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The 5 Principles of Creating Meaningful Joyful Interiors


How can we be more joyful, energetic, passionate and excited?

Well, consider this.

  • We feel happier when we enter a room with red, orange, and pink colours.

  • We shrink with fear in a dark room with low ceilings and no windows.

  • A candle-lit room overlooking a peaceful river makes us feel more romantic.

We realise that a Space can affect our moods, feelings and emotions in the most dramatic ways possible.

So, how can we use this tool, this Swiss knife called ‘Space', to increase our happiness ? How can we use it to create more meaningful experiences? How do we use it to change our mood ?


Principle 1 : Context: For a space to provide more meaning to you, you have to provide it more meaning.

So, how do you provide meaning to a space? You think about what it means to you.

What do you love? What do you hate? Think about the view. Think about the sun.

Think about its function. Think about its past. Think about its location.

As you answer these questions, you understand it better and add more meaning. Each line is then drawn with a lot of purpose. Each chair, pot or window-is there for a reason. Every decision is made with awareness and intention.


Principle 2 : Concept: Think about how you want to feel in that space.

Do you want to feel happy and jump with joy? Do you want it to be romantic and private? Do you want to feel energized? Do you want to move faster or slow down?

A space is not just a collection of rooms and furniture pieces. That is akin to saying that we are a collection of a heart, two legs, two hands, and a head. We are much more. We are thoughts and beliefs, feelings and motivations. Similarly, a space is much more than a collection of items or walls.


Principle 3 : Scale: Suppose you are in a large hall and you see a tiny table. How would you feel about the table? The table would seem out of place. Similarly, if you were in a small room with a huge table, how would you feel about the table? Again, the table would seem inappropriate. Why? Ideally, its size should relate to the size of the room.

Our body is the tool by which we measure scale.

Scale is a very important tool in Design. For example, large chairs in a large room make the room more intimate. A small pot in a small room makes the room more imposing. A large painting in a small room can make the room appear larger. We associate the size of the room by the size of the painting. A small vase placed next to a large vase makes the large vase appear larger.

Therefore, scale and its manipulation, play a huge part in conveying an image and a concept. It can add personality and drama to a space.


Principle 4 : Texture is important for vitality and energy. Texture takes on immediate significance - since it's the first thing we feel, sense and touch. It affects both Light and Colour.

What happens when you place a smooth texture next to a rough one? There is tension. There is play. Where there is play there is energy. Opposites attract. Juxtaposition and contradiction of textures create tension. They breathe life into a space. Visualise light falling on an orange textured wall. The space becomes active. It starts developing energy. Any space is a canvas. You paint it with textures to create tactile compositions.


Principle 5 : Balance: Context, concept, scale, texture - our four fingers of design basics - need the thumb to function at their best. The thumb is 'Balance'. We need Balance to function efficiently as humans. We mix sleep with activity. We have night and day. We have yin and yang. Similarly, we should consciously strive for balance within our spaces.

Balance does not mean boring. Symmetrical should be balanced with the asymmetrical. The positive should be balanced with the negative. Volume, colour, and form-all need balance to be complete. You can­not appreciate a straight line unless we place a curved line next to it. Balanced spaces are good spaces. They calm us down. They bring peace and order to our chaos. When all is said and done, check for balance.

So first we define Context, give it a Concept, think about Scale and Texture and then lastly check for Balance. This way, we sculpt a space that is purposeful, energised, appropriate, textured and composed. It is a well thought out place. When you are in it, you feel connected. You want to be in it. You want to maintain it. It makes you feel good.

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