Living environments and The 5 Senses.

Living Environments and the 5 Senses

We aspire to captivate all five senses with our design creations, forging an experience in an environment intricately tied to memory, a moment, or an object. Achieving harmony with a space imparts a profound sense of being truly at home. Discover how precise design elements can engage each physical sense, shaping both your desired aesthetic and mood.

Alicia Hogar Source: https://www.yellowtrace.com.au/alicia-holgar-avian-apartment-brisbane-harry-seidler-building-apartment-refurbishment/
Alicia Hogar Source: https://www.yellowtrace.com.au/alicia-holgar-avian-apartment-brisbane-harry-seidler-building-apartment-refurbishment/

Have you ever stepped into a room and instantly felt at home? Everything around you delights your senses—the colors excite and soothe, the scents evoke pleasant memories, every touch is pleasing and intriguing, the sounds are comforting, and it’s as if you can taste home. It’s a space where you want to linger, eager to share it with friends and family.

Such a space significantly influences your emotions, creating a unique mood and energy that your brain senses consciously and subconsciously. This perception integrates with your sense of self and your broader experience in that environment, making you feel entirely at home and at ease.

To facilitate this meaningful experience, intentional design that engages both the mind and body’s senses is crucial. We are constantly influenced by what we hear, touch, smell, see, and taste, and these experiences, when orchestrated effectively, evoke stronger and more memorable reactions.

Today, let’s delve into how adept design can fully engage all five senses, crafting an environment that is not only visually appealing but also calming and homely. With a deeper understanding of how the environment impacts the nervous system, we can prioritize creating spaces that offer a delightful experience. Your environment will not only be aesthetically pleasing but also sensibly and emotionally appealing.

Good Design & The 5 Senses

“Our senses are part of our memories, our identity, our culture, therefore who we are”. Helena Brana

Touch

To create an interior that feels just right, elements connected through touch must offer a pleasing sensation. Our preference leans towards smooth textiles like suede, rough decorative accents, uniquely textured fireplaces and walls, and sleek kitchen countertops. Achieving a pleasing feel involves a balance of sensations through contrasting design elements.

Understanding my own preferred textures came from observing and gently touching different textures in botanical gardens or parks—trees, succulents, and leaves. This observation helps in finding similar feelings in textiles and materials used in decor and furnishing.

Sight

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While beauty is subjective, creating a visually pleasing design involves combining colors to stimulate positive emotions. Achieving a calm sensation requires the right balance of symmetrical and asymmetrical elements. Lighting, furniture choices, artwork, and photographs are instrumental in appealing to your visual sense, triggering pleasant memories and creating a room that instills a greater sense of peace.

Sound

Music is the answer to a myriad of emotional needs. It does not matter which genre, music has the power to inspire multiple responses – physiological, emotional, cognitive and behavioral – at a very personal level. Meditative sounds can relax or stimulate us depending on their frequency, and energetic music can bolster productivity. Even something like simple piano & rain music can calm and relax the mind. These are examples of sounds that are added to an environment. Understanding which sounds are pleasing to our clients allows us to recommend design features that either extend or mute sound, positively impacting your sense of well-being in the environment.

Smell

It’s scientifically proven that smell is the strongest sense that is active in creating lifelong memories.

The smell of our mother’s favorite perfume can cause a feeling of nostalgia every time we smell it, even in our old age. That’s the power of smell, and by infusing our atmosphere with an appealing scent, we can create a welcoming sense of comfort. Think of the smell of a zen atmosphere, of being in the rainforest, of spices of India, tea in Asia, or a favorite fragrance. That’s why flowers, a fireplace, and candles are three of the best ways to add pleasant, fresh, and natural smell in an interior space. 

Taste

 

While we can’t taste our interior (unless it’s made from chocolate … yum), we can connect the sense of taste to our other senses. That’s because our senses are like puzzle pieces; when all our senses are in alignment, our mind remembers the environment as a whole. A good interior design creates an environment where people want to gather. And when they gather, they eat. 

Eating meals we like in our interior spaces helps to anchor good memories for us as well as for our family and friends. And those memories connect the sense of taste to the overall picture of our home.

It makes a perfect sense.

We experience our world interactively through our senses, and what we sense creates perceptions and understanding which in turn work to shape our reality. By engaging multiple senses in a given environment, we are able to have more meaningful experiences and create stronger memories. 

The goal of creating an authentic living environment can only be accomplished if all five senses are fully engaged in volume & meaning each of us feels them. When that happens, you feel integrated with the space in a way that makes it truly feel like not just a house, but a home.

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A glimpse into my interior design journey, providing a behind-the-scenes look at our projects, insights into design trends, and exciting discoveries from events like Salone del Mobile in Milan and Maison & Objet in Paris, where I source inspirations for our projects.