Design is so Manipulative

choosing_color_design_tips

One of a designer's tasks is aligning the physicality of a space to the principles of good aesthetics.  At times, creativity and skill can make the space as pleasing as architectural changes.  What follows are a few general insights to alter the perception of space.  

Large spaces lacking intimacy can become more welcoming when the furnishings are arranged in a central, conversation nest with space all around, rather than spread out merely because footage allows.  In such rooms, medium color values are often the most satisfying, as light, mild tones recede from the eye, implying vastness, while dark, shadowy tones suggest greater depth.  A medium shade pulls the walls in without fooling the eye into thinking the corners are farther away than they are.  Remember that artists use deeper values in landscape painting to create depth and know that this effect is equally true in real space.

One persistent myth about small spaces is that the walls must be pale for the room to feel larger.  In truth, the space feels larger when the eye can pan over it without jumping from dark to light values too often.  A small space painted even a rather deep tone will feel more open if the strongest elements, such as window treatments and large furnishings, contrast only minimally with the wall color.  A narrow hall with numerous doors becomes a messy jumble of forms when the walls are dark and the trim white.  Resist the craving for color in such an area and tone it down- another opportunity for splash will present itself.  

It is true that a quantity of objets d'art can make a room feel small, but this can also add a lot of character and story.  The trick is to display art and accents in tight, visually harmonious compositions with open, uncluttered spaces between to give the eye rest. As with so much in life, success in design is less about what we do and more about how we do it

-PM

Warm & Cool

In recent design projects, we have been put to the task of infusing warmth into our clients homes. Traditionally, either warm or cool neutrals predominate a space. Cool tones like grays, silver, and washed wood tones still find favor with many homeowners due to their modern and understated sensibilities. Even so, warm neutral tones are making a comeback from their several year hiatus.  

We remember looking through resources during this peak in cool tones and wondering if everything warmer than taupe had  become extinct. Embracing warm tones comes naturally to us as they add a wonderful comfort and richness to a space. We love encouraging a mix of neutrals as we have found that it creates a sophisticated and unexpected palette that our clients love.

One of our favorite examples of a piece that brings in warm wood tones while still being harmonious with predominantly grey toned elements is this beautiful tusk table. Don’t underestimate the power of accessorizing to enforce the striking balance of warm and cool as well. From rugs and gimp tapes to wallpaper, we find that this trend is really taking off within the design community. 

Here at MakeNest, we love a confident mix. Just like wood tones and upholstery, try mixing neutrals in other materials too! We are looking at you, gold and silver.

-PM