Apr 15, 2014

The secret to a great interior!

Softly lit, rounded furnishings and favored art make this space fabulous.

You can read all of the studies on how the various elements that go into a design plan  affect your physical and psychological well-being. Or, you can talk to a designer and look at the spaces they design.  A great design brings everything together, client personality, the right mood, a style that looks and feels right, and result in 
 beautiful and functional spaces that positively affect your health and mental well-being.  These elements all add up to create the ideal space. Pick one or all and let me know what you think. 

1) Light. This is a well-known mood modulator. Darkness promotes fears but soft light is comforting. Use candles, artificial sources controlled with dimmers, and natural sunshine, muted so you're not in direct glare.  With all of the different types of  light bulbs, you can get any mood with unlimited style.  Lighting is a favorite design aspect for me. Fixtures say SO much about your personality and your space that you can almost always set the entire tone of a room with just the lighting. 

2) Decor. The type and style of furniture and accessories you select is key. You should  grounded when you look around your space and see the evidence of who you are and what you have collected in life. The elements of decorative arts will  come to life whether you love a sleek minimalist style or a richly embellished traditional space.  Identify what you like, understand why; put a name to the style so you find the right resources and create the perfect spaces for yourself. 

3) Kitchen as a hearth.  Since the 1900's we have heard that the hearth is considered the heart of the home. No surprise then, that British research proves that theory. Being in the kitchen links you to feelings of comfort.  Beyond getting food, there's a sense of protection, warmth, and sociability. Ideally, it should be a functional and a social space where friends and family can gather, do work, and relax. This space should surround you with personal style.  From the tile to the counters to appliances and colors, each element in your kitchen should work with your style of cooking as well as convey what you love. 

4) Outdoor element:  Windows are an architectural element that's considered critical. Understanding your environment - especially the "unknown" outside -  offers control and stability to your mind.  While a yard is nice, if you don't have one, single windows offer an emotional lift.  No windows? Add artwork with landscape images, sunshine and other outdoor scenery.

5) Create a "soft" space.  As you have likely observed, the use of curves instead of hard edges on counters, furniture, and cabinets does help nurture contentment and well-being. To the brain, softer edges imply safety. Not everything in your environment needs to be rounded. For example,  arranging objects and furnishings at angles to soften corners is one solution.

6) Uniqueness. Decorating with signed artwork, a  one-of-a-kind sculpture, and other unique pieces  not only puts your fingerprint on your place, it transmits a sense of authenticity and trust.

7) Solace. Certainly we can all identify with having some place to find solitude. Even if you can't have your own room, it's important to find ways to guarantee yourself privacy and private time.  Create a retreat, a corner space, or even use a deep closet to carve out a private niche for yourself.