“Cohesiveness” is discussed a lot in interior design, but what does it really mean? Technically, cohesion is when two or more things stick together. In design speak, that simply means they go together. In our home, we have outdoor spaces, indoor spaces, public spaces, private spaces, separate rooms, open rooms, multi-purpose rooms. How do we create cohesive design so that it all goes together?
DESIGN PRINCIPLE – REPEAT MATERIALS FOR COHESION
Let’s take a cue from the Electric Company skit about which one of these things is not like the other. What’s the easiest way for things to go together? To make them each like the other in some way. You can do this by starting to repeat color, repeat patterns, and repeat materials in your home’s different spaces. Better yet, when individual areas feel cohesive with one another, the space as a whole feels larger.
There are three main materials that I chose to repeat through-out our home namely,
- stacked stone
REPEATING MATERIALS WITH STACKED STONE
Stacked stone is often used as an outdoor material. It is utilized on our front and back porch columns, portions of the house siding, and even the lower back patio siding.
But I didn’t limit it’s use to the outdoors. I brought the stacked stone indoors. Specifically, by incorporating into the fireplace area columns, the master bath wall, and the basement wall
REPEATING MATERIALS WITH WOOD
Wood may seem to some as a more obvious choice as a material to use throughout the home. However, I chose to use it beyond flooring or cabinetry. Stained wood not only encases all of our windows, doorways, and fireplace, but also the open entryways
Beyond that, I used the same wood flooring to encase all
REPEATING MATERIALS WITH SLATE
While the wood floors are beautiful and warm, they aren’t conducive to getting wet. Hence, I chose slate for the front foyer and even the porch entrance area off of the kitchen.
Wanting to create that cohesive feel, I added slate at each of the stair landings as well as the fireplace hearth and surround on the main level.
REPEATING MATERIALS IN OPEN CONCEPT ROOMS
Other more minor but still unique repeat materials that I chose to use in rooms that are more open concept with one another are:
- decorative tile around the main floor fireplace matches
decorativetile on kitchen backsplash
- basement counter granite matches basement fireplace surround and mantle
So remember for your new build, renovation, or even specific projects, repeating materials will help your space feel larger. This is due to a sense of cohesiveness. Don’t forget to repeat those materials indoors, outdoors, among different rooms, at different floor levels, vertically as well as horizontally for maximum impact.
Gabrielle Carter says
This is a little bit out of my realm of expertise, but it reminded me of how we are working on renovating our kitchen. Some of these design techniques could be used in the future for sure!
Linda Wibbenmeyer says
So glad you found this useful! Materials, colors, patterns – any or all can be incorporated into your kitchen reno to help tie the new space in with the existing.