Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Although we generally tend to think of interior design in terms of aesthetics, (in other words, we care what looks good and what doesn’t), there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes than you might think. Interior design in the home is known to contribute to your mood and wellbeing. For example, if you live in an environment with dark walls, no light, and little fresh air, it’s unlikely you’ll thrive mentally. Cruise ship interiors are in no way exempt from these rules, although as always there are special factors that must be accounted for (for example, the colour green doesn’t quite serve as the same calming colour it might do on land…) One of the designer’s key tasks and responsibilities is to ensure the interiors of the cruise ship positively contribute to each guest’s mood. When someone enters a restaurant, you might want them to feel hungry, meanwhile when a guest visits a spa, you’d want them to feel relaxed. But how can these feelings be achieved through interior design?
Luckily, the psychology of interior design is generally well-covered during aspiring designers’ extensive training. As such, design studios – the ones responsible for creating interiors onboard cruise vessels from midrange to luxury – are experts in manipulating the guest’s emotions to ensure the best experience possible while traveling.
The core principles of design include balance, proportion, symmetry, and rhythm. Executing each one successfully brings harmony to a space and can help to improve an interior’s emotional quality. But through which methods are these achieved? Space, colour, light, and texture all come together to form a cohesive work of interior design. But each aspect has its own variables that could alter a guest’s mood.
Read on to discover the ins and outs of interior design psychology, plus some top tips for cohesive design and colour picking.
A key challenge for designers, particularly those operating in the cruise industry, is to ensure space is used as effectively as possible. Given the increasing number of guests sailing and the limited amount of space, designers must work to maximise each area of the room, while maintaining a delicate balance and connection between each object featured.
Be wary of overcrowding spaces with too much furniture or an excess of objets, as this could leave guests feeling boxed in. That being said, it's important that spaces don't feel baron, especially given the increasing incline towards interiors that feel like a home away from home. On cruise ships, it's important that spaces not only serve the purpose of creating a cohesive interior but also contribute towards effective passenger flow.
“Interior design plays a huge part in passenger flow.” – Ann Bada Crema, CEO, Launch by Design
One of the more commonly acknowledged aspects of interior design psychology, at least in the commercial market, is colour. Carefully selected by the interior designer (in collaboration with the cruise line or shipowner, of course), colour palettes can make or break a guest experience.
“There are psychological elements you can use to help people leave [or stay in] a space.” – Elizabeth Overland, senior interior operations specialist, Holland America Group
Bold, bright, and beautiful or light, airy, and spacious: natural or artificial, lighting allows designers to foster the ideal setting for cruise guests. Generally, designers favour natural light as it can boost feelings of happiness, as well as making spaces feel larger. To create stunning light-filled spaces, designers must utilise glass panelling, something which isn’t always an option given the stringent weight restrictions on cruise ships.
Getting creative with lighting gives designers the opportunity to alter a guest’s emotional experience further. While dim lighting can create a sense of gloominess, it can also help foster a cosy environment and encourage guests to stay put, (which is why you’re most likely to find it in spas, bars, and restaurants). Meanwhile, bright lighting encourages movement, so will be found more frequently in fitness centres, lifts, and corridors.
“There are many elements in the design and in the layout that are able to influence the flow.” – Marco de Jorio, CEO, De Jorio Design International
The textures you surround yourself with impact your emotions almost as much as space and light do. While soft and silky textures can encourage intimacy and romance, raw, rugged textures contribute to organic, natural-looking interiors, in line with the trend of bringing the outdoors in.
Smooth textures can act almost as a blank canvas in our minds, often serving the purpose of showcasing the room’s other features or the products’ form and colour. Used alone, however, smooth surfaces can be austere, leaving the room and guest wanting something more. In contrast, rough textures draw attention but can also serve as a distraction, so are best used sparingly. If you’re looking for something natural and strong, seek out hard textures to ground the room. As always, balance is key, especially when it comes to layering multiple textures.
If you’re interested in learning more about the intricacies of cruise interior design, including colour psychology and more, join us for Cruise Ship Interiors Europe this December 4-5.
Cruise Ship Interiors America returns to the Miami Beach Convention Center on June 16-17, 2020.