We’re hiring! Think you’d be a good fit for our team? Visit our careers page for open positions.
Reducing Stress with Good Design – Board & Vellum

Ask an Architect, Custom Residential, Interior Design

Reducing Stress with Good Design

Reducing stress with good design is a thing, we promise. Even if you can’t put your finger on it, sloppy design causes stress. But well-designed spaces make you feel good, often without you realizing. Our goal as architects and designers, is to create those spaces that you love to be in, stress free.

April 4, 2019

Or, how to stress out an architect with a tv over a fireplace.

Design is a choice. Sometimes, you may choose to not spend time making things look good. Or, sometimes you may go to the extra mile, figuring out a way to make something more beautiful or better functioning.

Reducing Stress with Good Design – Board & Vellum

The person who put this television above this fireplace also made a choice. I imagine you can guess which path they took.

Let me back up a bit, as the intent of this post isn’t to roast this poor person who hung a television off-center, crooked, and in a way that ruined my eyes for days on end while I was on vacation. I’m sure this person is perfectly lovely, and had a million other things to worry about, and so just hung the television where there was power, or cable, or enough structure behind it to mount the attachment. Whatever the reason, the television is up there, and it works, and life goes on. The fact that I couldn’t stop looking at it, and was getting irritated is a “me” problem and most definitely not a “you” problem.

My intent here, is to talk about the power the choices you make have. Most people aren’t like designers. They see this television and they’re like, “Cool, this rental house has a television.” Some people may notice that it is off-center and be a little bothered, but they’ll move on and forget about it. And then there are architects and designers who wake up in a cold sweat when they live next to this thing for days on end.

Basically, it is a spectrum, but for the majority of us, being surrounded by better design choices just makes you feel better. A positive experience in a space is often the absence of negative experiences. It is a great compliment to me when someone comments that a space I designed is very simple or “clean” — it means that the effort spent ensuring distractions were limited paid off. It means people can focus on reading that book, looking out at the ocean, playing with their kids, or whatever else floats their boat, and not spend mental energy on wanting to move a crooked television over.

Our physical environment impacts us on a daily basis. There’s a great scene in Christmas Vacation where Chevy Chase, completely exasperated at the insanity that has taken place over his holiday, chops off the wobbly newel post with a chainshaw. “Fixed the newel post!” is one of my favorite quotes because it captures the underlying irritation that things that don’t work, or look bad, can have on us.

That is why I do what I do. Good design can often be invisible and often takes a lot of time, thinking, and creativity to get things right. There are few of us who have the mental or physical resources to get everything right all of the time, but that certainly doesn’t mean we wouldn’t all be better off if we tried. When a client hires an architect or designer, I know that one of our primary jobs is to we reduce the anxiety that their physical space might create for them. It is a joy, a privilege, and a damn crusade.

And please, for the love of all that is good in the world, can everyone please spend the time to never install a television like this in your home.

Love, your friendly and deranged architect.

Would you like to read more from the team?

If you enjoy reading our blog as much as we enjoy writing it, that just makes our day! You might also enjoy a few of the related posts below. And, if there is a topic that you wish we would cover, let us know!

How To Pay For, Or Finance, a New Custom Home

Whether modern or traditional, a custom home can be designed to meet your family’s needs. You’ve just got to find a way to pay for it! Here is a look at a few of the options available for paying for — or financing — the construction of a new custom home.

Should I Dig Out My Basement?

Digging out your basement seems like an attractive solution to gaining more useable space in your home, but it’s complicated to do and can be quite expensive. These are a series of questions you should consider when weighing whether or not to excavate the basement in your home.

How To Know If Your Contractor is Doing a Good Job

As much as we may want it to be, nothing is perfect. Whether remodeling or building new, and regardless of how well-recommended your contractor is, unknown challenges will arise with your project. But, this is a navigable process, especially if you keep these tips in mind.

Considering a project? Or, just curious about something?

Send us your questions about design, architecture, interiors, landscape, third places, LEGO rooms… Anything, really. We’re always eager to meet new people, and we’d love to get to know you, your project, and your goals.

Get in touch.