The primary goal of residential design is customized comfort. And the key in achieving comfort in interior design is to go beyond just the visual (collectively: space, colour, and lighting). Exceptional interior design addresses all senses; it includes the senses of hearing and touch, and even the sense of smell. By engaging all senses, true harmony in a space can be achieved.
Interior design is mostly visual. When we see designed interiors on TV and in magazines, colour is the primary element that impresses us; it’s probably what gives the strongest impression, and that’s not even to mention the psychology of colour. But what affects the colours that we see? Light does. The quality of lighting is so important in interior design because it affects how we see those colours, and therefore, how we subconsciously respond to colours.
But the most important element that contributes to the overall visual aspect to residential design is space. It even goes beyond the visual-it’s full dimensional and mostly, if not purely, psychological. Whether a space is tight or ample affects how we feel in that space. Not just the space between walls, but the space between the floor to the ceiling, and space between furniture pieces and structural elements-these all contribute to the overall impression we get from a space.
With our eyes closed, we can’t see the space we’re in. But space goes beyond the mere visual. Considering the blind who are sight-impaired, it is only when we move in a space that we get the full feel for it. That’s why Ergonometric-which concerns measurements of furniture dimensions in regard to the human body and movement-is so important. And space planning is based on this (or it should, anyway). So is “form follows function.”
Beauty & Harmony
The most important thing about the visual in a home is that it is about beauty-it’s about being surrounded by beauty. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, yes; it is subjective. We all respond uniquely to different colours, elements and motifs. What’s beautiful to me may be hideous to you and vice versa. It is therefore an art to translate our taste, by knowing what is beautiful (and ugly) to us, and reflect it onto our space and create a home that is beautiful and harmonic to us.
Harmony engages all senses. Besides the visual, it engages the senses of hearing, touch, and smell. Setting aside the technicality of acoustic design (the science that deals with sound), the sense of hearing can be controlled in a space by the use of textile-as in carpets, cushions, curtains, etc. As with the sense of touch, this is where quality of furniture, such as sofas and beds, come in (where texture plays the most important role). And as with the sense of smell?
Well, isn’t mean to get so technical. In truth, what we originally wanted to say in regard to the senses of hearing and smell in a home was that listening to music that makes us feel good, and lighting up scented candles that we love the smell of and that relax us-this is how we can instantly add a touch of beauty in our homes.
This is where residential design matters the most-setting a beautiful and harmonic backdrop for our daily lives. Because residential interior design is about our homes, it affects our lives in that it affects how we feel in the space where we spend most of our time-where we wake up, dine, spend time with our loved ones, and go to sleep every night. Why not choose to be surrounded by beauty?
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