Ever wonder why the rooms in design magazines look so good? You just get that overwhelming sense of "Oooh my, this is so beautiful"? Alternatively, you may also find yourself in a room that just feels “off” but you don’t know why?
So how to the Pros get it right? How is that perfect sense of depth & interest created? Well, the secret is balance. Like any other aspect of our lives, the rooms in our home should exemplify a balanced approach to living. It’s the positive and negative, yin and yang, darkness and light that give a room texture and depth.
Often the one thing that’s missing in those “I can’t put my finger on it but I just don’t like that room” rooms is a sense of balance. Dark feature walls or heavy furniture on one side of a room with nothing visually substantial to anchor and offset the weight on the other side, gives the subconscious sense that the room is “tipping” or off balance. Too much of a hard surface (such as tile or glass) in a room can make it feel cold and clinical. Too many soft surfaces (like an excess of toss cushions with heavy drapery and needlepoint wall hangings) can make a room seem stuffy, even heavy and claustrophobia-inducing.
Think of it this way... when building the perfect meal, balancing flavours by successfully pairing a wine with your food is going to maximize the entire package. Just as you wouldn’t serve a fruity Chardonnay with Beef Wellington, you wouldn’t try to balance a large espresso brown armoire on one side of a living room with nothing but a skinny white floor lamp on the other. In both cases the stronger element would vastly overpower the lighter one, disrupting any sense of balance.
The same holds true when OVER-stimulating a design as seen here above. Quite often we have clients come in that share several photos and design elements that they find inspiring. To the untrained eye, it's thought that adding all these favorite elements will blend into the perfect mix of inspiration and excitement. But what often happens, is a loss of focus and a feeling of sensory overload. With our Design Team, we work with the premise that less is more and tiering is essential.
There should ALWAYS be 1-2 major interest components in room. The rest of your balance comes
from supporting and complimenting these features as opposed to competing with them. Similar to a feature film with 1-2 Actors (or Actresses) and a support cast with varying depth and impact. Why do we suggest minimizing the number feature elements? Well, our minds need to be able to absorb the impact of a room (like a movie) and it will do so in layers (or tiers). Noting the major feature points first and then picking up details like texturing, color anchors, finishing detail, wood grains, patterns and so on & so on. If done properly, a first time introduction to your space should leave a guest continually adding to and building upon their admiration. Each time they look in another direction or turn a corner, you'll hear... "oh, I LOVE that", again & again.
Knowing what to add, how much and where, or what to sacrifice is definitely where we see the highest number of do-it-yourselfer design fupas or regrets. So reach out and get the support you need when creating your space. Work with a Designer or Specialized Consultant to help you keep it all in check. Meet with them, look at their design work and find someone who listens and understands YOU. You'll be so happy you did.