BBC DESIGN RULES 1st EPISODE: SPACE AND PLANNING

Space and Planning

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen gets right down to the fundamentals of design in this fascinating back-to-basics series. He tackles real problems in real homes as he explores six themes: space, colour, light, texture and pattern, balance and order, and personality. In addition to his own in-depth knowledge of design principles, Laurence calls on a colour forecaster, psychologists and a perception specialist to explain and demonstrate the science behind the how and the why.

Taking a real home where a design problem is all too apparent, he demonstrates some simple psychology and basic experiments in a 'design lab' back at the studio -- and it's all done without knocking down walls or spending big bucks.

Space comes under the spotlight in the first programme. Lack of space is a common problem in British homes which, surprisingly, have 20 square metres less space than Japanese homes, with an average of only 120 square metres.

"The cardinal sin that the British indulge in beyond any other nation is the concept of agoraphobic furniture that feels it needs to keep its back against the wall at all times in case something unpleasant happens to it!" quips Laurence.

By painting the walls a paler colour, bringing the outside inside by strategically placing an eye-catching object outside the window and switching to light-reflecting flooring, the brain is deluded into thinking that the room is bigger. Suddenly, the crowded living room is calmer and seems larger -- thanks to a little bit of science and the tricks of design rules.

Eye brain specialist Dr Ione Fine comments: "Half of interior design is illusion."And on a practical note, Laurence shows why it's better to buy a couple of two-seater sofas -- because three people never sit on a three-seater!

Please, enjoy it!

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