Interior Design | Lifestyle and Living Space

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Interior Design | Lifestyle and Living Space

“Think about it carefully…”

This loaded statement embodies sound advice but is seldom well-received, particularly at the start of a remodeling or redesign project.

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Admittedly, this instructive advice does seem at odds with the very nature of emotive, creative and artistic expression.

Is it not universally accepted that logic and emotion are mutually exclusive and poles apart?

So what’s to think about, when artistic expression is not meant to conform to “logical” filters?

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However, the thought-provoking quotes below may encourage us to “re-think” our response to this apparently counter-intuitive advice, when next we embark on a redesign project.

An interior is the natural projection of the soul. ~Coco Chanel

A house is much more than a mere shelter. It should lift us emotionally and spiritually. ~John Saladino

To achieve our desired results – visibly, tangibly and functionally – we have to ensure that our remodeling or redesign project delivers the practical implementation of our choices, decisions and goals.

Generally, many of our choices and decisions are rooted in emotion and creativity – informed by our personal style and taste – which we hope our designer will skillfully wrap in an artistic and impactful presentation layer.

Introducing logic and sound reasoning is often an exercise in futility when the creative mind is at work. Any attempt to “impede the flow”, or derail the creative mind’s train of thought by admitting impediments, is really pointless.

Many ideas seem great and easily pass muster on the back of heightened emotions and optimism, and contrary opinion is an unwelcome intrusion into the realm of growing enthusiasm and bubbling excitement.

Sadly, the implementation of an “untested” idea – characterized by inertia and intransigence – may have long-lasting and far-reaching implications.

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Great designers possess the skill and the ability to sift through a myriad ideas quickly; weeding out those that do not fit their vision.

The tale below – which exemplifies the essence of artistic mastery – is attributed to one of the world’s greatest Renaissance artists, Michelangelo. When quizzed on the difficulties and enormous challenges he faced while creating his sculpting masterpiece, David, Michelangelo responded with a simple but powerful description of his artistic and creative process:

“It is easy. You just chip away the stone that doesn’t look like David.”

This timeless quote, although understated, defines the reality of mastering an art: The ability to remove or exclude whatever does not belong. Perfection is achieved by removing imperfections.

When it comes to our living space, it is often our inability to let go or say no, that results in cluttered and dysfunctional living spaces.

We all dream of having a living space which is efficient, stylish and ordered. If our living space becomes unlivable due to structural, aesthetic or practical deficiencies, how would we live? Does our living space bring life into our existence?

Change the face of your space and put a smile on your dial

We can make significant changes to our lives by making simple changes to our living space because our living space is intrinsically linked to our lives. It shapes our lifestyles either positively or negatively.

Does your living space inspire you with vitality or does it mire you in frustration?

We can design flow, order and structure “into” our living space. This helps us to sustain a good mind space to support a healthy life – physically, emotionally and spiritually.

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The statements below are all true and illustrate how small design elements can have a profound effect on our sense of well-being.

  • We instinctively avoid spaces that make us feel “cold” or “uncomfortable”;
  • We become frustrated in spaces characterized by ineffectual design;
  • A space with unintuitive flow can eventually trigger anger;
  • Certain colors can make us feel happy, sad or unsettled;
  • The design of our bedroom – lighting, color and temperature – can affect the quality of our sleep;
  • The design of our kitchen – functionality, flow, lighting and storage – can affect the quality of our cooking;
  • We maximize our relaxation by bringing outdoor items such as plants, fruit and pebbles into our leisure space;
  • Decor is a matter of personal style and taste, but a photo gallery always adds a special, magical touch.

Can we ever take emotion out of design?

Another pertinent quote I’ve heard goes something like this:

“Do not allow your emotions to design or decorate your space – you may create something your mind won’t embrace.”

Does this mean that design driven by emotion is mindless or thoughtless, or does this mean that emotions can ruin good design? Maybe not. We can indeed use our emotions positively to influence our design choices.

When we have to make difficult and important choices, we often have to look to our past to find the answers to our future. The past often holds the keys to our future, along with vital cues and clues. So how do we use this information?

Let’s say we are planning to create a space that feels homely and inviting. It may help us to look back in our lives and identify the places that made us feel that way – at home, carefree and energized. We can also relive this feeling, by visualizing these places and focusing on their unique elements and characteristics. This is essentially what formed and framed our experiences. Active visualization can ignite our imagination and fuel our emotions.

I suddenly found myself walking into Mom’s kitchen where she’s baking my favorite ginger and orange cookies. That aroma is still unmistakable, and I can virtually taste it. Coming home to a warm kitchen and the heavenly smell of cookies baking in the oven will forever be special to me. It evokes a feeling which still makes me smile, even now.

To complete my memory, I need to grab a cuppa and make a beeline for my favorite seat – the sunny spot by the window – on our comfy kitchen couch. Mmmm… Now I can calmly wait for those cookies to appear. Happiness!

But I digress…

We can use the memories and emotions associated with unforgettable spaces from our past as templates for the spaces we wish to create – depending on their characteristics. Now this is a smart way to engage our emotions to achieve great design results. Clearly, emotional decisions are not really all bad, after all.

Keep emotions at bay when chipping clutter away

By designing clutter out, we automatically design flow and efficiency in. This is how we add style and many other benefits to our lives. The word/term “Lifestyle” is comprises two words, but it implies one life with a personal and distinctive style. Our home – our shelter, our fortress, our foundation and our sanctuary – should be the foundation of that lifestyle.

A space with intuitive flow feels open and inviting, but a space littered with objects seems like an obstacle course. Naturally, an obstacle course is designed to block progress and test our ability to navigate these blockages, both emotionally and physically. To move forward, we have to move through, crawl under, or climb over these obstacles. Every step requires physical effort and mental application.

Who would enjoy or relish the thought of an obstacle course in their home? A cluttered space becomes a breeding ground for negativity and frustration. It cause our blood pressure and heart rates to soar and sets the tone for a life constrained by debilitating emotional weight.

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Our living space should be our oasis and our crucible – a place where we belong and grow. It should be the source of our confidence and the catalyst for our rejuvenation and refreshment. It should also spark our creativity and sustain our clarity of mind. A cluttered space is a headache and a heartache.

A well-designed living space, in which we are surrounded by objects that we love, is inspirational. It changes who we are, how we feel about ourselves and heightens our sense of self. It serves as our anchor and foundation and provides stability-
a crucial element for success in the outside world.

If you design your living space in alignment with the goals you have set for your life, you are empowered with the perfect springboard to achieve your objectives.


Less is clearly more, when it comes to designing a space which supports, enhances and empowers your lifestyle. Optimal design is inspiring, because it raises our levels of confidence, stability and security. A cluttered space on the other hand suppresses our sense of freedom, clouds our mind and stifles creativity.

Every interior will need a few changes at one or other time. Change is an opportunity for a fresh design that meets your needs. We can all do with a fresh start and it does not have to cost an arm and a leg.

Speak to our professional designers and decorators today and get the advice you need. Let us help you transform your living space to match the lifestyle you desire, without breaking the bank.

Call Gardner Interior Concepts today. Let’s change the face of your space and create a masterpiece, together.

Contact us now…

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