Updated: May 12, 2021
We all know that storytelling is the art of telling a good story, but have you ever thought about what your home tells about you and your family to its visitors? Is it a positive, neutral or negative story, or is it even Your story or somebody else’s?
The way we move about and interact within and in the immediate surroundings of our homes forms unique behavior patterns and relations with the building, its interior spaces and various design elements. It also evokes emotions in us. These patterns and emotions can be either accidental or intentionally curated. They can have neutral, positive and negative influences on us. By thoughtful use of architectural and interior design elements, one can effectively evoke desired emotions and tell a specific story.
Setting the scene - Cultural context, Architectural details & Functional floor plan
The existing floor plans and architectural details are very seldom ideal in our homes and can usually be adjusted by altering the furniture layout or doing minor construction works. Ultimately, the structural dimensions of an interior space should define the type of furniture to be utilized. The furniture should not just “fit in” and/or be beautiful to its owner, but have also right proportions and scale to create the desired visual impact and emotional response. Also, the right balance between occupied and empty space, clearances, sources of natural light and airflow, as well as access to outdoor spaces are important factors when considering functionality and visual interest as part of your interior story. Existing architectural details of buildings and interiors are often influenced by its surrounding cultural contexts, and they should be selectively bridged to the cultural contexts and stories of the occupant.
Sequence of events - Focal points & Interesting flow
After the scene considerations of your interior story, it is important to identify the spatial focal points of your home, and what will be experienced in each of these points. In doing so you are highlighting the most important parts of your home, and what is their intrinsic meaning to you. You should also consider the traffic flow; how you will access these focal points, what is their sequence and what are the most important visuals to see these points from a distance. The human brain graves the excitement and visual stimuli - for the eyes being able to wander across spaces and form interesting connections and continuums. This is why focal points and traffic flows are very effective: they provide a dynamic and personal platform for your storyline. Lastly, you should define what is the actual content of your main story. What it is that you want your home to communicate to others and to constantly remind yourself of. After this it will be easy to identify the main objects which support your particular story and to place them to these most important locations.
Detailed structure – Thoughtful, balanced use of supporting design elements
Once the scene and sequence aspects are clear to you, your interior story boils down to how well you are able to let your visitors understand - without them ever getting confused - what you want to tell them and where you want them to focus in your home. It is the art of striking delicate balance rooted in your physical, social and emotional needs, boldly taking inspirations from everything, and utilizing interior design elements in right and clever way to convey your message. For example, one can use rhythm, emphasis, contrast and suspense to create more visual interest into a room, or to play with scales and proportions of interior objects to make a statement. With different forms, shapes, patterns, textures and colors one could greatly influence perceptions of materials, interior objects/spaces as well as occupant’s emotions. With the different use of light sources, their intensities and colors, as well as with their positioning and layering one can effectively influence perception of temperature and color as well as moods. Also, acoustics, tactile sensations and even smells could play a role in your interior story. The possibilities are truly endless, and "the right mix" of using them should be personal to you and your family.
Image credit: Room full of pattern, rhythm and color. Home of Spanish Fashion Designer Jorge Vázquez, designed by Amaro Sánchez de Moya.
I'm an interior designer who writes stories about interior design inspirations, ideas, furniture and architecture from around the world. My mission is to entertain you during your coffee breaks - to show you how the world is full of interesting design stories - and to make you look your own surroundings differently. You are part of a story! I also run an interior design studio, Onni Interiors. Welcome to be part of Design Stories!