Welcome to my interior design blog! Have you ever wondered why you love certain interiors and detest others?
“We shape our homes, and our homes shape us.”
Our decisions shape the spaces in which we function. What drives those decisions? What impact do these decisions and resulting surroundings have on us? In this blog post, I am going to explore this interaction.
Motivations for decision making
Global events and trends
World events such as wars, revolutions and pandemics profoundly impact our world and change the way we live, work, school, shop and socialise. These changes create new demands from our living spaces. Currently we need to rethink our Spatial Planning as our needs for privacy, personal space, and sanitisation have changed. New technology also plays a role. For example, performance fabrics that repel stains before they occur make light coloured upholstery a possibility for families with animals and small children.
Trends affect our decisions as well. The colours, fixtures and finishes in vogue are more readily available. For example, fabrics in contemporary grey will be more obtainable and affordable than a very specific light green, fashionable 200 years ago. The Covid-19 pandemic has emphasised trends that speak to our need for a sanctuary-like environment. An increased emphasis on textural and tactile fabrics used in upholstery, throw blankets and scatter cushions increases our sense of comfort and security.
Human physiology and psychology
Our bodies respond well to certain things. As an interior designer, I am trained to understand the science of what is pleasing to the human body and mind. The Golden Ratio (1.618) is found in nature, musical sequences, and human body proportions. In interior design, it means there is an optimal mathematical relationship between colours in a colour scheme, the dimensions of furniture, art etc. I love using these principles to create design magic.
Biophilia is a key concept to mention here. It refers to humankind’s innate connection with, as well as an affinity for, the great outdoors. Materials and motifs from the natural world speak to our innate longing to reconnect with nature.
Individual driving forces
We all grew up loving different things. Your home, parents, friends, hobbies and experiences, have shaped your tastes, likes and dislikes. You developed connotations with certain smells, sounds, textures and colours. Here things get very specific: people can have vastly different reactions to the same thing. I feel it is important to respect and celebrate these differences as these make us unique as individuals.
How our spaces affect us
Proponents of minimalism have long been asserting the calming effects of a clutter-free space. More recently, Marie Kondo has made headlines with her method as set out in her book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing”. “The Home Edit” and a host of personal organisers help people achieve more ordered, systemic, and structured spaces. Organising your space is on-trend, but what are its potential benefits?
• Feelings of control
• Mental clarity
• Reduced stress
• Better sleep
• Higher productivity
The point I am trying to make is not whether you should declutter or whose method to use, but consider how your current home or office situation affects you?
From colour theory, we learn that warm colours energise and cool colours calm and relax. It has been found that the colour red increases people’s appetites. Understand why so many fast-food chains use red in their branding? The colours we are surrounded with have a physical and psychological effect on us. The impact of colour on someone needs to be calibrated per culture and individual. For example, love would be communicated as red in Western cultures but as yellow in Native American culture. Someone may have had a run-in with an avocado as a child and can’t stand the sight of green anymore.
Your surroundings matter. Every individual has various factors contributing to what they need from their environment: world events, trends, human biology, culture, individual experiences.
How do the spaces look that would impact you positively? What do you need? What resonates with you? To assist with this process, I will be dedicating an upcoming series on this interior design blog to understanding different interior design styles.
Let us be intentional about our spaces. I would gladly assist you in this process. You are welcome to have a look at the services I provide here.
How about you? Which of the driving forces discussed here weigh more heavily in your decision-making? Do your living spaces cater for your needs? Does the aesthetic resonate with you? Let me know in the comments below.
Images via Pinterest