LIFESTYLE : DESIGN FOR YOUR SIX SENSES
Green juice, eating right and working out may all already be on your radar for achieving optimal health and wellbeing. But, have you ever stopped to consider the impact of the spaces that you interact with on a day-to-day basis?
A space directly affects the people in it, and when your space is well taken care of, you feel fulfilled, confident and relaxed. You can connect to deeper parts of your being and with those around you.
Read on for some quick and practical tips to enhance the quality of your living spaces, by designing for your six senses.
Here’s to a beautiful Life.
SENSE 1: SEE
First of all, walk through your space, paying attention to the ease of flow through it.. Are you bumping into any pieces of furniture? Does anything block your way or hinder your circulation? If so, move or rotate large furniture pieces, and tuck in or shift smaller ones. Then, have a look at your furniture, or better yet, take a seat in every chair, and use the coffee table or side table… Is your relationship comfortable to a window with a beautiful view, or the TV? Can you have a comfortable conversation with a friend sitting across from you, or beside you? Adjust accordingly, making the interactions casual and intimate by rotating or shifting the location of some pieces.
Color has a major impact on the depth of your space, and we all know that the overwhelming myriad of choices out there can lead us running to the nearest “vanilla” shade we can find! It doesn’t have to be that daunting – simply, start with what you like – your favorite color. You can get away with deep hues in living spaces and bedrooms, while it’s better to stick to light and bright in work or task areas. Once you’ve narrowed it down to your color of choice, you want to consider saturation, meaning the intensity of the color, and how light or dark it is. If you want to make your space expand, apply a less intense color on the back wall, and more saturated colors on elements that are in the foreground, for instance smaller furniture pieces or interior accessories.
Again, this can have a dramatic impact on your space. A good rule of thumb when considering lighting, is to light in layers. The more control you have over the lighting of your space, the more comfortable it will be for a wide range of uses. Daylight – check your source of natural light coming through windows. For comfort, you should be able to control this with blinds or curtains. I love linen for it’s casual look, and it’s ability to provide a decent level of privacy while still letting through some diffuse light. Electric light – go sexy, warm, and indirect. Dimmable floor lamps are a great choice; use a warm (preferably LED) light bulb, and direct them towards the ceiling to avoid any harsh eye-height rays. Dim it down for an intimate setting, or turn it up for laughter at dinner. Have task lighting in places where you are likely going to be reading or doing tasks that require higher light levels. Add the occasional spotlight for drama, or to create a focal point on your favourite sculpture/ art piece.
Art and Accessories
Just like with any outfit, accessories make all the difference, and can take a look from professional day to sexy night. Home accessories are much the same, and give you the freedom to change things up either dramatically or subtly, and the great thing is that they can be functional too, which truly enhances the experience of your space – think cushions to sink into, or double up as extra floor space, vases for fresh flowers or dry twigs, boxes to keep miscellaneous clutter out of sight. Artwork creates depth and adds interest to your space. So, how do you choose? Go with what you like… abstracts, floral, fashion prints, cities.. What are you drawn to? What can spark a conversation? What has a timeless quality? What is unique to you? Flowers can instantly refresh a space, you can pick them up at a florists, or pass by a deli on your way home from work, and throw them in a vase. Home plants are great, if you remember to water them every now and again 🙂
SENSE 2: HEAR
“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent” – Victor Hugo
I can’t say it better. So, spend the time creating playlists on your iPod. Name them according to the mood they create, add to them when you come across a new favorite. Plug in, press play… or…
Go Live: if you play an instrument, make it a part of your setup to spark live casual performances or impromptu dancing.
SENSE 3: SMELL
Smell has the power to transform a space from gorgeous to memorable. We tend to associate smells with memories, so this is another element of your space that can express a facet of your personality. The great thing is, any means by which you are introducing smell will also double up to enrich the visual quality of your space; exotic incense burners, sensual candles, and fresh flowers. In terms of scents, if you’re not sure where to start, don’t be afraid to mix and match oils – and most importantly – follow your intuition – I am continually discovering new scents, which are delightful. A few of my favorites at the moment are: fresh fig, pomegranate, orange blossom, jasmine, and anything to do with almonds.
SENSE 4: TOUCH
Think of fabrics and textures that add depth, and warmth, and are pleasurable to touch. Again, they can enhance the functionality of your space: Can you sit on the floor comfortably? Can you nap on the couch? Throws are great for snuggling up for movie-night and add some movement, and easy-to-refresh color and pattern on the sofa. Rugs or fabrics can be hung on a rod behind a sofa to create a sensual vibe, and are another opportunity for an easy-to-change element of pattern for your space.
SENSE 5: TASTE
Encourage mood-based grazing to enhance both your personal experience, and social experiences in your space… nuts, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, cubes of mature cheddar cheese, pretzels, carrots…. the list is endless, and can be as naughty or nice as you please! Just throw them in bowls and scatter them around for the ultimate casual evening drinks.
SENSE 6: FEEL THE <3
Be gracious, be kind, take care of yourself and your guests : the ultimate feel good.
“And, in the end, the Love you take is equal to the Love you make” – Paul McCartney