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What If Silence Were The New Interior Design Trend?

Topic: Design Trends
What if silence were the new interior design trend?

How does something like silence relate to the concept of interior design trend? Let's start from the beginning...

If we think about it, silence is one of the most uncommon things in our times. Technology is beeping at us all the time, cities are noisy, our minds are filled with a never ending flow of words and images …in short words, there is just no space for silence in our days. Even at home, the diffusion of open spaces has made silence harder to achieve, with less doors to be shut behind us. Interestingly enough, we’re so not used to silence as a society that many people even need to have some background noise to concentrate, because pure silence just sounds weird.

A feather floating on water.
Credit: Andraz Lazic via Unsplash

Putting the interior design trend status aside for a moment, the effects of silence on our minds and bodies are pretty impressive:
 

  • Increased production of brain cells
  • Improved memory
  • Stress reduction
  • Better sleep
     

* Sources at the bottom of the post

Also, it is common sense to associate silence to peaceful and relaxing situations: a spa treatment, meditation, just to name a couple.

SILENCE AT HOME

If there is one place where we can control noises and achieve a moment of silence is home. This also comes back to what biophilic design would call a sense of refuge.
Home becomes an alcove, a place to regenerate after busy to-do-lists, meetings, errands, news. Ultimately a place to unplug our minds from the many noises of our days.

In this sense there are few areas at home that can become an oasis of wellbeing and provide us with relaxation and silence.

A SPA BATHROOM

When the rest of the home is full of people and noises, the time spent in the bathroom becomes even more precious. Besides being a self-care moment for our body, it becomes a regenerating time for our mind as well.
 

Check out the 6 steps to create a bathroom for wellbeing.

A relaxing bathroom full of sunlight, natural materials and full-height windows looking into nature.
Credit: Studio McGee

A RELAXING CORNER

Creating a relaxing corner somewhere at home is an effective way to enjoy some silence. And it doesn’t have to be big (think for instance at an armchair and ottoman situation). In fact, the very idea of dedicating a space to silence and relaxation will already create a sense of calm in our mind.
 

See how to create an effective relaxing corner at home.

A relaxing minimal living room design, perfect place to enjoy a moment of calm and silence.
Credit: Carole Whiting

SILENCE AS CONCENTRATION

But silence can also be useful when we need to concentrate, say when working.
If you’re interested in knowing more about that, you can take a look at my e-book on home office design, where I go through all the aspects of a successful home office: from where it’s best to place it, to organization strategies, to tips on privacy and comfort.

Contemporary home office full of sunlight and with minimal furniture.
Credit: Bryant Alsop Architects (via Houzz)

SILENCE AS AN INTERIOR DESIGN TREND

And now to the big question: how did silence become a legit trend?

An interior design trend comes out of a study of the current society and the challenges it is facing. Over-information is with no doubt a challenge in our times, which reflects in the growing popularity of concepts like disconnect to reconnect and digital-detox.

Silence has also been the title and the theme of Maison et Objet's spring edition 2017. The Silence exhibition showed mute videos, paintings and sculptural design pieces, while guiding visitors to a moment of contemplation and – indeed – silence.

A blue foggy landscape artwork and two sculptural vases exposed at the Maison et Objet's exhibition on silence.
Credit: Designboom (Photo by Fillioux&Fillioux)

The curators of the exhibition also linked the rise of minimalism as a trend with the idea of silence. Simplifying and decluttering (other buzzwords these days) are indeed a way to eliminate the noise, the unnecessary, and allow us to concentrate on what is essential, both in our spaces and in our mind.

A minimal seating area: white daybed, gold side table and a minimal watercolor art in the background. Perfect setup to enjoy a silent moment.
Credit: Co-Direction Design (via Leibal)

Silence is so scarse, precious and desired these days that it is even referred to as a luxury! And the amount of products that are coming on the market to help "create silence" are there to witness how silence is indeed becoming an interior design trend.

Acoustic panels

Have you noticed that acoustic panels have now become decorative?

A colourful acoustic panel decorates and adds texture to a wall:

An acoustic panel used as a decorative wall finish. With its teal colour and striped texture it substitutes a wallpaper perfectly.
Credit: EchoPanel® Longitude by The Collective

Acoustic panels used in place of a large artwork:

A minimal room with acoustic panels used in place of a big artwork, a proof that silence is becoming an interior design trend.
Credit: Acoustic Pulp by Baux (via Instagram)

Acoustic panels with integrated backlight:

Contemporary room with round colorful acoustic panels with integrated backlight used as art.
Credit: Melodia by LvB Acoustics

Enveloping chairs

Armchairs with a very high back (or enveloping chairs as I like to call them) are also becoming more and more popular as a solution to bring silence in open spaces.

Acoustic pink chairs with a high and enveloping back.
Credit: Plenum by Fritz Hansen via DesignMilk

See more examples of this type of chairs in the post where we talked about the refuge pattern in biophilic design.

Pendant lights

Pendant lights are also often enriched with soudproofing qualities. A further evidence of how much silence is a requested feature!

Customizable pendant lamps with sound-absorbing top:

Dining room with soudproofing pendant lights above the table.
Credit: BuzziHAT by Buzzi Space

Recycled felt pendant lamp:

Minimal dining room with huge soudproofing pendant lights above the table.
Credit: Under the Bell by Muuto

 
To sum up, it's fair to say that silence is indeed an interior design trend. Which actually fits perfectly in the overall trend of home as an alcove, a sanctuary of peace and wellbeing...a trend I actually like a lot!

* Sources:

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