6 Reasons Why Your Home Doesn’t Feel Cohesive

  • Jun 1, 2023

Achieving a harmonious design is crucial for creating an exceptional home. It's not simply about coordinating pieces throughout different spaces; you want to convey a cohesive narrative that doesn't give off the impression of a showroom. If your home appears to lack that certain je ne sais quoi, these factors may be the cause: 

1. You didn’t take a holistic approach

Consider the space as a whole rather than planning each room separately. Focusing on individual rooms can lead to a disjointed visual appeal that lacks the flow and harmony that a well-designed home should have.

While each room will serve a specific purpose, taking the time to plan the entire home first before delving into the details of each room will go a long way towards a cohesive look and feel.

Design: ThreeHaus Works

Use an overarching theme or style or mood as a starting point. It could be as straightforward as 'Scandinavian' or 'Modern Farmhouse', but to really stand out from the crowd and avoid a cookie-cutter home, consider something more intricate.

For instance, a mash-up of different looks you like e.g. modern meets retro (see above project for example), or a certain vibe you are feeling Wes Anderson meets Provençal. Being intricate allows for greater flexibility as well in terms of decorating, so you aren't just restricted to a single interior design theme.

2. You forgot to plan for a colour story

Similarly, failing to plan for a colour scheme can lead to a home that doesn't feel cohesive. This doesn't necessarily mean choosing the same colours for every room, but rather creating an overall colour theme that ties the space together, whether it be neutrals, primary colours, earthy hues, jewel tones, or something else entirely.

Design: The Local Inn.terior

Another option is to first pick a base colour and then include other accent colours that are carried throughout the home. We also find it's easier to work with colours in similar tones such as warm tones versus cool tones. Or, you could stick pick one colour and then play around with variations or complementary hues e.g. forest green, khaki green, brass and wood tones.

3. You don’t have a recurring element throughout the house

A recurring element could take the form of a pattern, shape, material or colour. It doesn't have to be in an obvious way like using the same wood laminate for all the carpentry in the house. But it could be going with arches and then planning for carpentry with curved edges alongside selecting furniture pieces that have more organic shapes.

Design: Authors Interior & Styling

Another popular approach designers take is to use the same flooring throughout the house, varying only for outdoor areas like the balcony or for wet zones like the bathroom, which will require non-slip tiles for safety.

4. You follow trends blindly

Trends are well and good and they are great as a springboard for inspiration, but they should be a territory to tread carefully. Ask yourself these questions before you decide it works for you—does it fit in with the overall look you are going for and is it timeless enough to stand the test of time? Don't let trends dictate you, but incorporate them after deciding your main theme.

Read more » Here Are Our Design Trend Predictions For 2023

Because trends come and go, it's often safer to include them on a temporary basis e.g. a decor accessory you can change out, rather than on a more permanent basis e.g. built-in carpentry. As an example, one of the trendier materials this year is boucle. Instead of investing in an entire boucle sofa, a smaller vanity chair made from the material will be a good way to join in the trend.

Design: Third Paragraph Interior

5. You didn’t consider traffic flow

A cohesive interior design doesn't just involve aesthetics. It also includes ensuring that the traffic flow in your home is easy and smooth. This is largely determined by how you place your furniture. A badly designed layout not only leads to a cluttered and messy appearance but can also be unsafe, which is definitely not what you want.

Design: Ovon Design

On the other end of the spectrum, having too much space between furniture can look like the pieces are floating. Strike a balance to achieve the cohesive and polished look you're after.

A couple of tips: First, make sure that each area has a focal point that stands out and catches your attention. This could be anything from a stunning feature wall to a beautiful piece of artwork. Secondly, make sure that your furniture is sized appropriately for your space. Before making any purchases, consider using tape to map out the scale of your furniture on the floor.

Image: The Tennille Life

6. You plunged in without a moodboard

In theory, creating a cohesive design seems straightforward—from taking a holistic approach to planning your space to selecting the perfect colour scheme and style. But where do you begin? Create a moodboard.

From the start, start saving your inspiration images into a single folder. Then before you decide on a particular look, look at all your images as a whole—is there a common or recurring thread? Is it eclecticism? Is it the bold hues? Is it those clean, minimalist lines? From there, start building your moodboard.

Image: cottonbro studio, Pexels

You can use an actual physical inspiration board if you are old school. Or just put one up digitally. Throw in material samples you collected, paint swatches, furniture picks, and fitting finishes that work with your overarching theme in there. Then once it's more or less settled, consider setting up smaller moodboards that cater to different rooms. But always go back to that first moodboard to ensure you are not straying away from that main vision.

Roping the help of interior designers or interior stylists can mean you won't have to do up your moodboard yourself. But if you don't get professional help, DIY always gives you greater satisfaction and can mean you can make numerous changes. I find Pinterest and Canva great and easy moodboard tools for non-pros and beginners like myself.

Image: charlesdeluvio, Unsplash

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