In this series on design grammar, verbs are the things in your home’s design that have some kind of action associated with them. These include lights, electronics, appliances and water features.
Take a look at the lighting choices in this bedroom. There are four light sources in the room, each with an active role in the design. The light showing under the bed adds color and makes the bed appear to be floating. The purple and gold lights shining down the walls provide color and space definition, and the simple lamp by the bed is functional and adds warmth.
This photo has two verbs in it – light and water. Notice how candlelight provides soft and yet directed light, and adds to the inviting feeling of the space. The water in the background contributes movement and sound. Although this is just a snapshot, it has the feeling of action because your mind can infuse it with motion and sound to match the image.
Even when it’s off, an electronic element such as a television provides an action point in a room because of its potential. One reason people like to hide a TV in an armoire or behind doors is so that potential is not part of the everyday living space. Take a look at the photo to the left. You don’t need to see the television to know exactly where it is and what these people are doing. The people are reacting to the main action in the room: whatever is on the invisible television.
When you choose to put verbs in your home, be sure to balance them in the space. A room with too many action items may become overwhelming. On the other hand, no verbs make a room feel static and boring. Take the time to figure out the right verbs to build your story/design with excitement but not to the point of exhaustion!