At Home: Design maxim helps put holiday stress in perspective | Lifestyle

by AryanArtnews
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Oh, a holiday.

Work holidays, family events, festive decorations, gorgeous food, parties, gifts … what don’t you like? Well, as you asked, collect gifts, blow budgets, write cards, binge baking, light unraveling. And your son’s girlfriend comes to Christmas Eve service in a black bustier and a leather miniskirt, the puppy waters the Christmas tree again, and Aunt Sally gets drunk and snorts by noon. How about worrying about that?

Sure, there’s magic in the air, but there’s also tension.

Whenever you feel your stress meter is rising during this time, apply important design maxims. Tension is at the heart of great design and memorable opportunities. Imagine how boring movies, novels and sporting events can be without tension.

Tension is the secret of the holidays and the secret of an interesting life. It’s a twist, a spice, an enthusiasm.

“No one wants predictability,” interior designer Jhoiey Ramirez said when I called to discuss threadbare theory. “Tension is a bit of a surprise to you and why do you ask?

“The tension in interior design is the reason why you want to get into the room and pay a little more attention. It’s the opposite interaction.”

We’re aiming for a hallmark holiday where dinner is perfect and Christmas lights work, but it’s not only unrealistic, it’s also noisy.

So keep in mind that a little tension may be necessary for your home as stressors begin to pile up this holiday season.

I probably don’t need to teach you how to add tension to your holiday, but here are some ways designers say you can add good tension to your home decor:

• Throw a curve. According to Ramirez, adding curves to a room is an easy and often overlooked way to create visual tension. “Most rooms are boxes, and people put rectangular sofas, tables, desks, and artwork. These feel like they’re stationary. Square rooms create tension and soften the edges. For this, you need a curve (round mirror, oval table, spherical chandelier). ”Similarly, if you want to create a tablescape on a rectangular or square surface, use a circular or oval object. If the table is round, attach accessories with square or rectangular objects.

• Intentionally upset the balance. Asymmetry can add positive tension and make the room more interesting. For example, if the mantle displays two candlesticks on one side and the other, the eyes will look longer. Our brains want balance, so we pay more attention when we feel something is out of place.

• Create ripples. Donald Strum, Head of Product Design at Michael Graves Design Group, says the eternal straight line isn’t that interesting. However, it causes confusion with zigzags, ripples, or curves, which changes the way the eyes cross the form. “The more movement you have, the more exciting it is.” But don’t overdo it.

• Opposite pair. Light and dark, high and low, male and female, smooth and rough juxtaposition add tension to the design through contrast. As the opposite sides pull each other, their characteristics increase.

• Do something unexpected. Ramirez said that tension also arises if he doesn’t do what he expects. “Forget what it should be.” Decorate all white trees with black ornaments or stand upside down trees. The break from that tradition is memorable and may keep the dog away.

Mani Jameson is the author of six home and lifestyle books, including “Miniaturization of Mixed Homes-When Two Households Come Together.” Contact her at


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