Stick to what you love when mapping out decor

Design is often about perception – the validation or conflict regarding what you think you may believe.

Wikipedia tells it like this: perception (from the Latin perceptio, percipio) is the organization, identification and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the environment. All perception involves signals in the nervous system, which in turn result from physical or chemical stimulation of the sense organs.

Our perception often deceives us and forces us to comply, especially when it comes to colour.

I have shown clients two paint chips with the exact same colour value yet if I tell them one is lighter, their perception shifts and suddenly they perceive that one shade is lighter than the other. This can be either a positive or a negative for the client; if they are surrounded by people they trust to guide them they can rest easy in making the right decision but often well intentioned advice can go wrong.

I am working with a client who loves rich, natural products such as stone and hardwood but her family is pushing her to choose modern hard lines and grey tones because that is what is ‘in style.’

It is possible to create a stylish home using traditional materials but those who love the contemporary look can often be blinded to this single style. Just a side note – be wary of designers and contractors who seem to only be able to design in one scheme or colour palette, they should be able to create beauty in a multitude of styles!

This lovely lady is torn apart about what she should do and what she wants to do. I’m amazed at how easily her perception on her dream home will change after a visit with her sister-in-law. One lunch with family and I receive the phone call that she wants to reconsider her choices.

She will then come in and look at her interior materials and still love all of it. Even if slight changes are made they are still generally in the same style and colours that she has loved all along. She doesn’t like grey, that is the bottom line and even though her mind gets muddled when in the environment of her family she always chooses her original loves when she is in our store.

When you are in certain environments it can seem very rational to change your perception to blend with the world around you.

Have you ever been on a shopping trip with your friends and found yourself buying an unusual shade of lipstick or an outlandish pair of shoes because your friends were all doing it? It was only after the trip, in the solitude of your own home that you pulled those items out of the bag and wondered what on earth had gotten into you!

This can happen so easily when you are building or renovating, it is a good idea to keep a record of pictures and colours that you have chosen for easy referral when you are unsure.

Keep your head about you when people are trying to change your perspective! Our thoughts can play tricks on us in the presence of altering opinions and it is important to remember that you know what you like and it is you who lives in this home day after day.

Kim Meckler is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre.

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