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How to Create a Sense of Calm in an Interior

As we are all hustling around from here to there, kids and bags in tow, looking for our power cord, scanning our email, and hoping our socks match we look to our home to be the one constant which allows us to sit and take a well deserved breath.   But how do we make a home calm without making ourselves nuts?entrance hallby Simon Upton via Elle Decor

Predictability comes from repeating like colors, elements, and shapes which is soothing.  We attain order by limiting, editing, and maintaining balance which allows us to feel restful.  This might sound quite lofty but as these interiors will show it is all quite simple.Traditional HomeSchapperWhite ltd.Pricey PadsConversation area

by Joshua McHugh / Architectural Digest

Each of these interiors captures a sense of calm through the use of color, pattern and shape.  Repeating elements creates predictability.   There is no, what us designer’s like to call “a pop of color.”  The colors in each room are limited to create order.  Nothing jarring, nothing to call attention, and while some have bold colors or contrasts the effect is still soothing and familiar.  Calm comes from limiting the effort needed to use, visually navigate or understand a space. 

Items worth repeating:

  • furniture
  • architectural details
  • bookshelves
  • cabinetry
  • color – repeating same color on different items in same space
  • light fixtures
  • picture frames – their size and color

When creating a home interior it is easy to get caught up in the “I want this, that, one of these, and one of those” mindset.  Disharmony is the price paid when this happens.  The key to remember if you like it once you’ll love it twice and so on.  There is one additional benefit to this method of creating a calm interior, it also limits the number of decisions required.   Ahh, now isn’t that calming?  🙂

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4 Responses to How to Create a Sense of Calm in an Interior

  1. Decor Arts Now

    Great ideas. Right now, I think that the rend for high contrast in color choices makes for gret photos but not so serene homes. Nice tips.
    Lynn from Decor Arts Now

  2. Lisa M Smith

    Thanks Lynn. Good point. Love great color, but to make things restful it’s gotta be easy on the eyes.

  3. These are great thoughts, Lisa. I didn’t think of designing a space in that perspective…being predictable. And it makes so much sense. Keeping your space in order in terms of design calms the spirit.

  4. Thank you Marilyn. I like to learn what a client wants to achieve from a space in terms of functionality and feeling. How does one want to feel in a space? Frazzled, refreshed, calm, etc. I know when mu desk is messy, as it often is, I feel much more rushed which is fine for work but not a living room. 🙂


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