Good design pleases the eye. Great design appeals to all of the senses. That’s the message Montreal-based influencer, author and décor specialist Vanessa Sicotte of Damask & Dentelle shares with us in this post. Inspired by the work of Lidewij Edelkoort in our 2019 Trends Book, she offers helpful tips and reminders to consider all five senses when designing and decorating any space, and outlines how a beautifully emotive surface like Primordia can be used to evoke a response that goes well beyond what meets the eye.
CAESARSTONE DESIGN FOR THE SENSES
In an ever changing world where innovations and pushing further and further style boundaries are the cornerstones of design, how are we to find our own sense of home? By going back to ourselves and tapping into our senses. Humans are sensory beings, living in a rich and multi-layered sensory world. We constantly take action in response to the incoming stream of information we receive through our senses. The physical environment impacts across all of the senses. Therefore, it makes sense when designing to consider all the senses and not only the visual aesthetics. We rely on our five senses to experience the world around us and nowhere are the sensory systems more important than in the comfort of our own homes.
Referring to Jinsop Lee’s Five Senses Theory as a useful tool to evaluate things and their designs, let’s apply it here to Caesarstone’s new 4043 Primordia from the Metropolitan Collection, which I have had the pleasure to sample.
A SIGHT TO BE SEEN
Obviously, how the interior and exterior of any building looks is a key design consideration. However, looking beyond the aesthetics, the visual sense is also about colours, contrasts, brightness and patterns. Upon designing a room, key questions must be asked: What kind of space do you want to create? Do you want to foster calm and relaxation or stimulate and engage? Or maybe are you seeking to spark imagination and creativity? It is important to think about the overall sensory experience of the people that will live and use the room for which the design is intended. The different grains and organic patterns of Caesarstone counters are a viable delight that engages both our vestibular & proprioceptive systems.
GET IN TOUCH
In my personal experience, all of our senses play a part in how we experience the world. Well-decorated rooms are pretty to look at, but few of us just stand around looking at a space, no matter how pretty it is. We sit, we lie down, our skin comes in contact with things. Textures are what our bodies take notice of. Textures can be soft or rough, flexible or hard, smooth or rugged. Textures also have a visual element: a rugged stucco wall also looks stubbly, a wool sweater we regret putting on that day can feel scratchy, and in comparison, a Hygge throw blanket can feel warm, soft and comforting. The feeling of a smooth Caesarstone quartz surface beneath our fingers is also a tactile experience.
THE SOUND OF DESIGN
The auditory system is heavily solicited the minute we step outside our homes and, come to think of it, sometimes inside our homes too. From traffic and bustling city life to noisy coworkers, the tunes of music festivals and teenagers’ speakers blaring in their rooms, our sense of hearing is very engaged. What we sometimes overlook is the more subtle sounds that engage our ears and provide us with comfort. Take for example the comforting sound of solid material such as Caesarstone. The muted sound of a hand gently tapping its surface expresses more than comfort, it also spells quality.
SCENT AND SAVOUR
Smell is a primordial sense and is the most closely tied to memory. We use particular scents to call back memories for example. Scents can also be used to invigorate, relax and unwind or find comfort as our homes fill up with the usual smells of living from our soap or shampoo, our favourite home-cooked meals, et cetera.
Although we only taste what we eat, you can use decor to suggest specific foods, meals and tastes. Pastel colours are linked to sweetness, for example: they make you think of cakes and pies. Using decor to enhance taste is obviously suitable for kitchens and dining rooms. Farmhouse-style decor highlights home-cooked food, good wine and peasant bread. Modern decor makes you crave contemporary, minimalist cuisine. I personally dream of sushi when I see a modern kitchen.
We say the kitchen is the heart of the home. Our senses of smell and taste are most engaged in the kitchen, where we prepare meals for those we love. The Caesarstone surfaces are an intricate element to that experience. Tying in all of the senses together, it is in this space that the full sensory experience comes to life.
DESIGN THAT MAKES COMPLETE SENSE
Good design looks great, it pleases us and can create a sense of awe. Moving beyond the aesthetic, if we create spaces that appeal to all of our senses, we can create truly harmonious and human-friendly spaces. Places that are not only good to look at, but great to be in and experience. As you can see, there is more than just the sight to consider when planning your home decor. How do you want to appeal to the other senses? What impression or style do you want to transmit through your decor choices? Every little detail has an influence on one of the senses and it starts with the smooth and solid mass of a Caesarstone surface.