If you’re a regular reader of Freshome, you’ve heard about the virtues of negative space. This seemingly-small move can make a huge difference in your interiors.
Keep reading to learn more about why this feature is absolutely crucial, as well as practical tips on how to pull it off in your own home. With just a few small tweaks, you can use this maneuver to open up your designs.
We’ve all experienced the feeling of looking at a room that’s so well put together it takes our breath away. It may seem as though the furniture or the color palette that was chosen is the thing to set this design above the rest. However, we’d argue that the use of negative space is what makes such a huge difference.
There’s a psychological basis for our reasoning. According to Gestalt Psychology, every time we enter a new space, our brains process the room as a whole first. It’s only after we are able to categorize the room by its function that we’re able to truly focus in on its aesthetic or the individual design elements themselves.
We tend to react more positively to rooms that feature plenty of negative space because they’re easier for our brains to categorize. Since the openness of the space allows it’s function to become perfectly clear, we’re able to start appreciating design choices much sooner.
Now that we’ve covered the psychological reasons for white space in your design, it’s time to move on to the functional reasons. Put simply, these spaces are much easier to use than ones that are hampered by a lot of excess design elements.
First, let’s consider the flow of the room. At some point, you’ve probably experienced the feeling of working your way through a cluttered space. More than likely, you found forging a pathway from one point to another frustrating and unnecessary. Negative space allows you to create clear paths around the room. Ideally, your design should allow visitors to navigate fully through the space without issue.
Finally, it’s important to consider negative space from an aesthetic perspective. Think of it this way — your design is a compilation of every single element that you decide to include in the space, as well as every single element you decide to leave out. When you include the right amount of negative space in your design, it’s like striking the perfect balance between the two.
Most of the time, this will be your last step. It can be helpful to think of adding negative space as interior design editing. Often, it’s the finishing touch that allows your aesthetic to take center stage.
Use these tips to bring some negative space to your design. Image: Clarum Homes
How to create negative space
Now that we’ve discussed why negative space is so important, it’s time to talk about how to make it work in your own interiors. Every space is different, so the exact steps you need to take will vary, but we have a few tips to help get you started.
As you put together the rooms in your home, keep the following in mind:
Start with function: Functional elements like your furniture are most important. Let them form the basis of your design.
Look for Double-Duty Pieces: Invest in design elements that have a functional purpose as well as adding aesthetic value.
Leave Pathways Clear: You should be able to navigate fully around the room without issue.
Declutter: It sounds self-explanatory, but if there’s any excess clutter laying around, it’s best to clean it up.
Edit: You know that old adage “Put on your jewelry and take one piece off”? You can apply the same principle to your design. Look around the room to seek out any elements that don’t fit in with the rest.
Think About Added Value: If you can’t decide whether or not a piece fits in with the rest, think in terms of added value. Does the piece add anything in particular to the space? If yes, keep it. If not, leav
e it out.
Are you ready to add negative space? Image: JT Photo
Negative space is an often overlooked component of many professional-looking designs. We’re here to make a case for why it should be considered a must-have. Use the post above as a reference point and, if we’ve convinced you to join #TeamNegativeSpace, use the tips above to add this feature to the rooms of your home. You’ll be surprised just how much of a difference a few small changes can make.
Have we convinced you yet? Will you make a point of including negative space in your interiors from now on? Tell us in the comments.