Aesthetics refers to the appearance of something, particularly in relation to its beauty. It is a term that predominantly refers to visual elements and can also be used as a noun to describe criteria by which an artistic movement or artist is defined, such as the postmodern aesthetic.
Everyone has had a go at interior decoration sometime in their life. And although aesthetics is innate to some extent in most people, they are not always aware of certain factors that may have a tremendous impact on their design.
The problem with interior design is that if you don’t have the right visual tools to be able to see your design before it is built, there is only one way to find out whether it works or not, and that is by doing it and seeing it; but by that time is too late to rectify any mistakes.
In this article I would like to give you five decoration tips that may be very useful and that I have tried out previously – and they work.
Plants are life
1. Plants in a hall, lobby or on a terrace are essential. It is advisable to use more luxuriant green plants than flowers because they are more resilient and need less care. It is advisable to select original plants, less common varieties, as an alternative to the very common Poto or Ficus. It also works very well to place large, elongated glass vases with three long green branches in different spaces of the house because they provide a good visual point of reference and can provide us with the best result when placed strategically.
Don’t overdo it
2. Sometimes we are tempted to use every item of furniture or decoration that we own and the area where it is normally placed is at the entrance or on the terrace or balcony. Trust me, you will always achieve a superior visual impact if you put three good decoration pieces such as a nice old bench, a modern sculpture placed by a wall fremed by green branches on a chest of drawers with a couple of good books and … that’s it.
Light is colour
3. If you can, try to direct natural light towards the elements that you want to highlight, for example, the sculpture or the plants mentioned on the previous paragraph. If it is not possible you can use artificial lighting, avoiding the cold light bulbs so that they don’t spoil the colours of the pieces. Medium or warm light is best. Avoid using anything but LED light fittings; halogens are no longer necessary and have gone out of use due to their poor energy efficiency. Three points of light may be sufficient to illuminate what you want. The objects can be illuminated by downlights with just enough wattage to allow one to see the colour of the objects, but no more. If many reflections are produced from the object that we want to illuminate, too much light is being used. It’s always best to illuminate the rest of the room using reflected light; allow the light rays to illuminate the walls and this will allow it to spread through the room by reflection.
Reflect and gain depth
4. Always try to position a mirror in a strategic place because it gives a sense of breadth and depth. Rather than placing it on the floor, it may be better to hang it on the wall with customised frames. However, it is even more spectacular to take a large mirror and place it on the floor, because by tilting it we can control it to produce the best possible reflection.
Natural materials versus artificial
5. Here in Spain the price of natural stone is less than in the UK and I sincerely believe that a stone floor both indoors and outdoors is always far superior visually than artificial tiles. Having said that, since a few years ago, a new type of tile made from selected crushed stones and vitrified at very high temperatures has become popular in the building market. I have been challenged to distinguish with the naked eye between real stone and one that has been produced in a factory and I have failed every time. So do take a look at the new emerging materials; you will be surprised.
And always remember
Use those materials that you feel comfortable with. Don’t follow the latest fashions in decoration as you will see it everywhere and after a while you will get tired of them. You have to look for the timeless spaces and what you know will not bore you. Suddenly you may like a very fashionable fabric: use it on the cushions, for example, but not on the sofas or the wall because it will not be long before you have tired of it – it’s easier to change a cushion than a wall. The house must be functional and suit its users’ lifestyle.