Designing Spaces That Matter

When designing their home, many desire spaces that encourage family and friends to come together to share experiences. Your home is a part of the experience as much as you are, make it matter.

This past weekend, we hosted the Style Suites at this year’s Iowa’s Premiere Beer, Wine, and Food Expo. Being a part of these expos provides a wealth of experiences—of flavors, community, and conversations. We wanted our space to be a catalyst for these kinds of a experiences. Well, designing spaces to help foster an amiable atmosphere was the first step.

When entering the Style Suites, you came upon a beautiful custom built bar that became the welcoming space for many events throughout the weekend. All throughout the space, we juxtaposed an industrial and natural aesthetic. We pieced together raw native plants from the prairie and industrial metal to create fixating centerpieces that added to the beautiful furniture.


Surrounding the bar stood a number of tables where people could stand together, eat, drink, and chat. Next to the bar, we created a small classroom. Rather than a typical classroom atmosphere, though, we wanted a space that would encourage more intimate conversations. Throughout the weekend, the series of round tables brought friends into the space and into conversations about design, entertainment, and remodeling.

We wanted to be able to guide our guests from one space and into the next, and decided a long table down the short hallway would become our bridge between these two areas.

So why did we create this space? Well, first, we were hosting a few classes. On Friday evening, Steve talked about wine cellars, and Saturday picked up with a few more classes on design, tablescaping, Tyson talking about countertops, and Josh Buchsbaum joined us to talk about hospitality and entertaining.


In his talk, Josh mentioned that we all come together with a reason—there’s a point to the gathering. And this is true. Whether we’re sharing a meal to plan a fundraiser, to present a new idea, or to simply gather over good food, people have a desire to come together. And the way we choose to design a space mirrors these desires. Josh’s comment resonated with me because at Silent Rivers, this is something we consider with every project, and something we hope our clients are thinking about, too.

Why do we come together in a space? Whether that be your kitchen, your porch, your family room? These environments are the spaces where we make our memories, share experiences, and build our lives. We want to design and build in ways that inspire you to keep living creatively, to create unique spaces that help expand your experiences.

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