at homes and spaces that we love and uncover some of the secrets behind the design!

The term Modern Design often comes attached with the stigma of being cold and unwelcoming, spaces designed for artistic expression, but not necessarily comfort of the occupants.  Leia Ward begs to differ. She creates modern home designs that scream livable.  South End, a residential interior design project by LTW Design, epitomizes the minimalist nature of modern design while at the same time infusing it with a feeling of calm and warmth.  Leia understands that her clients lead busy lives, and she wants her designs to allow them to walk in the door, take a deep breath, and relax.

“Our goal when designing homes is to create a space that evokes a sense of calm. Our clients all lead very busy lives and when they come home, we want them to walk in the door and be able to take a deep breath and relax.” ~ Leia Ward

Design that balances sophistication and comfort

Leia sets the tone for this inviting space by using a palette of materials that are both sophisticated enough to feel special, and at the same time, casual enough to feel inviting.  It’s this subtle blending and layering of materials that gives the home its character.  Cozy furniture that you want to touch resides in harmony with the minimalist wood trim and furniture that expresses a refined and precise uncluttered detailing.  It’s this sensitive balance of materials and details that enable us to be both engaged and comfortable at the same time.

Design with a consistent, common thread, unifies the whole

The interior of this home has a sense of cohesiveness.  The rooms throughout connect with each other with a common thread.  Leia uses materials, textures, and color in a consistent manner. These become the palette for the design.  The natural wood columns and trim accent, a modern interpretation of crown molding, runs throughout the space – a literal connection from room to room.  Throw in the black window frames for good measure and you end up with a home design that is consistent and clear.

Spaces that have common design themes throughout unify the whole, creating a sense of order and regularity.  These common design threads allow our brains some time off, no longer working hard to “figure out” the space we are in. The repeating patterns are understood, freeing our minds from that task.

Here’s a Fun Fact: Did you know that thinking burns calories? The harder our brains work, the more calories we burn, which increases our heart rates. This brain activity is tiring.  Good design can help our minds rest.  Spaces that feel calm and serene do just that. By removing extraneous or distracting elements, we can create places that foster relaxation.

Sometimes its about what you don’t see

We think of design as additive, placing furnishings, materials, and textures in the spaces where we live. We tend to fill spaces with the things we love.  But Leia believes that the negative spaces – those spaces that don’t look “designed”- play a huge role in how we perceive the spaces we occupy.  Leia designs these negative spaces with purpose, giving a place for the eyes to rest.  These negative spaces become vital to creating rooms that are calming.

“I think negative space is as important, if not more important, than the space filled with furniture. I specifically choose where the negative space will live in every room so that the eye has an opportunity to rest. This is a key part of creating a calm space. Less is always more.” ~ Leia Ward

When our eyes rest, our thoughts can rest as well.  With distractions removed from the picture, we can focus our attention on more important things – the design elements that promote the sense of comfort and warmth.  Once again, it’s this balance of design (in this case positive and negative), that create the emotions we feel when we are in the space.

Our homes are our sanctuaries

Interior design is about creating spaces that evoke mood and emotions.  It’s done well when the designer uses their tools (material, texture, light, and color) to make spaces that elevate how we live.  Leia Ward of LTW Design is determined to design homes that are sanctuaries.  Our homes today, perhaps now more than ever before, need to act as our place to unwind and recharge. They are our safe harbors from the storms we face every day.  The design for South End certainly evokes this spirit. We could all use spaces like this for our own place to disconnect from the chaos around us.

For more of LTW Design’s warm modern, minimalist designs, check out the firm’s website, and be sure to follow them on all of their social media channels. 

Thanks for watching – I hoped you enjoyed this Design Exploder.   

Welcome home to your modern cottage!

Photography by Andrea Carson