Design Grammar: Nouns

12283909_SIn the second blog about design grammar, we’ll consider the nouns of writing a room. These define what the room or the story is all about, and in the case of design, they are the larger upholstered pieces: sofas and chairs.

The two photos here involve a pink sofa and pink chair. From a description standpoint, there isn’t that much difference, but in reality each one sends a completely different message.

The sofa is bright pink and very contemporary. It would work well in a commercial environment such as a beauty salon or women’s clothing shop. In a home it would feel bright and exciting and young. This sofa as a noun is vivid and almost demanding. Think about the message a room built around this sofa would send.

11898370_SThe pink chair, on the other hand, has a traditional style and a soft color that almost looks faded. It’s quiet and comfortable. There are no demands from this chair. It would sit quietly in a corner until someone needed it.

These two pieces of furniture need very different spaces. They tell very different stories and send very different messages. Ask yourself, if you could get either piece of furniture for free, which one would you choose?

In a sentence or a story, nouns set the stage. They can be simple vanilla words such as flower or boat, or strong words that draw your attention such as pendulum or patisserie.

Because of their fundamental position in a room or a sentence, upholstered furniture and nouns give you a good place to start designing or writing.

Design Grammar: Your Home’s Décor can feel like a Well-written Story

734809_S Your home is about more than good design. Your home’s décor is a direct reflection of you. So take a minute before you start planning your home’s décor, or when it’s time to update a room’s look. Stretch your imagination and ask yourself some questions about what you want your home to say about you.

To make this easier, we’re going to think of decorating a room using the same tools used to write a story.

To begin, ask yourself some overall questions:

15207724_SHow does the room feel? You can start by using words to describe a room, but it’s more complex than that. If a room is elegant, does that mean that you feel elegant in it? Or do you feel like you shouldn’t sit down? Does a room feel welcoming or uncomfortable?

What message does a room send? For example, does a room say “I’m important?” A good example of this message is the Oval Office in the White House. A fast food’s décor may say, “Sit down, but just for a minute to gulp down your sandwich and fries.”

14809528_SIs the message consistent? Do some things in a room say one thing but others send a different message? For example, a formal, antique velvet sofa may tell people to stay away, but a cushy old leather chair might invite people in to get comfy. Sitting next to each other, the overall message may be confusing.

What message do you want to give? Think of your home as an unspoken voice for you with family and friends.

This week and next week, we’re going to take a look at how you build a room that sends whatever message you want to present. With this perspective you will end up with more than a room that looks nice; you’ll have a space that reflects what you want to say.