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Aesthetically Functional: A How-To On Spatial Awareness

Have you ever walked into a place and things just made sense? It was bright, but not too bright, the colours in the room didn’t clash, everything was well-proportioned, and there was balance and harmony. Spatial awareness is one of the most important foundations of any interior or architectural design. Before we give you tips on how to implement the principles of spatial awareness, we should probably explain what it is and why it’s important.

So, what is spatial awareness?

To put it simply, spatial awareness is understanding the space you’re working with, such as the size and how the furniture pieces are, or will be, arranged to create aesthetically pleasing and functional spaces. To grasp spatial awareness, you would need to understand the effects of many elements and how they work together. These elements include colours, texture, light, flow, and many more.

Why is spatial awareness important?

Holistically speaking, interior designers practice spatial awareness to create not only aesthetically pleasing spaces but also functional designs that maximise the use of those spaces. Being spatially aware is one of the most fundamental aspects of interior design to create harmony and balance, it also lays the foundation for optimum space usage and affects how you use and feel within those spaces.

Designs are made for the people, it's very much human-centric. Every design will take the user experience into account. For example, it would not be ideal for one to place a large and decorated table right at the door of a busy hotel where people would have to manoeuvre around to get in and out of the hotel. Placing an obstacle in the heaviest traffic path makes it inconvenient for those using the space. Therefore, you’d be creating chaos instead of harmony.

How can you implement spatial awareness principles in your home?

If you know a bit of Feng Shui you’d have an advantage, but in case you don’t… we got you. Feng Shui is quite advanced but to keep it simple, the easiest way to create harmony in your home, office, or where ever you spend most of your time, is to understand and implement.

Here is what to remember:

W.W.W. - What Where Who

WHAT (also FUNCTION) - design your space with the intended purpose in mind.

WHERE (also TRAFFIC FLOW) - creates a sense of movement. How do you walk within that space? From door to window, closet, and any other fixed fittings… think about your walking path and how your fittings & furniture talk to each other.

WHO (also PERSONALISATION) - who are you designing the space for? Always add a personal touch to make your space unique!

Colour Scheme & Palette

Colour creates a sense of depth and highlights elements within a space. Check out our e-book to learn more about colour schemes and palettes.


Light, both artificial and natural light, can create warmth and ambience. Also, be aware of where your light sources are. You might not want to place your bed next to a window, but a desk or dressing table would do well there.

B.S.P. - Balance Scale Proportion

BALANCE create a sense of balance between light/dark, warm/cool, heavy/light elements.

SCALE - consider the size of the space and how other elements and furniture fit in that area.

PROPORTION - is to balance the size of the furniture and other elements. It might not be best to have one tiny vase on a massive 12-seater dining room table, the vase and table should be well proportioned.


Comfort creates an inviting atmosphere (read more about warmth and an inviting atmosphere in last month’s post here)


TEXTURE - to add visual interest and create contrast.

If you are someone who needs visuals to understand, keep an eye out for posts @Sude.Global on Instagram and don't be shy to ask any questions you might have.

#spatial #awareness #decor #fengshui #interiordesign #humancentric #flow

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