How science can influence our homes
The world’s population is made up of various backgrounds, cultures and languages; however, most can agree on the essence of beauty and actively seek it. The Seven Wonders of the World weren’t categorised as ‘Wonder’s’ for no reason; it is the same motive why millions leave their homes to visit distant buildings/cities/landscapes every year. Why do we purchase art, cars, furniture, plants etc. to surround ourselves? Fundamentally, it is because we can recognise their respective and unique exquisiteness.
The brain is stimulated by colours, shapes, smells, touch and although there is personal preference to who is stimulated by what, there is consistency with several of these objectives amongst the many. The study of neurology has come in leaps and bounds in recent years with neurological findings influencing hospital design/wellness centres, fast food outlets and even general day to day branding for the consumer. The brain controls our behaviour, which can be modulated by our environment. Utilising these scientific findings, we can apply these outcomes to our homes and their functionality, and in doing so alter our brains and behaviour to be more receptive to our environs.
Colours play an important part of a home aesthetic and can change rapidly depending on what is favourable at the time. Studies have suggested that the colour green is the softest colour on the eye while red is typically the harshest. The brain responds to light, airy rooms that have low levels of reflection, therefore reducing stress on the eye. A good solution for painting your interior walls try a lime wash paint. The lime wash has a beautiful soft look to it and will enhance a warm feeling to your spaces. As a natural product, it also has low VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) making it a great option to get that green star rating.
Choosing the right shapes are essential when attempting to stimulate your spaces. Curves are easier to the eye, as opposed to sharp rectangles and squares. As most houses are indeed rectangular or square, these curvy/round shapes can be incorporated by selective furnishings. Try using round rugs, circular or smooth shaped home wares and objects and even chairs that have curved joinery as opposed to sharp angles. By subtly introducing these elements the pointed spaces are less dominant and relaxing on the eye as a result.
Another way to soften sharp corners is by placing potted plants where the walls join. Plants are a great option as not only do they soften the space, but humans are significantly responsive to nature. By selecting the right type of indoor plant, you can also dramatically improve the air quality within your home, promoting a relaxing/calming sensation. Continue the ‘green theme’ by utilising the permeability of windows by placing attractive plants outside each – as opposed to staring at your boundary wall and neighbours home.
Architectural trends come and go. Some stay timeless, others will reappear, and some will never be repeated slowly fade into the abyss (I’m talking about you, salmon coloured feature brick!). We are predictably irrational, we can highly dislike an item of furniture (for most of our existence) and then 15 years later procure and feature it within our home – often with no memory of why we disliked it in the first place. So when you’re looking to paint or furnish your home, apply scientific research with your personal touch. And if you’re a person who is a sucker for architectural fads (to which we are all guilty) listen to those boring scientists, they might be right you know!