Elevate Your Space Through Tranquil Design
Design elements that soothe your soul while awakening your senses are at the heart of tranquil design. While each room serves a specific purpose or even a variety of functions, this does not preclude a space from being soothing or evocative. When combining utility and tranquility, the choice of materials to set the foundational tone for the space is key. Interior designers must cultivate wonder in viewing a room's potential through the combined lens of form and function.
Here are some helpful concepts to help guide you as you examine the rooms in your home through the lens of tranquil design.
Be Intentional with Materials
Choosing from natural materials, such as wood or stone, creates an organic sensibility right from the start. Although, one cannot make the mistake of stopping there! Adding subtle layers of natural textiles and intentional texture goes a long way to create the perfect composition.
How does choice of materials inform color palette? Are there already colors and textures that encourage a specific palette, or should the use of the space dictate how it is painted? If the goal is serene, tranquil design, neutral, monochromatic colors are easy on the eyes, and in turn, the soul.
Light Is a Material
Light is essential to any interior space as it is the means by which we experience and see our surrounding environment. The feeling of a space can be completely transformed by altering the placement, color or intensity of light, which makes it a very powerful tool in creating ambiance.
Pay attention to how the lighting in a room supports the use of the room. In the Southwest, light is one of the most abundant and reliable materials you can use to build tranquil utility into your environment.
Simplicity Is Different Than Emptiness
Beyond the materials, colors and textures used to design a space, the creation of visual harmony is of primary importance when determining how that space is filled and used. While well-planned simplicity soothes the mind and allows a space to breathe freely, emptiness encourages stress and confusion. A good starting point for creating a space that champions simplicity without feeling empty is to ask yourself whether the space performs its purpose without the need to add to it.
Bring Nature In
It is proven that the addition of plants to indoor spaces has therapeutic effects, reducing stress levels, oxygenating the room, and promoting healing. When used properly, bringing nature into your space invites calm, composure, and existential well-being.
Create a Sensory Space
Each detail when designing a home, no matter how small, should be chosen to ensure we are feeding all our senses—sight, touch, taste, smell and sound. Decorating with unique objects and furnishings you want to reach out and touch brings a sense of safety and calmness to the room.
Tranquil design is about more than paint and decor. It is essentially a transformative experience that yields spaces designed for rest, relaxation and healing. Good design speaks to a sense of what we call “feelosophy”; the thoughtful curation of all materials to evoke nature’s healing and restorative qualities, which translates to an intrinsic feeling of well-being and comfort. Whatever design elements give you a sensation of peace, focus on them—starting each morning with joy and ending each day with grace and gratitude.
Lisa Samuel ASID, IIDA, is a Santa Fe native and principal of Samuel Design Group, located in the heart of downtown Santa Fe. She is an award-winning interior designer known for creating unique interiors imbued with warmth and elegance. Lisa (firstname.lastname@example.org) is passionate about good design that supports well-being.