Have you ever walked into a room and stopped to wonder what was off?
Maybe the chair. Maybe the wall color. Or maybe that rug that was just a little bit too different for the rest of the room? This is called room-scanning. It’s what happens when you first enter a room and take it in. Everyone does this. But what is it? And why do we do this? It’s easy: We’re looking for “That Thing” that commands all of our attention in a negative way. You don’t have to be a design professional to experience this but you do have to have an eye for detail to catch on fairly quickly.
For some, it’s natural.
Your eyes move across the room until you find it… Even though you’re trying to stay focused on the conversation, you can’t help but keep scanning the room because you know that if you’ve noticed it, obviously, others must notice it, too! And you keep looking until you find it. Ah-ha! [It’s the rug!]
You’ve figured it out: It’s the rug.
It’s okay. You’re fine with it, yet…why did it take over your thoughts until you found it?
“It” is the one thing that just won’t stop calling you to it and keeping you from enjoying the visit. “It” keeps making you look up, sideways, away or down at it: as if it’s an alien that you can’t stand to look at but you just can’t stop staring! Yes, you’ve just discovered “That Thing” that has secretly troubled you for days and finally, you know what it is. To keep things simple, we’ll refer to “It” as “That Thing” as well, okay? 😉
The Art of Room Scanning: EVERYONE does it.
It’s only natural to partake in the art of room scanning; and as a design professional, room scanning is something we turn off when we visit friends and then turn on when we are asked to do our job for a client. Our job is to locate “The Thing” that you feel is off and have asked us to assist you with. Our goal is to make it stop stealing all of the attention and evenly re-distribute it throughout the room. By getting rid of ” That Thing”, we allow everyone that stops in for coffee or tea to take a look at the bigger picture. That beautiful Vase you brought from overseas – we notice that! Those beautiful drapes you just purchased – stunning! That marvelous scandinavian throw that’s been draped over the sofa’s arm – how rich! All because “That Thing” is no longer dominating the room and making everyone turn to stare at it.
To focus on one thing or not to focus on one thing: That is the question…
When we enter a room, we are not supposed to be drawn to everything because it’s loud and too much of a showpiece. That becomes overwhelming. It can quickly cause some to feel enclosed, as if the space were too fussy or loud. It’s no wonder why some people won’t go into a space. Take a look at the architecture – the lines, the color, the furnishings. They all work together to make a space inviting. They set the tone as to whether we are going to stay or hurry out the door, or even worse – never come back.
We are supposed to be drawn to everything because it works.
When we enter a room, we are supposed to be overcome with a feeling that was created specifically for its use, and feel that it all works together. Focal points are the things that make a grand statement – like, fireplaces and windows – but don’t become “That Thing” that takes away from these features and throws the room off.
Sometimes, it’s obvious. Other times, it’s not-so-obvious.
It can be tough to find out what “That Thing” is. It can be so subtle that even though you know it’s there, taking up your precious time as you continually scan the room, you still can’t pinpoint it. How disturbing is that?! What’s even more disturbing is when you don’t know how to fix it. This is when you need a professional to come in and advise your next move. And you know, sometimes, that’s all you need them for: They flip the switch, scan the room and make suggestions. Boom! You’re done!
Let’s take a look at the bigger picture.
As a trial, I’ve chosen one image of a room that is beautifully done… yet – personally- it has one thing that makes me keep staring at it and has caused me to not enjoy the rest of the room at first glance. Can you guess what that is? Also, I want you to tell me what you would change about this room. It can be anything- wall color, rug, pillows – have fun with it, be postiive, and don’t forget to guess what it is that stands out most in this room. “It” is what makes me tip my head sideways as it draws all of my attention. Find “That Thing” and I’ll award a prize to the winner!
If you have “That Thing” in your life right now and would like me to assist you in locating it or taking care of it, feel free to contact me. I’d be happy to visit with you and pinpoint it!
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