Updating the South One Space at a TimeUpdating the South One Space at a Time

Good Design is More than Just a Pretty Space!

March 1, 2019

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Lets talk about the things to consider that make good design, great design and excite the design senses in your pretty new space!  The five senses, see, touch, hear, taste (what?) and smell! As most people know if you read my posts, I am firmly in the “form follows function” camp but that does not mean there are not intracies in the process that are not really important to recognize that have a huge impact on the success of the final design.

More than just a pretty space….

We all find drool worthy images on various platforms and save them to our wishlist’s or inspiration folders but that is just the tip of the iceberg. What does the space FEEL like when you are actually in it? How does it smell? How does it sound? If it looks luxurious, it should also feel luxurious! Good design is an experience, not just a look we see in a magazine .

lighting-natural light-living room-coffered ceiling

Lets start with the obvious, sight.

Sure you want your space to do that but what are some of things that create a visually exciting interior? Color is one of course, “pops of color” (I hate that phrase but find myself having to use it.)  It's a great way to add excitement to an otherwise “meh” space. To contrast, if you want to create a serene and relaxed space, color choices are going to be softer and muted. Pretty basic right?

Often not considered is LIGHTING, Nothing can have more impact on your space visually than correct lighting! Lighting can be used to create softness, drama or highlight specific areas you want to call attention to. The correct color of light and the ability to adjust your lighting through the use of layering light and installing dimmer switches gives the ability to change the feel of your space in a snap!

Can you hear me?

Sound is often something not realized until the project is done and you are left wondering why your cozy space doesn’t feel so cozy. Modern living spaces are large and open areas and many times have gorgeous volume ceilings. With the trend of hard surfaced flooring, glass, tile and stone trending in interiors, you have sound-waves bouncing everywhere! The need for soft surfaces such as rugs, upholstery and fabrics is so important and often overlooked. If your new space is an acoustic nightmare it's an easy fix by introducing some great fabrics. Artwork on otherwise bare walls will help to absorb sounds, and the ceiling treatment you see above also absorbs sound-waves!

The  Mother of All Design Senses….

Touch before purchasing! This is often the number one reason people are unhappy with online purchases. You finally get your item and it feels creepy. No one wants creepy fabrics or an uncomfortable chair. As a designer this is the number one reason I take the time to attend trade shows and markets. I “sit test” pieces and put hands and eyes on fabrics and furnishings for my clients! Yes, you can usually always return things BUT honestly it a pain. Boxing things up, sending them back not to mention the disappointment factor. Customer reviews, if they are available, can be very helpful if you are purchasing from online vendors!

If you are planning a cozy space, make sure your fabrics are cozy, especially the things you are going to touch or sit on like pillows, throws and upholstery. Luxury interiors mean luxury fabrics. True luxury feels like butter when you touch it.

What’s that smell?

Haha! This may be the mother of all Design senses to some people! I am not talking Pine fresh or Clorox clean here though! Clorox while important is not a scent. Scents are gentle and invoke a feeling or sentiment. Think of them like seasons, lighter fresher ones like citrus or light floral’s. Use cool refreshing mint during spring or summer and save the heavier more robust scents for the cooler months fall and winter bring.

Rooms fresheners can be overpowering. Try scented candles in your space. These are often times so fragrant you don’t even need to light them up to catch the perfect amount of scent! I totally get it, sometimes we all need a little Febreze, (I raised boys) but I much prefer to use a diffuser with natural oils to layer scents in my home. Many have therapeutic advantage as well! This is also because I don’t remember I am burning candles. The ever popular Amazon.com has an amazing selection of “aromatherapy” products.

These are a few of the fine points of the complete design package for your new space! For more good information in your inbox subscribe to my list and receive future posts!


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