The Five Senses Approach to Interior Design

While the most common approach to interior design in the past has been purely visual, research has uncovered that sensory design can be more effective in evoking feelings of calm and relaxation in an environment. When referring to sensory design this encompasses all of the fives senses including sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. 

The sensory design approach has already been embraced in high-end spas and resorts and is also becoming popular in airports, retail stores and hospitals. If you're interested in incorporating the five senses approach to interior design here are some techniques you can implement:

Sight techniques

To appeal to the visual sense of sight with interior design it's important to consider how mood can be positively influenced using wallpaper, carpeting, furniture fabrics, paint or a combination of these elements. Lighting is also a good sight technique that can be used to highlight the shapes, colours and textures you've integrated into your home or business interior. By focusing on keeping a space uncluttered, you'll help ensure your environment is more relaxed and comfortable, as a cluttered environment is often intimidating.

Sound techniques

Reducing noise in an environment is a common request by clients in interior design, as a quieter space is more calming and relaxing, especially after a busy day. There are many acoustic and soundproofing techniques that can be installed in a home or business setting to help reduce noise. 

You can also incorporate sounds that promote tranquillity and help to create an environment that's more calming. These range from indoor water fountains which produce trickling water through to the subtle sounds of wind chimes and soft music. Wind chimes should be placed outside of the windows in the kitchen or bedrooms for the best results. Soft music has been proven to be particularly effective in increasing productivity in the workplace. 

Smell techniques

Particular scents from your childhood or past will often evoke memories or emotions, which is why incorporating smell techniques in interior design can be a great way to enhance feelings of comfort and happiness in an environment. It's integral to use scents that appeal to you on a personal level, to ensure the best results are achieved. Whether you choose to burn incense or scented candles through to dispersing potpourri or fresh flowers in your home or workplace, these are all great ways to use smell techniques to produce a more relaxed and positive space.

Taste techniques

Often the most difficult sense to appeal to in interior design, taste is correlated to appetite when it comes to environments such as restaurants and cafes. It's recommended that blue colour schemes are a good colour for seafood restaurants, while pink is popular for dessert bars. Lighting will also positively or negatively affect the appearance of food, so be selective in the type and colour of lighting used in hospitality. You can promote taste using the sense of smell, for example using fragrant spices, such as cinnamon or vanilla, to remind customers of a particular flavour or food that they associate with these smells. 

Touch techniques

While textiles have always been an important element with interior design, it's crucial to think about how these feel to produce specific feelings from clients and enhance an environment. Most people are drawn to natural fibres as these are rich and will warm up a space through texture.

At Jarvis Interiors, we incorporate the five senses approach to interior design for our residential and commercial projects. We regularly use elements of colour, sound and light therapy to enhance our clients' environments and lives. Contact us for assistance.

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