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Around Our Town...If These Walls Could Talk

Embracing the senses with interior design

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06/01/2006 - Julie York

Window & Wall Gallery

"While I like the look of the colorful metal blinds in my daughter's bedroom, the clanking sound they make against the window frame when the breeze is blowing makes me regret my choice'' confesses one mother. Often in the design choices we make for our homes, we focus alomost entirely on the visual. The scene is undeniably important but the unseen affects us in equally strong if more subtle ways. To create a fully satisfying space, we need to consider all our senses. This includes the total environment of sight, sound, touch, and smell

"The best interior design brings emotional and spiritual well being to those who experience it. It takes into account not only what is seen but what cannot be seen— the inner life of the people in the space" says designer/author Robert Wright. To incorporate elements of design into our homes that will genuinely enhance the lives of those within, we need to examine both our goals and the present reality.

How does a particular room make you feel? Is it warm and inviting? Cool and serene? Stiff and formal? How should that room feel? Is it a hub of vibrant activity? A private sanctuary? A quiet gathering spot? Choose what you want the room to become. Should it be a place of contemplation? Creativity? Interaction? Once a goal for a particular space is clarified, confusion fades.

Bright colors promote optimism. Somewhat more tailored and stiffly upholstered furniture helps the ones sitting stay alert Heels clicking on tile or hardwood can convey an awake and alive mentality. This can be perfect for sustaining interaction and activity.

Alternately, light infused pastels promote spiritual healing and peace. Gentle pleasant sounds can be more restful than silence. Opening a softly rustling drapery becomes a morning ritual for transition into awakening.

The day spa industry has increased in popularity in recent years precisely because of their ability to minister to all of one's senses. An emphasis on connection to nature, pleasant diversion, and the lack of enviromental stressors, is the basis of these facilities All of these elements are worth incorporating into our home spaces. With time and consideration, we can create homes that fullfill our needs, compliment our lifestyles, and embrace all of our senses.

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