What is good flow and how do you achieve it in your home? Generally speaking this means that the house has a logical layout and good connection between spaces which is both visually appealing and allows people to move about easily from one space to another.
You can take this one stage further using Feng Shui's definition of 'Chi' which is the idea of the flow of energy into and around a space. (Feng Shui means 'wind and water'). But good flow doesn't happen by chance, you need to plan it..
Read on for our best tips...
1. Pick your palette
One simple way to create a cohesive look is to choose a colour scheme for your home. This may incorporate up to 6 colours that work together.
For maximum flow, choose a main colour from your scheme and use this on the hallway walls and any connector rooms. If you have an open-plan layout ensure that you use the same colour wall paint. You could also go that extra step further and match the walls to the furniture to make the rooms appear bigger.
Colours can change from room to room, but consistent use of accent colours will help tie rooms together whilst still allowing for varying use of other colours in your scheme. Just be sure to keep one thing the same.
Be sure to consider sightlines. If you stand in one room and look into another, do the rooms flow or appear disjointed? Can you see a focal point in the next room?
If you're not colour confident, look for inspiration from magazines and websites. Many paint suppliers such as Dulux suggest colour combinations on their websites, or try out an app to see how a particular shade of blue will work in your kitchen.
2. Clear a Path
It is well worth taking the time to draw a layout plan and take measurements of the space to be re-designed. By doing this you will be able to figure out the best ‘route’ throughout your home for ease of movement.
You will also need to consider the size and shape of your furniture and the circulation space around it. Have you left at least 35cm between your sofa and coffee table for legs? A meter or more between the dining table and wall? Will your furniture placement be effected by a door swinging open? All of these things need to be considered carefully. A good interior designer can help you make the most out of your space.
3. Lead The Eye
Focal points are important because they help draw the eye across the room, add structure and can even make a space appear bigger. Consider the use of the room or main activity when deciding on a focal point. For social spaces such as a lounge picking a fireplace or TV as the focal point makes sense.
Draw the eye towards your choice by using furniture and lighting for framing.
Other common focal points include beds, baths and dining tables. Alternatively, you could create a feature wall by choosing a different paint, wallpaper or by using pictures or ornamentation to add interest.
4. Zone it!
Area rugs are a great way to section off space, frame seating, add definition and interest. If you have a large open-plan kitchen lounge consider placing a large area rug under your sofas to create a seating area. The human eye will register the change in colour and texture as a boundary. Rugs can also be used to direct the eye towards focal points.
5. Reflect and Double
Mirrors are a great way to open up a space as their surface reflects light and gives the illusion of depth. When choosing a mirror consider its function and location. Round decorative mirrors work better on smaller walls whereas larger mirrors need more room, but will also reflect more.
Aim to place mirrors adjacent to windows so that they can bounce light back into the room. Placing a mirror opposite a window will bring in light and give a view of the outside. A large statement mirror at one end of a hallway can also act as a focal point, drawing the eye towards it.
6. Design Your Door
If you find yourself tight on space in a bathroom you might want to consider a pocket door, or a sliding shower door or an open shower. If the area is for social occasions (e.g. a lounge), you might decide not to have a door at all!
7. Keep it Continuous
When designing a space, consider using the same flooring throughout, be it carpet, wood or tiling. The human eye picks up changes in texture and colour and automatically creates boundaries, cutting areas and interrupting flow when not used carefully.
8. Light the way
As well as helping to frame focal points and making spaces appear larger, lighting, or in this case, its absence, can also help to minimise the visual impact of obstacles. Use lights where they are needed and to guide the eyes to where you want them to look. Lighting can change the feeling of shape and size to a space. Lamps in corners or under cupboards or in picture rails can balance a room. A single pendant light in a large room, can create a pool of light in the middle, with dark shadows in the corners. Consider the temperature of your lighting, too. Modern LEDs bulbs are incredibly diverse, offering dimmable light, cool and warm (and coloured shades), remote controls and programmable light. Used correctly you can create a harmonious layer of light throughtout your home.
We'd love to hear your about your home, how have you got past tricky rooms or awkward spaces? Are you refurbishing your home, or planning to, and want to get it right? Drop us a line or schedule a call and find out how we can help.