Touchy-feely: 7 tips to create truly sense-tingling interiors

At INDEX 2017, we explored the theme of Design for the Senses.

Here, Letitia Taylor, Head of Harrods Interiors – who decorated our sumptuous VIP Oasis – Bethan Gray, and Dawn Goldworm of 12.29 share seven of their best tips to help create design that stimulates…

Pictured: Dawn Goldworm - Scent Director at 12.29; Letitia Taylor, Head of Harrods Interiors; and Bethan Gray

  • Get in touch with texture

Letitia Taylor, Head of Harrods Interiors: “Texture is key for us in the way we design. We have a holistic approach where we really want our clients to experience design. We start by deciding what kind of atmosphere we want our clients to have and our first move with that is always about textures. Colours come second.”

  • Go natural

Bethan Gray: “People are very drawn to natural materials. They get hands on and try and get their heads around how natural-based products are made, what the pattern is and what material it is. We work with lots of different techniques to make these items attractive for not just seeing but feeling too. Stone and leather are always big draws.”

  • Detail to trigger the mind

Letitia: “Design has moved on from form and function. There’s a different experience that you need to have. Products have to evoke some sort of emotional response. As interior designers, we do that by detailing, maybe mixing materials together, to create those textures or draw the eye and really engage people.”

  • Don’t turn your nose up to scent

Dawn Goldworm, Scent Director at 12.29: “Scent transports you to the emotional place you want to be. In a home, hotel or even workplace, every scent and every emotion has to be separate. You can’t have the same scent and emotion when you arrive at the hotel to when you’re in the spa – as it’s a whole different feeling. It’s the same case in the home. If you’re in the living room with your children or if you’re trying to sleep at night, the experience is different, so you wouldn’t want the same scent as the emotional experience is different in each room.”

  • Colour to calm

Bethan: “I’ve got a colour pallet that I use through most of my work. It has a soft more muted side as well as rich darker aside. I’ve managed to get the same tones of colours through different materials. People like interiors that bring a calming feeling, which we try to achieve through our textures and colour.”

  • Feels for feelz!

Letitia: “We are very conscious about retextures. We like to use very tailored fabrics – we want the client to engage and have a response to the furniture as they are touching it.”

  • And breeeeaaattthhhheee…

Letitia: “One direction I feel design is moving in is that it is becoming more holistic. There’s a huge wellness trend. The Four Seasons in Seoul, for example, just won the Hotel Design Award on the basis they’d created this tranquil and reinvigorating environment for their clients using the oriental ethos of yin and yang.”