Emotional decoration is a concept that essentially seeks to transform cold spaces lacking character into warm places that inspire pleasure. That is, in more practical terms, the kind of decoration that turns a house into a home.
This approach created by the English decorator Ilse Crawford is based on life and not style. Thus, it’s a concept that arises in contrast to minimalism, neo-Baroque and many other trends that base its decoration on specific elements created in series and standardize spaces.
For this decorator – whose studio, StudioIlse, has allowed her to work with brand names as important as Ikea and Georg Jensen- the elements included in a house, room or office must be infused with emotions, sensations, and feelings. According to Crawford, it’s through these that spaces that speak to our humanity, rather than to our style or taste, are created.
Her theory of space design tries to customize or individualize the places, modelling them after those who inhabit them. And if you think about it, this makes sense. Being in an environment where everything is beautiful, impeccably designed and “perfect” isn’t comfortable and makes us feel as if breathing or blinking too fast can get things out of place.
This decorative approach seeks to make us feel the right emotion in a specific place. In this sense, objects that we acquired throughout our lives or our journeys become more important within this fashion trend today, because they become the tangible essence of moments with emotional meaning.
In short, based on the proposal of Ilse Crawford, a photo, a travel souvenir, a toy from our childhood or pieces inherited from a relative are more important than a beautiful piece of art. This is because, while the piece of art can be very expensive, it speaks more about appearances (status) than about our essence (feelings).
From theory to practice
After understanding the concept and the things that can help us recreate it, the next step is to get to work and apply the emotional decoration into our home. And then you’ll wonder, aha, and where do I begin? Well, our suggestion, is perhaps quite obvious: begin with the kitchen.
Considering that within this style of decoration choosing elements to prove our social status or our authority doesn’t go, start by choosing simple elements that will take you back to the sweet moments of your life in this area of the home. This is a very personal thing. Suddenly a recipe book from grandma or one that reminds you of your origins, can help you give that personality you want to the kitchen.
It’s worth mentioning that emotional decoration has nothing to do with getting rid of what is modern; on the contrary. So, a good idea to introduce this concept into your kitchen is to combine the modernism of those appliances that make your life easier with elements such as paintings, furniture, photos, and utensils that you like.
To make a proper selection of these, we remind you that the kitchen is the heart of your home, so those objects must be pieces that favor the coexistence, wellbeing, and good communication between those who spend time in it. To achieve this, it’s essential that these are objects that are part of your own history (family, intellectual, spiritual, etc.).
Color and lighting are key to emotional decoration. If you associate eating with peace and quiet, perhaps choosing a combination of green shades and white can help you recreate these sensations in your kitchen. Remember that in this type of decoration it’s the perception that has the priority.
Another key guideline in this decorative approach is order and use. While things shouldn’t be “perfect,” they should be clean and have a specific place. The reason behind it? A messy house can cause stress, which will become excessively uncomfortable. On the contrary, a kitchen kept in order, in addition to being more practical, will bring you peace and happiness.
The secret of the organization in the kitchen is to place things according to the place of use. Pots and pans, as well as food and seasonings will be better close to the stove or cooktop, while utensils (dishes, glasses, etc.) will be better near the serving area or table.
As you can see, emotional decoration has plenty of common sense and it prioritizes those unique objects that speak about your life, rather than giving weight to strict aesthetic paradigms that only look beautiful in photos.