The five senses of decorating


five senses


Next time you decide to make some changes in your home and get stuck with where to begin, put your five senses to work.  What???? you may be asking.

Travel back to 5th grade science where you probably learned all about a human’s five senses–sight, touch, smell, hear and taste.  And in design, a sixth sense is also a valuable tool. More on that later but back to our science study:

  • Sight–an obvious plus in decorating.  Take a good hard look at your space.  Maybe even take a photo of it because you will see things in a picture that you might not notice in person.  What do you want the room to look like?
  • Touch—a mix of textures, metals and other surfaces can turn an ordinary space into a beautiful and tactile wonder.  An example would be a room with a glass topped coffee  table (smooth) paired with a rustic end table (rough).  A fluffy throw tossed over the arm of the chair and a couch piled high with pillows in varying fabrics (leather, embroidery, burlap) adds texture (touch) but is also visually (sight) appealing. A colorful woven rug placed atop a rich wooden floor will satisfy those same senses.
  • Smell–we have all experienced an unpleasant smell when we enter someone’s home.  You know what I’m talking about–litter boxes, dog beds, cooking smells etc.  Even an unscented air cleaner can make a difference but, better yet, find a scent that greets you as you walk in the door.  I am not recommending something like Aunt Betty’s overpowering perfume but something subtle, clean and natural that will not hit your guests in the face (nose) as they walk through the front door.
  • Hear and taste–these senses will not really play an important part in your overall decorating process but they are important when you are entertaining so keep them in mind next time you are planning a get together, whether it be a large party or a just another couple who come by for pizza and poker.  I always light a scented candle in the bathroom and place it in the corner of the bathtub when I have friends over.  It not only smells good but adds a little glow that helps guests find the light switch and is very safe in the bathtub next to the tile surround.  (be sure to place the candle away from towels and shower curtains)
  • And last, but not least, is that all important sixth sense.   That feel you get when you walk into a room that something is just not right (“I see bad rooms”) or that same feeling you get when you enter a space that is juuuuust right.  Follow your instincts or hire a decorator, who has that sixth sense, to help you achieve that just right feel in your home.

You can utilize all of these senses when you are trying to determine what your rooms need to make it the home of your dreams.  How do you want your home to look and feel?  The answer could be something as simple as rearranging the furniture or “borrowing” artwork, accessories and small pieces of furniture from other rooms or it could require something bigger like the replacement of an old window with french doors that open the space to the outdoors or an entire kitchen or bath remodel.  Whatever the answer, once you have a plan you can begin to move forward with implementing that plan as time and budget allow.

Do you have a sixth sense when it comes to decorating your home?

About hayniedi

What about me? In a nutshell I am a middle-aged interior designer and freelance writer, mother of an amazing 27 year old daughter, wife to my semi-retired lawyer husband and step-grandma to two delicious babies. From my earliest memories I have been fascinated with interior decorating and love to share my passion for beautiful rooms with anyone who will listen. Join me on this blog as my husband and I enter our empty nest years and move back into the first home we bought when we were first married that has been a rental for the past 15 years. I will share our experience with remodeling as well as other ideas and thoughts that I hope will inspire you.
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2 Responses to The five senses of decorating

  1. stacycurran says:

    So true – great advice!


  2. lulu says:

    I love this way of thinking about decorating. I think I definitely have a sixth sense when it comes to looking at something and knowing it needs tweaking.

    Liked by 1 person

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