Designing For the Senses

Designers are responsible for creating an overall sense of calm for their clients, and successful design takes into account all details for an absolute pleasing experience.  In order to create a cohesive, meaningful design it is important to consider each of the five senses. Engaging the five senses makes a house a home and creates an environment capable of nurturing ones soul.

Touch- Fill your space with engaging fabrics and upholstery.  Make it touchable!  Add elements that please your sense of touch- chenille, silk, cashmere, wool, leather, Egyptian cotton and down.  Juxtapose soft elements with hard surfaces such as wood, stone, rattan, wicker and sisal.  Mix it up, layer and combine textures and patterns for optimal pleasure!

Smell- Fragrance plays an important role in the home and the right scent can make us feel warm and comfortable.  Keep it fresh!  Avoid negative smells such as expired foods or overfilled trash bins.  Find a scent that lifts your energy and feel free to experiment with different fragrances.  Create an aromatic sensory experience by introducing your favorite scents by way of candles, sprays, detergents and home care products.

Sight- Beauty makes us happy that is why we make huge efforts to create visually pleasing environments.  Choosing decorative pieces and color palettes that fit your personality will bring you the most joy!  Look around you- Is your space balanced?  Is the furniture to scale with the size of the room?  Good space planning, balance and proportion play a huge role in how we perceive our environment.  In addition, take into account the psychology of color, lighting- natural and artificial, and art/imagery in the space.

Sound- Music can fill a home with blissful memories, moments of happiness and serenity.  Water features, wind chimes, the breeze of an open window or a crackling fireplace also add the element of sound.  Silence can also be peaceful and calming.  However you interpret sound in your home remember- delightful sounds can transform your mood! Loud, abrupt noises create stress and will lead to unhappiness in your home.  If noise outside of the home is unavoidable because of the area in which you live it you may want to invest in double pane windows and/or sound barriers for the walls.

Taste- The toughest of the five senses to design for, as it is not an incessant part of daily life.  Only at specific times do we use taste- daily meals, snacks, drinks, chewing gum- and it is a matter of our own control.  Taste is an important part of experience and people love to eat!  A great way to bring taste into your home is to offer food, drinks or meals to your guests.  Provide snacks during parties or place a candy jar on a side table for everyday use.  Additionally, a foods flavor generally does not depend on information from a single sense- smell, touch, sight and even sound become important factors.  Taking the smell factor into consideration, taste can be sensed in a less literal form.  For instance using fragrances that smell of food such as, cinnamon, pumpkin, and cloves can stimulate the taste sense.  In kitchens and dining rooms it may seem more appropriate to decorate with fruit, vegetables, herbs, or even display art capturing food.

Want to learn more? Check out my Quick Tips blog!  Or call Designer Showcase today for your in home consultation.