It’s All About the Ambience!

Have you noticed how everyone talks about ambience these days? In fact, ambience is one of the most commented on characteristics when we visit somewhere new. We often hear praises of a new restaurant or someone’s home being sung along the lines of “the ambience was amazing.”


Although it can sometimes seem a little bit pretentious to discuss the ambience of a place, it is something that we all pick up on and we absolutely should pay attention to. Ambience adds the charm and character to the places we love, and we should all be looking to create ambience in our homes…but what really is ambience and how do we create it?


Ambience is the mood, atmosphere, and character of a place. You could be walking past a cafe in Paris and being drawn in by the scent of freshly baked croissants balanced with fragrant espresso, the eye-catching bistro tables… each with a small bunch of fresh flowers, the soft music and the chatter of fellow cafe goers, the mouth-watering pastries and the feel of the sun on your face cooled by the breeze, while your hands are warmed by a hot coffee. This is ambience… the way you experience a place using all five senses and those small details that go to make that place so memorable.

You can create ambience in your own home without spending a lot of money simply by focusing on how your home is experienced by others through the five senses… what smells, sounds, textures, images and even tastes will greet your family and your guests when they visit? 


SIGHT:  Firstly, stand back and take a good look at your home and make a note of what it’s like. Is it cozy, modern or spa like…is it exciting, is it bold? These elements will help you design the ambience you want to create for your home. For example, a cozy= ambience may mean you have a lot of throws, solid wood furniture and rustic look going on…ask yourself is this the look that you are trying to achieve? Is it going in the right direction?  Lighting is an all-important element that comes into play here as your lighting choices can quickly change the atmosphere of a room. Bright diffused lights will help to create an airy daylight feeling, whereas dimmer, warmer lights will make for a cozy fireplace feeling. Adding lots of lamps will make a statement and add warmth to your home. Make sure you pick the right bulbs too… you can go warm or cool, but either way this tiny element will add a great deal of impact when creating an ambience.

SOUND: Having some soft music playing in the background is a great way to add another layer of character to your home. Check out the many ambient music videos available on YouTube, which can be used to create different moods… a cottage in the woods, a visit to France, or to Japan or even a Jazz club vibe. Explore different genres of music and make a ‘feel good’ playlist that will make you and your guests feel happy and comfortable.

TOUCH: Texture is what is important here, a few key accessories can help create and add layers of tactile interest. Throws, pillows, fabric or leather upholstery, shaggy rugs, rattan and wood all add to the textural atmosphere. Collect unique items from your travels abroad or at your nearest furnishing store to give your home oodles of personality and character.

SMELL: Probably one of the things you notice first when you walk into a room is its smell. Having a fragrance for your home is a wonderful way to add that extra something. Candles, wax melts and room sprays all can add depth and freshness. Cozy homes may be best suited to gourmand food/dessert scents, such as vanilla, coffee, or other baked goods… or you can go the route of clean smelling candles such as fresh pine or citrus. Spaces that you want to be more spa like and relaxing can have warm woody fragrances, like cedar, or sandal wood or florals like lavender or patchouli or oceanic fragrances that are light and watery. Avoid synthetic scents which can be harsh and pungent. Remember some people are sensitive to certain perfumes so don’t over do it…let them play delicately in the background just like the music by diffusing essential oils, or making stove-top simmer pots of orange, clove and cinnamon, or lemon and rosemary.

Oh! And don’t forget to have some real food available too as taste is probably one of the most important of our five senses!

Ambience is the cherry on top of all the interior decorating choices that you have made and while these key elements may seem simple, they are the layers that really add personality and flavour to all of your rooms. All theses little touches add depth to your life, and help to form strong, fond memories. Ambience is the interior design secret that will make any house a memorable home!

22nd November 2021

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