How does our understanding of cooking help us with interior design?

As I begin my blogging journey, I have been told to focus on tips, tricks, trends and quick solutions for my clients and followers. Honestly, I find many of these things to offer empty guidance with no personal consideration for the varied clientele. Our homes and personal spaces should reflect and celebrate our unique identities. My goal is to provide the knowledge to help my readers feel inspired!

Over the last two decades of working professionally within the interior design industry, as many designers do, I’m constantly looking for relatable avenues to explain my point of view with my clients. As someone with a wide range of connections to food throughout my life, such as employment, a mother who loved to cook, a marriage to a professional chef, as well as designing kitchens professionally for over twenty years, I have come to realize a very basic fact … we’re all connected by food!

Often said, we eat with our eyes, but our taste buds will always look for confirmation. Just as that juicy hamburger needs to look yummy and be completely mouthwatering, our spaces must appear beautiful, but they also must function flawlessly. I have made the reference to clients regarding how they feel when they eat their favorite food. Many of us might use adjectives such as warm, cozy, soulful or maybe even clean, fresh or invigorating. These particular words and feelings can easily be translated into our environments. Our exposure to our surroundings creates an experience, just as dining on your favorite cuisine. What kind of experience do you find yourself searching for?

Much like creating that perfect meal, our spaces are comprised of different elements. As any foodie may know, a great recipe is created from the perfect balance of ingredients. We need the ebb and flow of the flavors to create the experience of a fine meal. Otherwise, we may find the flavors to fall a bit flat and underwhelming. Now again, it’s all down to what our expectations are. Maybe we are searching for that gentle cup of tea, bringing us to a more calm, serene and gentle place. There have been many times that I have proposed a material or color to a client that was less than ideal in their eyes. Once I explained the need to balance the other selections in the space, and the science to my suggestion to achieve the final goal, they often agree to proceed. As I say, even the most sweet and scrumptious cake needs the fine balance of bitter salt to create the perfect sampling.

When you find yourself preparing for your next renovation or construction project, consider your ingredients and how you’re building the recipe for success!

Things To Consider

In building depth to any space, much that like perfect sauce, you need to consider these things:

  • Contrast of colors: How different are the colors going into the space? If they are all closer in color than you will have a more calm and serene room. Now again, if you are looking for a bit of a heavier, soulful experience, try utilizing a darker tone. The lighter the colors, the more light, bright and airy the space will feel. This all depends on the mood you are trying to achieve.
    • Note: Dark colors don’t make things feel smaller, they make surfaces recede…go away. Our eyes are drawn to the bright points in a space and help guide our understanding of our surroundings. Meaning…the white highlights and the dark retracts. What do you want to highlight in your space? What are the important pieces?
  • Varied “ingredients”: Use an array of things to create different textures, hues and materials to form the depth to the space. The collection of flooring materials (both flooring and area rugs), lighting, textures (those fluffy pillows, wood grain on the flooring/trim, smooth finish of the furnishings), color, all play into how you experience the environment.
  • Address your senses: Is the space too loud? How does it smell? What do you touch in the room and how does it feel? How do you view the space through lighting (both natural and artificial)?
  • Don’t worry about trends. Focus on your true style utilizing classics, or reference to classics. A timeless install will never age.
  • Oftentimes, the great pieces are simple compositions comprised of just the right ingredients. Don’t overthink it!
  • Don’t be afraid of color or going outside your comfort zone. You might be amazed on adding just the right amount of spice can change your whole experience.

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