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Creating Order and Harmony: The Red Thread

June 16, 2022

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To be your most calm and contented self at home, it helps to have a sense of order and harmony in your surroundings. There are a number of reasons why this is important, and a number of ways to achieve it. One method is called ‘the red thread’, and it is a concept well worth understanding if you’re designing your home to promote wellbeing.

Order and Harmony

Decluttering, clever storage and an ‘everything has it’s place’ approach are classics for achieving a sense of order in the home. Proven to benefit mental health, the act of decluttering itself can reduce stress and improves focus by removing distractions. A feeling of order in the home can extend to the feeling of order in the mind, therefore creating calm.

Photography credit: Emily Brittain Delgado for Hygge & Cwtch Design Studio

In design terms, giving each room a clear purpose and ensuring the flow from room to room makes sense, can also achieve order. The entire home has a sense of order, not just the contents of an individual room.

Similarly, considering the design of the entire house, rather than rooms in isolation is key to creating harmony in the home. This allows us to avoid any jarring styles or colour palettes as you move through the house and instead creates a feeling of consistency and belonging between rooms.

This considered design approach to a house rather than to a room, allows you to link rooms and create that important sense of harmony and order. All of those rooms belong together under the same roof and you get a good feeling of natural flow and ease as you move through it.

The Red Thread

Having said all of that, achieving order and harmony doesn’t mean decorating each room in exactly the same colours or identical styles. The fun of design is that a room should have it’s own personality and the ability to inspire a particular mood or vibe. This is where the red thread comes into play.

Originally a Scandinavian concept, the red thread is essentially one or more element of design which is consistent throughout the rooms of the house. Whether it’s a subtle detail or a focal design element repeated in each room, the purpose is to create a cohesion and a harmony throughout the home. It’s like finding the design DNA which brings out the best feelings in you, then running it throughout the house to deliver a sense of calm and comfort in every room.

It’s concept we regularly refer to in our interior design work here at Hygge & Cwtch Design Studio. Our St Cadoc Road project springs to mind thanks to it’s quite literal use of red. A rich raspberry shade used to varying degrees throughout the ground floor, which linked the rooms and gave warmth to the Scandi-inspired space.

So, what could your red thread be?

Base layers

The red thread in your home could be part of your design base, i.e. the walls and floors. Think of consistent flooring throughout one level, so no switching between carpeted and wooden floors as you move from room to room. Paired with a consistent colour palette, this is a sure-fire way of achieving a sense of order and harmony between rooms on a bigger scale.

Also, note the use of ‘colour palette’ here. It’s important to specifically select colours for each room, so we wouldn’t suggest painting an entire house in one colour. However, a harmonious palette of similar shades with a complimentary palette of accent colours (think earthy tones or pastels) creates that synchronisation and flow, as well as showcasing a true sense of your own style.

Materials and textures

This London listing on The Modern Home is a perfect example of how selecting one type of material (in this case, a dark wood) and running it throughout the house can be one of the most effective red threads. Along with a statement dark floor, there is no doubt that each room of this home belongs together and there is a very clear sense of the owner’s style.

Think of woods, metallic finishes, leather furniture or faux fur and sheepskin used throughout soft furnishings. Find a texture you love and makes you feel most at home and run with it.

Design styles

If you have a preference to a particular design style or era this can be a nice way to inject some real personality. For example, a piece of Mid-century furniture placed in each room can create a real vibe which flows from room to room regardless of the rest of the décor. This doesn’t have to be the overwhelming style of the room however, important to note if you have a more eclectic design taste. A touch of your favourite style in each room, whether it be Art Deco, Scandinavian design or anything in between, can be enough to create that subtle sense of belonging.

A design feature

This is one approach we have used ourselves here at Hygge & Cwtch Interior Design Studio. The feature we chose for our Heolgerrig project was vertical panelling on the walls, run through each room for added interest and texture. Although the colour and overall design of each room differed, the panelling was the consistent feature which provided the cohesion and harmony needed to bring this home together. See more from this project in our portfolio.

In the detail

Not yet sure what your interior style is or what really makes you feel good at home? Keep it small while you work things out, or consider working with an interior designer to help you get there. Artwork-enhancing black frames throughout the house, a consistent accent colour, striped cushions scattered throughout… Repeating a little detail that makes you smile is your first step to finding your red thread to create order, harmony and a sense of wellbeing at home.

If you would like help identifying what your red thread could be, we are Cardiff-based Interior Designers, Hygge & Cwtch Design Studio. Working with clients through Wales, Cornwall and beyond, our goal is to help bring that perfect balance of style, colour, warmth and connection to your home. If that’s what you’re seeking, then we’d love to hear from you, please do get in touch.

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