It’s a funny thing – space is all around us – the universe is mostly space, yet we can feel crowded in.
There’s something about modern living that makes many of us a little claustrophobic, even when not in confined spaces. Mostly I believe it is a ‘pressing down’ of too much stuff, like we are literally carrying the weight of all that stuff on our shoulders.
I must be getting old but I’m almost at the point where I can’t stand to go to Pacific Fair (one of Australia’s largest shopping centres), and certainly not on busy days, as I feel weighed down and hemmed in by the chaotic consumer crush.
You may remember from art or maths classes at school that formula called the Golden Ratio – it’s repeated in nature, from the proportions of the human body, to the formation of the nautilus shell and the spiral arrangement of leaves, and is mirrored in design and art from the architecture of the ancient Greeks to the Mona Lisa (supposedly), and even in musical composition. (I’m a big fan of biomimicry in design if you want to know more click here).
The magic number is 1:1.618 – there’s something in this ratio that just naturally pleases the eye (and the ear in the case of music) and when things are well outside of this ratio they jar our sensibilities.
I’m not an interior designer (not-so-secret desire) and I’m certainly not a mathematician but I feel I have a pretty good innate sense of scale and proportion.
What I do know is that space (in all its forms – physical space, mental space, silence and stillness) is something we desperately crave more of at deep, primal level – after all when we started to grow too big for the space in our mother’s womb we wanted out!
Imagine music without the pauses – music is made up of the notes and the spaces in between, without which it would just be loud, clanging noise!
And try the exercise of looking into a room and observing the space rather than the things in it – it’s hard because we are so used to focusing on things but NOTHING is really calming to the eye (and the soul).
There’s also the design practise of putting one new thing in and taking two old things out, which is what I’ve tried to do as we’ve renovated/updated our living areas over the last six months, including re-doing flooring (our new sofa finally arrived after a looong shipping delay). We got rid of some things, painted/updated others and purchased new items and with scale, proportion and colour I like to think we’ve created more space and more sense of space. (alas we just had to paint the kitchen, but one day….)
Check it out.
Office (still a bit messy, sigh)
Meanwhile if you want more mental space, meditation and mindfulness, in all its forms, can be the answer.
Joining in the Lovin Life linky.