In a world that's getting busier and noisier all the time, quiet and peaceful spaces are more important than ever before. The creation of silent, comfortable living areas is both an art and a science, with functionality and design needing to come together and work as one. The design of restful spaces has become a popular motif in architecture and design over recent years, with more and more people wanting to retreat from technology into a stress-free environment based on human activities, simplicity, and natural silence.
Interior design is a discipline based on balance and proportion, with textures, colours, and lighting all used to complement the structural elements of design. While interior design is often seen as a way to fill space with things, it's actually a way to create and refine the negative spaces we use throughout daily life. By focusing on the gaps between the furniture and basing design decisions around human activities rather than objects, it's possible to create spaces that breathe and flow with the currents of daily life.
While everyone can benefit from access to peaceful and quiet surroundings, the need for order and silence is especially important for people who live in cities, those with kids, and people who work from home. One trend is to create living rooms without fixed technology, meaning no TVs, no X-boxes, and certainly no home theatre systems. While most people are happy to allow music systems and hand held devices into these spaces, the absence of large screens makes it easier to create rooms based around conversation and relaxation instead of technology.
If you're not ready to banish your large-screen TV from the living room just yet, you're certainly not alone. A more workable solution is to hide your TV when it's not being used, with some people using large sliding panels or even hiding technology behind bookcases. In fact, the addition of books is a great way to enhance any living space, adding warmth, personality, and intrigue to any environment. One current trend is to create a second living space based around books and comfortable furniture, with loud and quiet spaces clearly defined and separated from the outset.
In the quest for peaceful domestic environments, a UK based campaign has been developed called Quite Homes. Launched by Quiet Mark, the non-for-profit trading arm of the Noise Abatement Society, this campaign encourages interior designers, architects, and builders to recognise the importance of aural design as well as visual design. While we can't do much about the noise outside our door, Quiet Mark is encouraging quiet design by awarding ‘quiet marks’ to companies that produce inspiring products and technology. Previous winners of these accolades include the silent Vent-Axia fan, Kenwood's quiet kettles, and the Yamaha range of quiet musical instruments.
By designing quiet rooms and filling these spaces carefully, we can make a real difference to our daily lives. Even if you're not ready to start a new build or renovation project, it's possible to make a real difference by choosing and placing technology carefully and only using it during dedicated times. While the world outside is not going to get more peaceful in the near future, we can dramatically reduce our stress levels and enhance our quality of life by turning our homes into the natural havens they were always meant to be.