Design and the 5 Senses

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Close your eyes and think back to a favorite room you’ve been in recently. Were there lots of colors, or was it monochromatic? Was there music that was soft and pleasant or invigorating and inspiring? Could you smell sweet fragrances coming through the window or cooking aromas wafting down the hall from the kitchen? Here are ways to engage all five senses in room design for a rich experience. 

  • SIGHT: Create drama and excitement with bold color, or use horizontal lines to bring on feelings of relaxation. Deciding on the amount of contrast between darks and lights in your room can have a huge visual impact on the way you feel in a room.  
  • SOUND: Diminish unwelcome sounds, such as freeway traffic, with area rugs and window treatments. Bring in the calming sound of a water feature. Your music selection and how it is brought into the room via different sound systems also affect the ambiance of the space.
  • TOUCH: Do you prefer the feel of a nubby or shag rug, crisp cotton or warm flannel sheets, smooth leather or soft chenille fabric? The more aware you are of what feels good to you before you make textile selections, the more you will enjoy your newly designed room.
  • SMELL: A wood-burning fireplace has a different effect than a gas-burning fireplace when it comes to enhancing the scent of a room. Scented candles, fragrant oils and the varying aromas of potpourri can suggest all kinds of good feelings and moods. And there’s nothing like a vase of fresh flowers to give a room a wonderful fragrance. 
  • TASTE: Even the visual display of food evokes a sense of how they taste. Place a bowl of fresh lemons on a table as a centerpiece. When displaying a bouquet in a clear vase, add fruits like berries and limes to the water.

Joan Peters, Allied Member ASID
Joan Peters Design

Categories: Home Design