Purposeful Design


Jonathan Adler says your home should be an antidepressant, and I completely agree.  In a very concise way, he's making reference to the psychological impact our surroundings create. The way our visual environment affects our mood is very interesting, and it's also something we should consider before we begin any interior design project. In looking at the paint colors above, you're drawn to some more than others, and it's all about how those colors make you feel. I see fascinating information from time to time about the psychology of color as it applies to branding and product design. Obviously, it also applies to our interiors.

Understanding the psychological effects of design is something I find fascinating, and I'll be thinking and sharing about that here. The interior design process is always most successful when it begins with specific purpose, and I think that purpose should be optimal enjoyment of our homes.

So many of us never consider this as we contemplate our interiors. We do think about what we like, which actually may not correspond to how we'd like to feel in our houses. For example, I like this room below, but the mood it creates isn't right for me.

While it's not what I need, it's no doubt the exact tone that many others want which keeps design interesting.  Wouldn't it be tedious if all of our spaces were alike?

Instead of looking at the entries below in terms of whether or not you like each one, focus on the tone each room conveys.  If you were to walk into each space from the front door, what's the mood that would greet you?
 1)  Sue De Chiara's house via Domaine


3)  Domaine

 5)  Domaine

 6)  Domino

 10)  via Desire to Inspire

 11)  via McGrath II

 12)  Lonny

14)  Lonny

As I imagine being in each of these entries, I notice extremely varying tones, and I prefer some much more than others. We should all have an awareness of the way we want to feel in our homes before making design choices. Interior design can be both expensive and time consuming.  Shouldn't the greatest enjoyment of our surroundings be the result of these efforts? 

There's no right or wrong with this approach; it's, of course, completely subjective. Some feel best in a darker more moody space. Others may need lots of white and pastels. Neither is preferable or correct. It's about pinpointing what you need from your environment if you haven't already.  And, beyond that awareness, it's important to know how to create that climate in your home.  Next Wednesday, a chic guest will tell us the tones she wants her house to convey, and what she's done to achieve that.

Lastly, I'll share my recently redesigned entry for The One Room Challenge.  This space makes me feel exactly the way I want to feel in my house.



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