mint, design and emotion

mint, design and emotion

Do you love mint? Mint is the cure all -when you have a stuffy nose or a headache, take a sniff out of a mint essential oil bottle– it will open up your sinuses!

I love to combine mint oil with lemon and orange essential oils. It makes my studio smell so good. I am using this aroma cocktail for one of my design projects too. With my client, we experimented how many drops of each for her aromatherapy steam system and she finds it delightful! It brings her back to family vacations while growing up.

Here’s the recipe:

-8 drops peppermint essential oil

-4 drops lemon essential oil

-4 drops orange essential oil

Have you ever thought how aroma can trigger certain emotions from your past? Does the smell of chocolate chip cookies in the oven or the smell of the ocean bring you back to a certain place? 

Scientific studies are linking the architecture of the brain with our emotions. My interest is to also understand how our emotions relate back to home design. There are two things I keep in mind:

  1. Designing spaces with the primitive and memory brain in mind is key.

2- Influencing a feeling is critical to consider when designing one’s home.

Let me explain the construct of the memory brain and primitive brain and how that relates to design:

The memory brain handles a neurological network which allows us to connect a web of memories. As social beings, our brain wants to find out how we fit into our environment. For example, I remember an emotionally relevant memory about myself. When I see mint in any supermarket, I automatically think of a pleasant memory in the past – yes, a mint julep cocktail while in Savannah but also smelling a mint leaf while walking around a leather tannery in Morocco. Consequently, I have a positive regard toward mint anytime I see it in a store.

The primitive brain handles fight or flight emotional responses and instinct. When assessing a situation, the primitive brain wants to know: am I safe or should I run? Do I feel happy and comfortable, or do I feel stressed? For example, fire evokes emotions, and a fireplace elevates the home. In my own home, I incorporated a tabletop fire element, and it adds aesthetic value and joyful, safe feelings.

With my design approach, poetic modernism®, I dive into how the memory and primitive brain works and will respond to various design elements and most importantly the way design elements can influence emotional responses. I use emotion to create stimulating environments and ultimately generate a positive experience in the home.

Through emotion and design, your poetic home becomes a place that improves your quality of life and wellbeing.

poetic modernism, the Science behind emotion and home design

poetic modernism, the Science behind emotion and home design

As the daughter of a physicist, it is no surprise that I am drawn to uncover the science behind emotion and design. For years, I worked in practical architecture firms where romantic thinking was frowned upon. I struggled with opportunities to exercise my poetic side, but in 2017 the bath brand DXV gave me the opportunity to design a bathroom that incorporated all our senses as critical design factors. The biophilic bath space included fire, water, and nature.  

During the pandemic, I reflected on my designs and noticed a pattern in my work: linking emotion with the five senses and the five universal elements— fire, water, air, light, and space. I naturally bring these connections into my design work:  Space/Sound and sight; Air/Touch; Fire/Sight and smell; Earth/Smell and sight; Water/Taste and sound.

My Dad often reminds me that all living things are connected from a common origin— atoms. We are ALL made up of atoms and I believe that is why we humans are drawn to nature, space, and its elements. I think to achieve true balance, each one of our senses is directly related to one of the universal elements. Deepak Chopra once stated, “ In the Sankhya system of Indian philosophy where the various qualities of the emergence of creation from consciousness are enumerated, there is a direct correlation between the five senses and universal elements.” 

But it is emotions that drive us.

Nearly everything we perceive is accompanied by an emotional response. We can see, hear and touch but emotions and feelings make up who we are and contribute to our quality of life. Emotions play an important role in how we behave and respond to the world around us.

That is why I integrate emotion into my home designs. 

So why shouldn’t they play a part in the spaces where we spend most of our time?

So why shouldn’t they play a part in our most intimate spaces?

 So why shouldn’t they be a part of our homes?

I want my clients to form a relationship with their spaces, one where there is positive emotional regard and intrigue. My multisensory design approach heightens your ability to collect information and experience the world, enhances your sense of self, and amplifies your daily life. This philosophy led me to trademark POETIC MODERNISM®, an evolution of a new kind of modern movement; design and emotion that ignites resilience to achieve a more balanced lifestyle. My goal is to design spaces that will recharge my clients physically and mentally so they can bring their “A” game to business and life decisions.