While perusing Pinterest or paging through magazines, you might come across an image that appeals to you—but have you thought about why it impresses you so much? Beyond an individual piece of cool furniture or maybe your favorite color taking center stage, you might be imagining what it would feel like to actually occupy that space. Certain rooms give off certain vibes, after all, and you might be attracted to a space from an intangible feeling—that je ne sais quois—when all the elements come together just right.
So how do you achieve a feeling in addition to a look? I’ve defined some impressions here that not only look cohesive, they give off a definite feel as well. The right combinations of elements go a long way to defining a style that feels as good as it looks.
Natural & Serene
Imagine, if you would, taking a seat in this room. Any seat, your choice. From every perspective, you can see clean surfaces, neutral colors and plenty of natural light. The medium-toned wood is quiet, lines are simple and soft, space is well used and easy to navigate.
When I look at this space I feel relaxed but alert; ready to have a cup of tea and do a crossword puzzle, or grab a healthy breakfast. The space makes it easy to transition from outdoors with plenty of natural wood grain and the types of shapes you might find in nature. Nothing screams, “look at me!” But everything says, “come sit and relax a while.”
Comfy & Clutter-free
Whether plopped on the sofa or perched on a pouf, enjoying yourself in this airy living room would be easy. Favorite pictures and objects are displayed with aplomb on a well curated wall of shelving that isn’t overstuffed with, well, stuff. Any room is more comfortable when your things aren’t encroaching on your space.
In addition to the shelves, each table also has a small collection of things. But you’ll notice that all the colors and proportions across each collection has been coordinated and curated for maximum impact. Shape shines in the spotlight here, rather than color, as exemplified in the complementary white (but ever-so shapely) floor and table lamps and the round ottomans that contrast with the rest of the room’s angles.
Calming & Relaxing
To maximize your snoozing space, texture and color are two crucial considerations. Whereas warm colors like red and yellow inspire passion and energy, cool hues are soothing and restful. Muted colors (i.e., colors with a bit of grey or white added to bring the saturation down) are especially easy on the eyes in a bedroom, making the transition from wakefulness to sleepytime—and vice versa—just a little bit easier.
Lighting is also key in creating a relaxing bedroom, as an overhead light will be too harsh and bright for bedtime tasks like reading. Installing lights on a dimmer is an option, but then you may still have to figure out who gets up to flip the switch. Better to use a bedside lamp for convenient and individual control. And even small bedrooms can adapt to less space with wall-mounted or pendant lighting instead of a traditional table lamp. Add plenty of texture with an array of bedding in a neutral or at least similar color for maximum coziness without visual distraction.
Opulent & Elegant
Sometimes it’s fine to shine, and a luxury bath is the perfect place to get your glam on. Rich colors like this royal purple add drama and the silver fittings don’t skimp on the swank. An extravagant chandelier is perfect for indulgent bubble baths (on a dimmer switch, naturally) and an over-the-top mirror frames you in your very best light.
The only thing this bath is missing is a deep shag bath mat and velvety-soft towels—go crazy on those textures for contrast with the sleek polish of the rest of the room. Even in a small powder room, a glamorous escape that adheres to these tenets will leave you feeling like a million bucks.
Organized & Inspired
While comfy, soothing and relaxing are great feelings for many rooms in your home, one place you want to get energized is in a home office or crafts space. This is no time to be curled up idle with your cuppa, it’s time to get down to business. But you don’t have to do your dirty work in a sterile or boring environment, contrary to most cubicle farms. An inviting workspace like this one displays your materials as decor, ensuring everything is on hand when you need it.
Pops of bright color and contrasting patterns keep your brain awake and interested, and seating is comfortable (but not too comfortable) for long hours spent working on your project. Again, natural light is incorporated but without filtration from gauzy sheers as in the more relaxing living room. Beyond feeling merely put-together and tidy, this room feels like it would be joyful and fun to be in thanks to its eclectic palette and organization—just pop on a great record and get to work.
With the right combinations of texture, color, materials and light, you can create any feeling you like in any room in your home. Share your favorite feels with us on Instagram using #loveyourlumens.