08 May Living environments and The 5 Senses.
Living Environments and the 5 Senses
We strive to engage all five senses with our design creations so that the experience we have in an environment is more strongly tied to a memory, a moment, or an object. When we feel integrated with a space, we feel like we are truly at home. Read on to discover how the right design elements can engage each of your physical senses to create both your desired aesthetic and mood.
Have you ever walked into a room and just felt instantly at home? You look around and everything around you seems to fill your senses with pleasure. The colors both excite and calm you, the smell stimulates many pleasant memories, everything you touch feels pleasing and interesting, the sounds are soothing, and it’s almost as if you can taste home. It’s a place where you want to stay, and it’s a place you can’t wait to show to your friends and family.
That’s the kind of space that really influences how you feel; it creates a certain mood and energy that your brain senses on both a conscious and subconscious level. That perception is then integrated into your sense of self and your larger experience within that environment. In a way, you become one with the environment, fully at home and completely at ease.
To help you have that experience in a meaningful way, it’s critical to intentionally design the environment so that it truly engages the mind as well as the body’s physical senses. After all, we all are constantly influenced by what we hear, touch, smell, see, and taste in any given environment, and it is precisely those experiences that engage all of our senses that also stimulate stronger and more memorable reactions.
What I want to talk about today is how exactly a good design can fully engage all five of your senses to create an environment that is appealing, calming, and feels like home. We understand so much more now about how your environment impacts your nervous system, and by using that understanding, we can create spaces that prioritize a pleasant experience. Not only will your environment be more beautiful, it will be more sensible and more emotionally appealing on every level.
Good Design & The 5 Senses
Good design is not just creative, it solves problems and connects to individual needs and desires, and it does that by engaging your senses.
It creates flow in a space so people can move comfortably and freely, and it also ensures that the quality and type of materials align to your aesthetic goals and the desired feel you hope to create. Let’s look at how we accomplish that for each of the five senses.
For the interior to feel right, elements that we connect to by touch have to create a pleasing sensation. We love using smooth textiles like suede, rough decorative accents, uniquely textured fireplaces and walls, and sleek countertops in kitchens to fully engage your sense of touch. There are multiple variations that can achieve that pleasing feel, but the key is balance in sensation through contrasting design elements.
What really helped me to figure out what my own favorite textures to feel are, was going to the botanical garden/or any park, to observe and gently touch different textures at trees, succulents, and leafs and then finding similar feeling in textiles & materials used in decor and furnishing.
While beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder, our goal in creating a visually pleasing design is to combine colors that will stimulate positive emotions with the right balance of symmetrical and asymmetrical elements to create a calm sensation.
We use lighting, furniture choices, artwork, and photographs to appeal to your visual sense and trigger pleasant memories. The result is a room that allows you to live, move, behave, and dream with a greater sense of peace.
Sounds can radically alter our mood. Meditative sounds can relax or stimulate us depending on their frequency, and energetic music can bolster productivity. Even something like simple piano music can calm and relax the mind. These are examples of sounds that are added to an environment. Understanding which sounds are pleasing to you can help us as we recommend design features that extend or mute sound to positively impact the sense of well-being you experience in the environment.
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.
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.
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. 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.
It is by spending time learning about your unique tastes and lifestyle that we can create a one-of-a-kind interior design that will fully engage your senses. It will be your individual authentic living environment where you can spend many happy, healthy years.
Our senses are part of our memories, our identity, our culture, therefore who we are.