Simply put, space is where life happens. A room– defined by edges, planes, and points is a “container” for experiences. When I design a space, I’m creating this aforementioned container. It is made up of color, furniture, and architectural elements. When all of these components get put together they create an experience. At different points life demands different things and when working with a client they may want to get rid of old feelings or, do something more concrete, like create a productive work space. Both of these tasks are related because they both require my ability to revamp not only the physical entities of the room, but sculpt the energy in the process.
Below are a few of the ways I work with form and function to build “containers” for experiences:
- Embrace negative space to create calm. As a New Yorker most of my clients want
me to do the most with every single square inch of their apartment. However, sometimes the best solution is to do nothing! It seems counterintuitive, but minimalism is a feeling, more than a style, created by intentionally leaving space blank. The smart and intentional placement of necessities creates an openness, allowing for the clear flow of feelings and ideas. Rooms like this are best for people who experience ongoing stress or need a place to work on creative projects. Tip: Try to think only about what you must have to make the space function versus what you think you need to create a certain look. For example, in a living room you might need seating for 3, a hard surface for drinks, a light for light, and a media unit with a concealed television. A couple of pieces of art never hurt anyone either. Stick with that. Forget knick-knacks and decorative items. The design is in the functionality and simplicity.
- Use colors to boost creativity and energy. Color has a big impact on our mood. For example, research suggests that using blues and greens can help aid in tasks that require creative thought. It is also true that blue and green are calming colors. The amount of color can vary from painting a whole room, to one wall, or incorporating accents and textiles. It’s no secret that I love a good “pop” of color in an otherwise neutral palette. Tip: Pick one or two colors that make you feel good. Find paints, fabric swatches, and objects in those colors. Play with some arrangements on a mood board before executing on the design. Go with it.
- Balance linear and organic objects. Short and sweet: A well balanced space needs a combination of angular and rounded objects. Organic shapes create a sense of softness and allow energy to flow easily around it. Linear shapes on the other hand, create a clear sense of delineation in space and can serve as a more masculine component of a room. Balance is the key to balance. Tip: Use a round coffee table to create a feeling of togetherness in a living room. Use a console table behind a sofa in an open floor plan to break up space.
What’s in your ideal “container”?