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Home Styling | Creating Sensory Spaces


Jumping back in to the Home Styling Series I started earlier this year, in today's post I'm going to talk about creating a home that appeals to the senses. Rather than focusing solely on the visual aspect of a space, this concept is about incorporating elements that are multi-sensory, to enhance the overall mood and feeling of your home. 

More than ever, in this increasingly digital age, we want our homes to provide a restorative effect where we can unwind and recharge. Sensory elements help us to relax and to be more present, whether we're sitting on the sofa reading a book, playing with kids or entertaining friends. To provide some ideas, I've picked out five of my favourite sensory elements to incorporate into your home. 

— Flowers —

Flowers are probably my number one go-to due to their multi-sensory appeal. Visually impactful, often with the added appeal of fragrance, flowers immediately inject life into a space. I tend to gravitate towards white and tonal florals with lots of greenery, but I also love experimenting with flowers that are in season. In celebration of Cymbidium Orchid season in NZ, I was recently sent a beautiful bouquet (pictured above) by Feel Good With Flowers.  Advocates of the New Zealand cut flower industry, I love that they encourage consumers to buy NZ grown. Flowers provide an easy way of bringing some colour into a neutral space, and the rich, vibrant colours of the orchids inspired me to pull out a cushion I had in storage that would tie in with the soft yellow centres of the flowers.  The beautiful arrangement below was a recent subscription delivery from Bloom Social, whose flowers always have a gorgeous 'freshly picked from the garden' feel.

I also like to bring nature indoors with dried flowers and house plants which you can see popping up around our home below. Not only do plants visually enhance interior spaces, they improve the quality of the air and are mood boosting. 

— Natural Light —

Making use of natural light is another way to enhance the sensory feel of a space. I love seeing how the light changes from season to season in our home. I'll often play on this element when styling (notice the touches of sun in the images above), but I also like to let the light in as much as possible during the day because I find it so uplifting. Our Luxaflex Silhouette blinds are great for filtering light, and we can adjust them to suit, day and night. 

— Home Fragrance — 

Home fragrance is another sensory staple of mine, and I always have a few scented candles on rotation from my favourite brands. Depending on the scent, they can be calming, uplifting or create a cosy ambiance.  I talk more about how I 'style with scent' in this interview with Jo Malone London

The candle above is a beautiful collaboration between Lumira and Halcyon House.  Lumira also recently introduced their first room spray, featuring one of my favourite scents, Arabian Oud

— Food & Coffee Aromas —

Though taste is not usually a sense we talk about in relation to interiors, our home is where we cook, dine and entertain, so food is all part of the sensory experience. It's certainly an important one to me! Before we even taste food, the sight, smell and sound of a meal being prepared, or baking in progress makes a house feel like a home. I love coming home to the aromas of the slow cooker. And nothing beats the sound of the Nespresso machine, the smell of the coffee, or a cake baking in the oven. 

Some recent styling collaborations with Nespresso, I love creating coffee moments in the comfort of my own home.

— Tactile Products —

Increasing tactility is one of the best ways to bring some zen to your home, and if you're not convinced, there's science to prove it. When we're hugged or we stroke our pet, the 'feel-good' hormone oxytocin is released, lowering stress levels and boosting overall health. Switching off from technology and re-connecting with our sense of touch through tactile surrounds has never been more important for our mental wellbeing. Think natural textiles that provide a 'cocoon-like' feel such as linen and wool. These can easily be introduced through cushions, bedding and throws. Choose tactile furniture finishes in wood, rattan, soft velvet or textural upholstery and use rugs to create a cosy feel underfoot. For finishing touches look for ceramic, marble or stone pieces (especially those made from hand) and materials that develop a patina with age.  

Copenhagen-based ceramicist Robynn Storgaard sent me one of her beautiful hand-made ceramic cups, sitting here on the Oak and upholstered Baenk bench by Danish brand Woud. 

This tactility can be applied to every room in the home. Our walk-in and ensuite includes marble trays and soft wool jumpers, a rustic wood stool and textural linen towel. 

To read more from the Home Styling series, take a look here and here

All images: Styling and photography by Michelle Halford / TDC 

This post contains gifted products. I only work with products I love and all opinions are my own. For more information please visit my About Page.

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  1. The bathroom / shelving space is so organized!! Love it!

    Also love the thought behind the aromas of a home – definitely a reminder to turn on our essential oil diffuser more than once a week!

    xo, Brooke & Kelcy
    The Inspired Abode

    1. Thank you, I gave it a recent declutter and it feels so good!
      I love being surrounded by beautiful scent, especially working from home. Definitely something to remember! x

  2. Such a beautiful inspiration! I have and use scented candles almost everyday. They are my way of starting the day or just unwinding. Your style aesthetic is fantastic. I especially like your color combinations and mood set. Could you please tell me where the coffee table and the ceramic case is from. Wishing you a wonderful day....Gabriella

    1. Thanks Gabriella, so pleased to hear you like to do the same! The black coffee table is the Airy Coffee Table (medium size) by and the Pillar Vase (in Sand) by Cooee:

  3. Great tips! Sensory spaces are so relaxing and peaceful and we all need that from time to time. Natural light and flowers are my favorite ways to create such cozy corners in my home, but I'll be trying the other ways too, so thank you for sharing this, it's really useful.

    1. Thanks Katarina, I'm so happy to read your comment! It's amazing how even little adjustments can make all the difference x



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